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Jan 4, 2019

Clean water for Subhadra

In 2018, Splash increased its impact in Kolkata, India to 55,985 kids served daily with clean water, clean hands, and clean toilets. Kids like Subhadra, a student at one of Kolkata's residential schools. 

The residential school system was started to serve urban, homeless kids. Often these children are from, extremely poor households or are orphaned. Many have also suffered abuse. These schools not only act as education centers, but also serve as protection systems for youth, especially girls. 

Subhadraa tenth grader who started attending the Behala Balika Vidyapith residential school in Kolkata this year after mother could not afford her education expenses. Her mother is a government welfare program worker and her father is a truck driver. She has three sistersThe eldest is pursuing her nursing degree. Her middle sister is in twelfth grade and the youngest is in second grade. Subhadra and her sisters have had a difficult childhood. Her father is an alcoholic and has been abusive, making it hard for them to continue their studies.  

During her free time, she enjoys playing Kabaddi. Signing is also very close to her heart and she sings at school functions whenever she gets a chance. While her favorite subject is history, ultimately, Subhadra aims to be a police officer to curb violence against women, like the violence she has witnessed her mother endure. She dreams of working hard for her family and building a home for her mother, who has struggled all her life.  

Despite these distractions, Subhadra is a quick learner and is very responsible with the roles assigned to her. Her engagement as the Assistant Prime Minister of the Splash Hygiene Club at her school has been instrumental to her educational development and provided her with an avenue to develop leadership skills. Subhadra and the other students meet on a regular basis to discuss how to improve the hygiene conditions in the school and regularly conduct cleaning parties.  

She feels that the school has progressed a lot in terms of health and hygiene. The corridors and staircases are cleaner. There are more dustbins in the school and children do not litter the toilets and the classrooms like before. Under her leadership, the club has grown and has divided themselves into seven groups. Each group takes up a task each day. During weekends, they also clean the playground and the surroundings of the school.  

With support from donors like youSubhadra has not only gained access to clean water, hands and toilets, but she has also gained valuable leadership skills 

Thank you for making a difference in Subhadra’s life! 

Dec 19, 2018

Hygiene Clubs at Biruh Tesfa Primary School

Splash has recently conducted hygiene education at Biruh Tesfa Primary School. After two days of specialized training by Splash hygiene trainers, we also helped facilitate the formation of the student hygiene club and the sub-cabinets associated with the club, responsible for various aspects of student hygiene and school cleanliness.

As a result of these efforts, this month, we met three powerful student leaders while they were facilitating lunch-time handwashing activities – Mekdes, Yordanos, and Netsanet. Each are student hygiene ambassadors who have been instrumental in leading the development of their club structure. These powerful young leaders have been chosen by their peers to manage the water sub-division of the club. They are determined and proud about what they are doing. “Our role is different. We keep students in order during lunch and other school break times when they use the water stations and the bathroom. We also have the opportunity to run mass education projects, through mini-media and class-to-class education.”

Yordanos is the secretary of the student hygiene club. In her role, she calls student ambassadors for regular monthly meetings and goes class-to-class to alert students about their meetings and corresponding assignments, as well as reminds her fellow hygiene club members about upcoming ambassador sub-committees. “Every day I have something to do apart from school work and I am so happy about that. Teachers give me their appreciation when they see me for keeping students in order during break time.” These ‘water stars’ shared that they are happier in school after they joined the hygiene club and became ambassadors because the adults in the school view them as unique. Yordanos mentioned that, “The school principal now meets with us twice a month to discuss challenges and opportunities within the school.”

We are thrilled to make a difference in these girls’ lives and the lives of 1,377 kids and adults at the school. Later this month, sanitation rehabilitation work will begin at the schools. 

Oct 12, 2018

Namaste

Thanks to a summer campaign hosted by Omstars, MiiR, yoga star Kino McGregor, and 8,823 compassionate yogis who participated in the #HandstandMechanicsChallenge, Splash will ensure clean water flows from taps, kids are washing their hands with soap, and that students have access to safe and sanitary restrooms at two schools in one of the biggest, toughest cities on the planet – Kolkata, India. We will dramatically improve the water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) conditions for over 300 kids, thereby enhancing their dignity, health, and educational success!

Bastuhara Vidyapith Primary School and Jnanendu Siksha Niketan High School share a campus in Kolkata’s Tangra neighborhood. Tangra is being rapidly transformed by population growth and construction. The number of high-rises has increased and as a result, the property prices in this area are quite high, resulting in pockets of slums in between high-rise towers where many of the students live. The school campus is situated close to the Dhapa landfill – the biggest dump in the city, which operates at unsustainable rates today.

Both Bastuhara Vidyapith and Jnanendu Siksha Niketan lack adequate infrastructure to provide their students with clean water, clean hands, and clean toilets. While water is widely available at school, it is typically contaminated with e. Coli and other water-borne illnesses. In a 2015 independent citywide survey of 1,650 government schools in Kolkata, Splash discovered:

  • 95% of Kolkata’s public schools had access to water
  • 94% of schools lacked soap for handwashing
  • 33% of toilets had no water for flushing
  • 35% of toilets had no door or lock for privacy

To combat these alarming figures, Splash has developed an innovative WASH-in-Schools model that includes: 

  1. Installing the enabling infrastructure, including water filtration, water storage to ensure access, handwashing and drinking water stations, and child-friendly sanitation facilities.  
  2. Delivering behavior change programmes for children and adults. This includes training focal teachers through an engaging, activity-based curriculum and supporting them to instruct student hygiene clubs on how to engage their peers in positive behaviours such as handwashing.  
  3. Creating a WASH ecosystem to ensure programme sustainability. This includes co-investment from schools and government, operations and maintenance training for school janitorial staff, school incentives through recognition programs, engaging parents through soap drives, and building local supply chains to ensure availability of spare parts and repair services. 
  4. Conducting routine monitoring and evaluation of project sites. To ensure continuous learning and program improvement, Splash conducts pre and post-intervention assessments at each school, followed by five years of routine monitoring, twice per year.

Because of companies like MiiR, members of the Global Giving community, and all the caring, kind, and motivated yogis out there, together, we will be able to help hundreds of more kids stay healthy, excel in school, and unlock their full potential. With your support, kids at schools like Bastuhara Vidyapith and Jnanendu Siksha Niketan can thrive! We've already reached 10% of government schools in Kolkata, and are on track to reach 100% full coverage by 2023, we hope you will join us on this journey.

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