Conclusion of Santa Teresa Elementary School Sanitation Project – Philippines

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

The project was to construct 2 restrooms at the school.

Chris reports:

After just under one month, the construction was completed at Sta.Teresa Elementary School, to build a dual-classroom restroom facility, according to plan.

The purpose of the project was to construct a multi-classroom restroom in the hopes of providing students with a bathroom within a reasonable distance to the classes (thereby avoiding large amounts of missed class time and distractions), and also to minimize the facility strain when the school was being utilized as an emergency evacuation center. The project plan was to complete the construction on as many weekends and before/after schools hours during the allotted time in order to minimize school disturbances.

The project started with the construction and completion of a single dual-use septic tank several yards away from the school building. Next, the infrastructure was modified in each classroom to add on an attached restroom facility, which opened into the two classrooms. Finally, the piping was laid and hardware installed before each restroom was polished and provided with a door and walkway.

This project required a high degree of collaboration between the teachers and parents/community volunteers who completed all of the manual labor for the project. Since Water Charity funding went solely to materials, community residents donated their own free time to assist the school in the construction of the restroom facilities and septic tank. There were no delays or any interference with regular school days.

The staff at Children International also played a key role, both in helping to coordinate volunteer efforts and document the course of the project. Sta. Teresa is a key covered area for Children International.

As a means of closure for this project, an official turnover ceremony was held on October 16 at Sta. Teresa Elementary School. The purpose was to officially present the school with ownership of the constructed restrooms. In attendance was the school principal, most of the school teachers, staff from Children International, and the local Barangay Captain. Children from the school’s pep squad gave a surprise dance performance as part of the ceremony’s activity. Sta. Teresa accepted the title of the project and vowed to ensure maintenance and upkeep of the project for the daily use of students and also the use of evacuees during emergency shelter situations.

As a Peace Corps Volunteer, it was once again a pleasure to conduct a water/sanitation project here in the Philippines and I have been truly lucky to have had such wonderful support from Children International and the local community of Sta. Teresa.

We are grateful to Chris for completing this project, his second in partnership with Water Charity.