Many schools in Bolivia lack adequate water and sanitation services. This situation causes disease and under-performance of pupils. Previous research by the SODIS Foundation and UNICEF showed that there is a close relation between the status of sanitary installations and school attendance, especially among girls: where there are no adequate toilet facilities, girls are less likely to attend school, and they drop out earlier.
The project will establish strategic alliances with the community leaders and teachers, providing them with trainings and hands-on know-how about safe water, sanitation and hygiene. Sanitary installations will be improved (or built where they currently do not exist), and special attention will be paid to make them more user-friendly for girls and young women. Simple methods to obtain safe drinking water will also be promoted within the schools and community.
By introducing healthy practices to schools and extending these throughout the community, the main benefits of this project are better health, increased school attendance (especially among girls) and improved overall well-being. Furthermore, the project will support people to integrate the practices of consuming safe drinking water, of washing hands and other healthy habits into their everyday lives. In this way, a healthy way of living can be introduced and sustained over time.