"A toilet is not just a toilet. It's a life-saver, dignity-protector and opportunity-maker" (United Nations). Therefore, access to clean water and basic sanitation is the right of every girl. However, in remote areas of Vietnam, many school girls have limited or even no access to clean school sanitation and safe water, making them vulnerable to diseases caused by poor hygiene. Our program aims to promote a standard model of school sanitation and health education in those disadvantaged schools.
School sanitation is one of the biggest challenges of Vietnam's education sector. According to a 2019 report by the Ministry of Education and Training, 42% of primary school toilets lacked basic standards. In many schools, there are only 6 toilet bowls for 1,000 students, so school girls are afraid of their safety and privacy issues. Safe water system is not fully provided so many schools have to collect unclean water from the nearby ponds. Also, severe climate change has placed more burdens.
After conducting needs assessment and situational analysis, we work with local authority and schools to rebuild or renovate toilet blocks for school girls with clean water, and sewerage systems; provide health promotion and education modules to the school's teachers and students to help them stay away from hygiene-related diseases and COVID prevention; plan and implement media activities; measure the project impact and disseminate results for policy and program advocacy.
The program outcomes include increased knowledge, attitude, and behavior of teachers and students, especially school girls related to health education; reduced incidence of diarrhea and hygiene-related diseases; reduced risks of environmental health and tropical diseases; highlighted gender sensitivity to enable more privacy and comfort for girls to access and use their separate toilet blocks, and the model standardized and advocated for expansion to other sites.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).