To create community-driven change, we needed the right environment to bring people together. Sports tournaments became our primary method of bringing the life-saving message of hand washing with soap to the entire community. 

Each participating school in The Wash Project puts together a team - soccer for boys, and basketball for girls. Over time, the tournaments have become so popular that they now last for months, and thousands of people attend over the course of both tournaments. We believe in not only sharing critical information, but creating moments of shared joy as well.

Most critically, we incorporate training and messaging about hand washing with soap at each event to reinforce our message. 


The Wash Cup is a soccer tournament for boys in Ouelessebougou. Since the beginning of the tournament, it has invited each of the 18 participating schools in our program to assemble a team. Since its beginning over a decade ago, the tournament has truly become a tradition in Ouelessebougou.. 


At each match, announcements, demonstrations and even skits are used to reinforce our message that washing hands with soap saves lives. 


When we asked the girls of Ouelessebougou what they wanted, they told us they'd prefer to play basketball. These courageous girls became the founders of the Coupe du DCAP tournament, which is named after the school district. It is the first organized sports tournament for girls in the history of Ouelessebougou. 

Many of the girls who participate in this tournament have shared with us that they are proud to show their talents to the community. 

"In regard to the basketball program for girls, I’m very happy because it helps girls avoid trouble and encourages good health. I’m grateful for the efforts of The Wash Project to support this program in my town." -Ibrahima (Basketball Coach)

"What I like in playing basketball is that I have gotten to know many people. I have learned to cooperate with other people. The tournament at schools gives us much joy and teaches us many things." -Seba (Basketball Team Member)


Want to follow along with the life-saving work happening with The Wash Project?  Subscribe below to receive our (free!) quarterly email updates with the latest from Oulessebougou, Mali.

© 2020 by The Wash Project

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • YouTube