Our project will upgrade the facilities at the Abaka School, which currently has just two damaged latrines that are a health risk for their students. The installation of accessible toilets in other remote Ugandan primary schools has resulted in a sharp increase in enrollment. With your generous funding, AP and the Gulu Disabled Persons Union, our Ugandan partner, will build 4 stalls at the Abaka school this year. Parents are fully committed and we expect that over 1,000 students will benefit.
The lack of accessible toilets at Abaka Primary School creates a serious obstacle to obtaining a quality education. Squat latrines are particularly harmful for Abaka's 18 students with disabilities because they could injure themselves while using it. All of these factors lower the quality of primary education and weaken the ability of schools to set an example for children and for the local communities. By implementing safe and accessible toilets, these factors can be mitigated.
Students and teachers will be trained by GDPU on proper water, sanitation, and hygiene practices. The latrine will feature a hand washing station with a rain-catching feature, so children will have access to soap and water. The training will explain the importance of hand washing in disease prevention. Teachers will also be trained on inclusiveness in the classroom, an issue that is especially important in Uganda due to the country's underlying stigma surrounding disabilities.
Installing accessible toilets is the first step in a larger package of support for schools that would promote the inclusivity of students with special needs, improve health and hygiene, motivate teachers, teach life skills and even offer sports and school lunches. Enrollment and attendance have improved at the three schools where GDPU and AP have installed accessible toilets, and we have good reason to expect the same at Abaka, particularly when it comes to students with disabilities.