Obvious for us but not for everyone
The lack of proper toilets at schools in south Africa is a bigger problem than you can imagine. There are multiple consequences related to this. More than the most obvious ones. The most common problem is that water shortage and the inability to maintain basic hygiene is causing stomach illness. When children have an upset stomach and no access to proper toilets they tend to stay home from school, missing valuable learning time. Schools without proper toilets have difficulty attracting women to work there. Without female teachers the young girls have fewer role models and they don’t feel comfortable talking to the male teachers about problems they have at home or in school. Another more serious consequence is when the children need to leave the schoolyard to tend to their needs. Girls, in particular, are victims of abuse and rape when they seek out secluded places.
Star for Life are collaborating with a local company which build small but efficient toilet units, each with three toilets. Each unit will have a host to keep it clean and safe, which provides work opportunities in the community.
TRUE BENEFITS OF TOILETS AT SCHOOLS
Better health: Good hygiene minimises the spread of communicable diseases resulting in healthier children and better school attendance.
Ambition and confidence: Toilets promote higher self-esteem, motivation, security, and the will to achieve.
Girl empowerment: Toilets lead to higher school attendance, especially for girls during their period.