Project Name: Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion in Rural Schools
Project Name In Spanish: Agua potable, saneamiento e higiene en escuelas rurales
Location: Department of Magdalena
In Colombia, over 1 million cases of diarrhea occur every year and 45% of children who drop out of school do so due to diarrhea. In addition, many rural schools in the country lack proper restrooms for students, which forces children to go back home to use the bathroom and affects their chance at an education. To solve this issue, Give To Colombia developed a project that provides proper bathrooms and incorporates into the educational curriculum of the schools a strong component of institutional and personal care in the topic of hygiene.
As part of this intervention, we performed a diagnostic for 32 schools in Magdalena and designed blueprints for sanitary facilities for 25 of these. Thanks to the Inter-American Development Bank through Aquafund, the Japan Special Fund Poverty Reduction Program, the Japanese Embassy in Colombia and Fundación Corona we were able to built basic sanitary infrastructure for 10 schools, which benefited over 4,500 students. In addition, we installed filters in 10 other schools with the support of Fundación Siemens so as to provide students with clean water.
This project also included an educational component where Give To Colombia implemented a sustainable teaching strategy using their guidebook “Buscando el tesoro de la salud”, and created 25 Water, Sanitation and Hygiene School Boards or JASHE’s (Juntas de Agua, Saneamiento e Higiene Escolar). These school boards consist of parents, community leaders, school staff, and student leaders, and have improved the sanitary habits of over 8,000 students. These have ensured the community’s active participation as the beneficiaries have used their knowledge of the local community to take charge of the program and further promote the teaching of hygienic practices.
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