Recently, we have received some incredible stories from our teachers in the field and today, we are excited to bring you one from BCF teacher Ashley Huffmon, currently in her second year teaching at Kanglung PS. Ashley has undertaken the task of revamping her school’s toilet facilities as part of a School Development Project. For 2013, the School Development Program is funded through a grant from the EuroCan Foundation. The EuroCan Foundation focuses on conservation issues, particularly as they relate to renewable energies, climate change and sustainability.
Ashley’s project for “Clean and Green Toilet Facilities/ Implementing the WASH program” has the goal of reducing germs and incorporating a healthier lifestyle for the students of Kanglung Primary School. Ashley hopes to make the washroom a more welcoming place where the students will use it properly and the facility itself will also be a better, more sanitary place to use the toilets. In addition to making the restrooms look more inviting the students will learn a lifelong lesson on the habits of using the toilet properly to keep themselves healthy, happy, and disease free.
Ashley reports: Each year my foundation allows us an opportunity to do a project that will have a positive impact at our schools. Last year I chose to do a school newspaper and while it was VERY successful, this year I wanted to do something that would have a much greater impact on their lives. This year I chose to completely revamp our school’s toilet facilities. I know it seems like it’s not a big deal, but if you saw what I see everyday, you too would want to do something about it. Most of the students I see everyday simply lack the knowledge of proper hand washing and my school does not have the money in its budget to properly supply the materials and water for every student to be able to wash. In addition to the student’s lack of knowledge for personal hygiene, they are unaware why they are frequently sick. I believe this is in direct correlation to the lack of personal Hygiene and not knowing its importance. However, with the help of this grant I have been able to begin my project and it is now under way.
We have cleared weeds, plants, painted, repaired, and found a new spring for water in the Boys’ toilet. I have hired carpenters to add shelving in both toilets. We have purchased locks, sanitary napkins, toilet paper, and other things to get the project in a “mid-swing”. My grant money is running out, but I do not want to do my project half way. I am still waiting on bucket donations and bin donations from the Petro station in Trashigang. I am also planning on making sure my school is actually going to start harvesting rain water, so we will never run out of water in the toilets.
Even though I’m teaching 32 hours per week, it feels great to leave school at 6:30PM and know this WILL make an EVERLASTING IMPACT. I can’t wait to show the FINAL project! Coming soon…
Ashley’s project is currently in the middle process; where students, staff, and our passionate BCF teachers join together for the common goal of improving the daily lives of the students and to incorporate healthy strategies for living. We can’t wait to see the final product!
To see past BCF School Development Projects, take a look here: Stories from the Field.