Handwashing stations

  •  January 24, 2022
  • By: Evan MacAlpine
A girl wearing a pink sirt washes her hands at a sink.
Funding required: $109,275

This project will help: 36,011 children from 103 Compassion centres

Estimated completion date: November 2022

Country: Colombia

Executive summary

In March 2020, the Colombian government declared a national state of emergency and enacted broad public health measures to contain the spread of COVID-19. As with schools, all Compassion centres were closed indefinitely.

Working with local community leaders and health departments, Compassion Colombia eventually released a set of protocols required to safely reopen centres and resume normal programming. Four key criteria were included in this documentation: ensuring social distancing, keeping centres clean and sanitized, wearing face masks and having access to at least one sink for hand washing.

However, many of our frontline church partners in Colombia cannot yet reopen safely under these new guidelines. In fact, 40 per cent of churches are not yet able to implement some of the most basic health measures. Some churches still lack access to safe water and water storage, while others do not yet have proper sanitary infrastructure including proper toilets, sinks and septic tanks.

Helping children and families establish good hygiene habits has always been a pillar of Compassion’s efforts around the world. Through our WASH initiative, we have been helping thousands of vulnerable communities limit the spread of infectious disease through hygiene education, sanitary infrastructure and access to clean water. Now, the need for basic hygiene and sanitation measures is more critical than ever, as churches try to resume their regular programming even while the pandemic continues.

In order to reopen, 103 of Compassion’s church partners in Colombia need help. By providing these churches with proper hand washing stations, including running water, sinks and soap, you can help them resume in-person activities and continue their vital service to vulnerable children and families.

Did you know?

According to UNICEF, only 18 per cent of Colombians have access to safely managed sanitation services.



As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Compassion Colombia is supporting the safe reopening of development centres by implementing a number of new health and safety protocols. These protocols include installing at least one hand washing sink at each centre. However, about 40 per cent of Compassion centres in Colombia currently lack the infrastructure and resources to make basic hygiene measures a reality. Good hand hygiene has always been essential to preventing the spread of infectious disease and is a key part of Compassion’s WASH initiative. In the midst of this pandemic, Colombia did not have a national WASH strategy. As a result, churches have decided to take various intervention solutions to provide access to water for hygiene practices. In total, 103 of Compassion’s frontline church partners in Colombia need help reopening their centres safely through the installation of hand washing stations. Hand washing stations in these centres would help reduce the risk of COVID-19 in communities where the risk of contagion is high and would be part of a long-term WASH infrastructure.

The need

In accordance with public health directives, Compassion Colombia has released a set of hygiene protocols and is hoping to provide every church with access to the basic hygiene solutions they need to facilitate a safe reopening.

You can help 103 frontline church partners in Colombia reopen safely with the installation of hand washing stations so they can continue offering life-changing holistic care to vulnerable children and families. These stations will include sinks, water storage tanks and a soap dispenser. Children and families will also attend educational talks and receive printed materials explaining how to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

What your gift will do

Your support will provide hand washing stations for 103 frontline church partners in Colombia:

  • Installation of 103 hand washing stations (one per centre), including a water storage tank, tap and drain connections and a hand soap dispenser
  • Labour
  • Educational materials
    • Printing of 1,374 posters containing information on COVID-19 prevention
    • Safe water supply guide and training
    • Trainers in 103 disinfection points
  • Transportation
  • Soap and antibacterial gel
  • Monitoring and follow-up


  • Local contribution: $11,236.06
  • Handling of funds: Compassion Colombia will distribute funds and ensure that this intervention remains within budget.
  • Monitoring and follow-up: Each church will be supported and monitored by a local health advisor. Churches will report to the National Office in Colombia on the progress of this intervention.