Global Citizen is a community of people like you

People who want to learn about and take action on the world’s biggest challenges. Extreme poverty ends with you.

Water & Sanitation

In honor of Global Handwashing Day, watch Raya teach Elmo a valuable lesson

Global Handwashing Day is here! This adorably hygienic racoon knows what's up:  

via GIPHY

Wondering why handwashing deserves its own holiday? Consider this: Diseases like diarrhea and pneumonia are up to a third less common in communities where handwashing is prevalent than in places where it isn't. It's no wonder the CDC likens handwashing to a "do-it-yourself vaccine."

The problem is, millions of people around the world are still missing out on the life-saving power of soap, water, and a little scrubbing. Of the nearly 2 million kids who die of diarrheal diseases each year, at least one in three might never have gotten sick in the first place if handwashing were common in their communities. 

That's where Raya comes in. Sesame Street's resident sanitation expert has been spreading the word about important stuff like handwashing since 2014. To that end, Raya and Global Citizen have teamed up multiple times, including at this year's Global Citizen Festival.

In honor of Global Handwashing Day, watch the video above to see Raya and her good pal Elmo perform a catchy tune about handwashing backstage at this year's festival!

Once you're done, click TAKE ACTION NOW to sign a petition asking the UN to make handwashing an integral part of the efforts to achieve the Global Goals.

(Full disclosure: getting to interview Raya and Elmo on the red carpet was probably my favorite moment from this year's festival, awesome Eddie Vedder-Beyoncé duet notwithstanding.)