We’re hosting an #UrgentRun for UN World Toilet Day 2015
On November 19th we will bring together students and local community members in Bavel to raise awareness of the global sanitation crisis, as part of a worldwide call for urgent action on UN World Toilet Day.
On November 19th we will bring together students and local community members in Bavel to raise awareness of the importance of sanitation. Up to 1,000 children die every day due to poor sanitation. SeeBeyondBorders will be running health and hygiene demonstrations and hosting a fun run, as part of a worldwide movement of NGOs and individuals coming together to shout about this issue on UN World Toilet Day.
Of the world’s 7 billion people, 2.4 billion do not have access to proper sanitation, and nearly 1 billion people do not use a toilet at all. Sadly, these problems are particularly pronounced in developing countries like Cambodia, and the lack of basic hygiene awareness can lead to entirely avoidable diseases that often prevent children from attending school.
This is why SeeBeyondBorders runs a Health program as part of our Getting to School focus area, designed to address the root causes of poor attendance in our schools. Research shows that schools themselves are often the places where parasites and illnesses are spread. For girls in particular, an absence of toilets, or separate toilets in schools for girls, is a major reason parents keep their daughters from attending school.
We know that to to improve attendance, schools need to be safe, and children need to be educated about why hygiene is important so that they can continue the practices at home. In all our schools, we ensure there are appropriate facilities, and we involve the local community in health sessions comprising hand washing and teeth cleaning demonstrations.
In the districts where we work, we can see these programs are having a positive impact, with teachers reporting improved attendance from students who used to fall ill regularly, and parents reporting that their children have encouraged the adoption of improved hygiene practices at home.
But this isn’t enough. Unicef reported that in 2011, 76% of Cambodia’s urban population experienced an improvement in their use of sanitation facilities; whereas just 22% of the rural population of Cambodia experienced such improvements in the same year. This pattern is the same across the developing world, with rural communities suffering the most because they lack access to even the most basic hygiene facilities.
World Toilet Day 2015 will be a global call to action to address this shocking injustice once and for all. Let’s raise a massive stink for sanitation this November! Follow the #UrgentRun and #WorldToiletDay hashtags to keep up to date with all the events taking place on the day.
Visit www.urgentrun.com for more information.
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