Little humans, big hearts: inspiration for child health advocacy

Feb 23, 2021


Photograph collage of children

Photo: These are a handful of the cuties whose wisdom is featured in this blog. Clockwise, starting from top left: Dylan, 3, and Joaquin, 5; Zachary, 5; Lily, 7, and Rosie, 4; Camden, 6; TJ, 4; Cody, 8; Jude, 5.


As child health advocates, we find our strongest inspiration for our work from children themselves. Whether it’s our own children, our nieces or nephews, or the children of friends or colleagues, little humans leave a big impact on our lives and in our hearts. This is especially true during a global pandemic, when many of us are working alongside them every day.

In case you—like us—are in need of an extra dose of adorableness and inspiration for child health advocacy, we asked a handful of our PATH colleagues to gather some nuggets of wisdom from the children in their lives. Here are the questions we asked along with some of our favorite answers.

1. What does the potty do? Why is the potty important?

  • "It lets out everything that’s bad. The good stuff stays in your body, but the bad stuff goes out." – Camden, 6, Washington, USA
  • "It makes me not feel like I don’t need to go pee anymore." – Zachary, 5, Maryland, USA
  • "You pee inside it. That is what you do." – Andie, 5, Washington, USA
  • "For pooping in. It helps you not poop on yourself." – Jude, 5, Nairobi, Kenya
  • "To go to the bathroom. It is bad manners to go potty on the floor." – Joaquin, 5, and Dylan, 3, Washington, USA
  • "It flushes! We go potty!" – TJ, 4, Kentucky, USA

2. If you had a friend who didn’t have a potty, how do you think they would feel?

  • "Sad because they would just have to go potty outside." – Cody, 8, Washington, USA
  • "They would feel bad because they would have to poop in the grass." – Jude, 5, Nairobi, Kenya
  • "Sad. Because their belly would hurt. They’d have to go potty in the deep water instead." – Logan, 5, Maryland, USA
  • "Sad, also miserable." – Lily, 7, New York, USA
  • "They have to go potty outside and someone could see you." – Joaquin, 5, and Dylan, 3, Washington, USA

This is the reality of two billion people around the world. Join our revoLOOtion to help us spread the word.

Boy entering toilet

3. What would you do to help someone who didn’t have a potty?

  • "I would help them get a toilet. I would buy for them a toilet." – Jude, 5, Nairobi, Kenya
  • "I would rip the toilet out of the socket if I could and then I would give it to them." – Cody, 8, Washington, USA
  • "I’d try to take them one of our potties from our house. I’d take it off the floor and give it to them." – Logan, 5, Maryland, USA
  • "I would try to get them something to make them happy - 101 toys." – Andie, 5, Washington, USA
  • "I can share my potty!" – TJ, 4, Kentucky, USA

We couldn’t agree more! Everyone deserves the dignity of a toilet.

4. Why do we wash our hands after going potty?

  • "You don’t want to spread germs to anyone. If you spread germs, someone can get sick!" – Lily, 7, New York, USA
  • "Because our hands get dirty." – TJ, 4, Kentucky, USA
  • "Because it gets off everything bad that they’re touching, if they have corona." – Camden, 6, Washington, USA
  • "Because it gets the germs when we touch the toilet. Germs make you sick." – Zachary, 5, Maryland, USA
  • "It is important to do it before dinner and before you make something." – Joaquin, 5, and Dylan, 3, Washington, USA
  • "Because we have to."  – Ash, 3, Washington, USA

Good habits start young! Muppet Raya is here to help. Mothers in India are, too!

5. How did you feel the last time you were sick?

  • "Pain. Itchy. Funny. My eyes felt crazy. My mouth hurt." – Jude, 5, Nairobi, Kenya
  • "I felt sad because I couldn’t spend time with my family." – Cody, 8, Washington, USA
  • "Like I was going to throw up. Just kidding. I don’t like it when I throw up." – Andie, 5, Washington, USA
  • "Pretty bad, but I actually felt a little happy because I could watch TV whenever I wanted." – Camden, 6, Washington, USA

6. What did your mommy/daddy do to help you feel better when you got sick?

  • "They wiped my boogies." – TJ, 4, Kentucky, USA
  • "Took me to the doctor and gave me medicine. And I like the taste of medicine." – Camden, 6, Washington, USA
  • "They give me Tylenol and hugs and kisses." – Andie, 5, Washington, USA
  • "Put the yummy in my mouth." – Ash, 3, Washington, USA
  • "They gave me dawa (medicine), gave me hot cocoa, took me to hospital, gave me some fruits and kisses and hugs." – Jude, 5, Nairobi, Kenya
  • "Everything they could. They were the best parents ever. They always are." – Cody, 8, Washington, USA

Do YOU remember the adults who cared for you when you were sick as a child? Parents everywhere want the same, and these simple tools give them hope.

7. Do you remember the last time you got a vaccine?

  • "It felt weird. It only hurts for like two seconds, right? And then the hurting is done. It just pokes a hole and then they take it out." – Zachary, 5, Maryland, USA
  • "Yes. I felt scared." – Logan, 5, Maryland, USA
  • "Of course. I thought they would put it in my knee. I cried because I was scared." – Andie, 5, Washington, USA
  • "Yes! When I was on my way to my soccer game." – Lily, 7, New York, USA
  • "Yes. I didn’t cry." – Joaquin, 5, Washington, USA

We wish vaccines were as easy to take as gummy vitamins. But we’re sure glad we have them to help little ones grow to their full potential.

8. Why do we get vaccines?

  • "To help us not get sick. And to keep our bodies healthy." – Logan, 5, Maryland, USA
  • "Because of the 19 virus. The covid virus. The virus has the bad germs and the shot has good germs. When you get the flu shot the good germs fight the bad germs." - Andie, 5, Washington, USA
  • "To prevent us from getting a virus." – TJ, 4, Kentucky, USA
  • "To get healthier and to show we are cared for." – Jude, 5, Nairobi, Kenya
  • "Because I have to." – Ash, 3, Washington, USA
  • "They just make my arm hurt." – Rosie, 4, New York, USA

Little ones (and many of us full-grown ones) don’t like shots. But when they understand why we need them and other health tools, children become some of the best advocates. Check out these handwashing champions and their muppet friends in India.

9. Why do we have to take special care of babies?

  • "Because they’re younger and they have less strength over sicknesses." – Cody, 8, Washington, USA
  • "Because they cannot feed themselves and they can’t do the things that we can ourselves. Because some babies can’t crawl to the table so we have to make sure they eat and we change their diapers." – Logan, 5, Maryland, USA
  • "Because they are babies. They have to learn what big boys do." – Joaquin, 5, and Dylan, 3, Washington, USA
  • "Keep them safe. Someday I will babysit my brother." – Andie, 5, Washington, USA
  • "So that they don’t die and they grow up to be like mummy!" – Jude, 5, Nairobi, Kenya
  • "Cause they need milk!" – Rosie, 4, New York, USA

We can’t care for babies if we don’t provide a supportive environment for moms that enables breastfeeding.

10. It’s so great that you have a potty, water and soap, vaccines, and grown-ups who take care of you when you’re sick. Not all babies and kids around the world have that. Do you think we should help? Why?

  • "Yes. So they can have the same things I have." – Jude, 5, Nairobi, Kenya
  • "Yes!!! Because it’s helpful so other people can be treated fairly. And they can do what people should be able to do." – Cody, 8, Washington, USA
  • "Yes, because they don’t have anything that they need. Get a truck to help us give the people who don’t have the potty one so they have a potty." – Joaquin, 5, and Dylan, 3, Washington, USA
  • "Yes, because it’s nice and that’s what we’re supposed to do." – Zachary, 5, Maryland, USA
  • "We can buy them soap and shots if they don’t have enough money. We can ask them if they need a potty." – Logan, 5, Maryland, USA
  • "Yes! Cause they need to have potties!" – Rosie, 4, New York, USA
  • "Yes. I think we should help them because they really need help. I am going to make something out of LEGOs." – Ash, 3, Washington, USA
  • "Yes. Of course, let’s go let’s go! Move. Why aren’t you moving?!" – Andie, 5, Washington, USA

We love how three-year-old Ash effortlessly pivoted to the serious business of play when it comes to early childhood development.

From advocating for increased access to WASH, medicines, or vaccines, to making something out of LEGOs, we all have a role to play to help ensure children everywhere grow up healthy and strong. In the words of five-year-old Andie, let’s go let’s go!