Conclusion of Refuge Basic School and Community Center Water and Sanitation Project – Jamaica

This project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Mary Lee Caldwell. To read about the beginning of the project, CLICK HERE.

The project was to bring running water to the school, and to upgrade the bathroom facilities with flush toilets and new sinks.

Mary Lee reports:

I am delighted to report that our project has been successfully finished and that it was ahead of schedule and under budget. Not only were we able to accomplish all the tasks listed in our project request – bring running water to the school, replace the old pit toilet with a flush one, install 2 new hand washing sinks and get the old flush toilet working – but we also refurbished an old outdoor concrete sink, connected it to the water line and installed drainage. The school now has functioning girls and boys bathrooms and an outdoor hand washing sink.

As promised in the proposal, plumbing students from the nearby vocational training school worked on the project and gained needed on-the-job experience. Refuge community members also worked hard installing the new plumbing.

What is even more exciting than the completion of the project as planned is that the receipt of the funds ignited the community to undertake many other improvements to the school. Between August 9, the date funds were activated, and September 4, the community held 3 “work days”, each attracting at least 35 community helpers. Here is a partial list of the improvements to the school made by Refuge community members in the last few weeks:

  • Paint school exterior
  • Finish installation of new ceiling
  • Finish painting school interior
  • Install chain link fence around most of school
  • Thoroughly cleaning school grounds (this included removing huge piles of debris and overgrown trees and foliage)
  • Repair broken cabinets
  • Thoroughly clean school interior
  • Tile outdoor concrete sink
  • Paint girls and boys bathrooms (interior walls and doors)
  • Install new concrete step to bathrooms
  • Install new locks on bathrooms
  • Repair concrete steps to school

None of the Appropriate Project funds were used for any of this additional work.

School started today and sixteen 3, 4 and 5 year olds love the new sinks and toilets. They love the running water too, but the teachers carefully monitor so that they don’t play in it. Comments from the community were mostly “thank you.”

I also want to say thank you to Appropriate Projects. For me, the whole process was very rewarding and, as I said, the best part was how receipt of these funds spurred the community to complete old projects, start and finish new ones, and to work together.

We wish to thank Mary Lee for completing this project, and again extend our gratitude to The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust for providing the funding.