Raya and group of children reaching out to her.


A behavior-change program that empowers children to prevent illnesses related to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH).


Safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) are crucial to human health and well-being. Our global campaign to bring meaningful sanitation and hygiene education to kids is called WASH UP! Sesame character-filled storybooks, games, videos, and teacher training materials make healthy habits easy to understand, practice, and promote.

A Serious Yet Preventable Problem 

Illnesses related to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) are the world’s greatest threat to young children. Pneumonia and diarrhea claim the lives of more children under age five than measles, AIDS, and malaria combined. Knowledge and simple, child-led behavior change can be powerful antidotes — that’s why proper WASH education is so critical.

Raya and a young boy are at a spigot of water
Healthier Horizons
Make a gift today and help us transform how the world supports children, wherever they may be, for generations to come.

WASH UP! Initiative in Action

Elmo and Raya, our first ever global health ambassador, are pioneering conversations with kids about clean water, hand washing with soap, and proper latrine use.

Featured Spotlight
Meet Raya

Sesame’s lovable characters have the unique ability to reach children and model behaviors around topics adults may see as taboo, such as toilet use. Take our global health ambassador, Raya.

Raya from Wash Up


Raya is an energetic six-year-old who’s guiding conversations all over the world about clean water, handwashing, and proper latrine use. Raya always remembers to wash her hands with soap and water and wear her sandals in the latrine to avoid contracting illness. She encourages children to share what they learn with friends and family, making good habits contagious.

18 Countries

From Afghanistan to Zambia, WASH UP! has brought lifesaving lessons around water, safety, and hygiene to children, families, and communities in 18 countries.

Pictogram of an Earth with heart.
Featured News
Muppets, Sanitation, and Children as Change Agents Around the World

Sesame Workshop and World Vision teamed up to reduce the number of children suffering or dying from preventable and treatable diseases.

Initiative Partner