Tomorrow, November 19th, isÂ WorldÂ Toilet Day. This is not nearly as lighthearted as itÂ sounds; it is a day of reflection on sanitation,Â disease, and a lack of resources. These all come intoÂ play and are essential for preventing death. A lack ofÂ sanitation is still the world’s largest cause ofÂ infection. About 2.6 billion people worldwide do notÂ have access to this basic need, and suffer extremeÂ maladies as a result.Â 1.1Â billion people defecate in the open; a very dangerousÂ risk of exposure to life-threatening bacteria andÂ viruses. The World Toilet Organization created WorldÂ Toilet Day to heighten awareness, generate discussionÂ and inspire supporters toward this issue.
In March of this year, Dr. Luis G. Sambo metÂ with the Kenyan Minister for Public Health andÂ Sanitation and the Minister for Medical Services, Hon.Â Beth Hugo and Hon. Anyang’ Nyong’o, respectively.Â Their goals were to discuss improvements in theirÂ governmental support system. Various action plans wereÂ discussed and initiated, for instance, deployingÂ skilled midwifes and nurses to support health care.Â The major transitions will dramatically enhance theÂ quality of life for Kenyans. However, many NairobiÂ slums continue to suffer, using “flying toilets,” or disposed plastic bags instead ofÂ a facility. MADRE,Â a Jolkona partner, offers a $45 clean waterÂ transformation for rural Kenyans. A privilege to use aÂ sanitary toilet can be easily overlooked. Inspire another person’s life, and their families.
Haiti, India, & Nepal
I’m extremely touched to reintroduce our projects thatÂ give back to those in desperate circumstances. OurÂ partners Project Concern International, PardadaÂ Pardadi Educational Society, Himalayan Healthcare, andÂ Living Earth Institute stimulate philanthropy, localÂ work/economy, and provide clean latrines. One latrineÂ can significantly improve health and stave offÂ infectious disease within a community.
This project hasÂ a wide description but humongous heart. Haiti hasÂ undergone major transition and change within the pastÂ few years. Every small (and large) contributionÂ benefits Haiti as a whole. Just $167 provides aÂ community with a sanitary latrine, low-cost solutionsÂ for waste disposal, mobile medical clinics, andÂ establishes one “safe space” for children during theÂ day.
PPES, our partner inÂ this project, provides their students’ villages with aÂ clean latrine. $260 covers all materials to build theÂ latrine, the labor to build it, installation costs,Â and training on usage and maintenance. This projectÂ contributes incredibly to disease prevention. This gift will be deeply valued each and every day. India currently loses 1,000Â children a day from diarrhea caused by– you guessedÂ it– dirty water and a lack of toilets.
The HonorableÂ president of Nepal has announced that his country will beÂ hosting the South Asian Conference on Sanitation inÂ 2013. This is incredible news for the future of cleanÂ facilities for the people of Nepal. Kickstart thisÂ process and empower the citizens by stimulating localÂ hiring to build a latrine: the materials,Â transportation, labor salaries, and their new lease onÂ life is $200. Give just $20 and contribute to the pool ofÂ resources that Living Earth Institute is gathering to build toiletsÂ for Nepalese families. About 200 toilets have beenÂ completed, and their goal is 600.
Image credit: Samson Lee
Much to my embarrassment, I heard the wordÂ “latrine” for the first time when writing this post. Latrines keep people from defecating in the open and potentially contracting dangerous infection.
To Spin the Giving Web
It is natural to feel an overwhelming sensation toÂ contribute, and spring back in thoughtfulÂ consideration. AnitaÂ Pradhan wrote, “People believe that sanitationÂ programmes and projects have failed because of a lackÂ of involvement and commitment from both communitiesÂ and external agencies and the consequent lapses inÂ technology, planning, implementation, supervision,Â support and, above all, accountability.” One of theÂ most surprising moments when I first donated toÂ Jolkona byÂ plantingÂ 50 trees in Brazil, was the proof I received. This isÂ something unique to Jolkona’s giving process, andÂ serves as a “thank you, it’s nice to meet you,”Â response from where you contributed. To personallyÂ connect and hear back from the country I chose toÂ benefit solidified the confidence I have inÂ philanthropy, and changing the world. At Jolkona, weÂ understand that feeling, and it’s what motivates usÂ all to give what we can, when we can.
“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.”