Shree Kalidhunga Higher Secondary School lies in Mirge of Dolakha district. It is one of the many schools in the area receiving aid from ECCA, since past few years. Sabina Tamang, aged 15, is a student of class 9 in the school. She also happens to be an active member of the Children’s Nature Club at her school. Her house is situated at 800 meters radius away from the school. Her younger sister, Sabita and she commute to school daily on foot.
According to Sabina, her school lacked any kind of separate toilet for girls, a year ago. This used to cause a lot of uncomfortable situations for girls her age in the school. “I used to skip school during the time of my menstruation. It is difficult to change sanitary napkins, when you have to share a common toilet with the boys” is what Sabina had to say. She shared with us incidences of when boys did not understand the issue and teased the girls and just how uneasy that used to make the girls feel. “There were many other girls who used to skip school during that time of the month, just to escape the embarrassment of having to use a common toilet or get teased by one of the boys,” said Sabina.
Having to skip classes and missing out on academic progress was not for the likes of an A-grade student like Sabina, who is a staunch believer of going home and revising everything that has been taught in the class. “I did not like missing out on my classes but, I had no other choice, at that time,” recalls Sabina.
After receiving help from ECCA, the school now has two girl friendly toilets, for the ‘School Environment Improvement Program' conducted by ECCA in the vicinity.
Girl friendly toilet with incinerator at the back
“I feel very relieved now that we have these female friendly toilets. I don’t have to skip school during my menstruation days anymore,” said Sabina with a smile across her face.
Menstruation should not result in absences and girls missing out on an education due to completely preventable reasons. Just by constructing girl friendly toilets the positive impact of the project could be witnessed. Due to the efforts of ECCA the female absentee rate has declined, since the construction of the girl friendly toilets, according to the schools records.
Toilet is well equipped with water facility, Sabina during her school hours
Sabina shared that many of her friends have also stopped missing school and are very glad with the newly constructed toilets. “I am glad my younger sister will not have to face the difficulty I went through, when she hits her puberty. She will not get teased by the boys, now that things have been made more comfortable for us. I would like to thank your organization for educating and supporting us with this,” Sabina smiled with a sigh of relief.
We are indeed very thankful to all of you who have been supporting us in our intiation of helping female students attend schools through constructing girl friendly toilets.