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This project is made possible through the partnership of Water Charity and the National Peace Corps Association.
Piskove, Permet, Albania
Piskove is a Municipal Unit comprised of 17 villages with a population of roughly 3,540. It is located in Southeastern Albania in the Vjosa Valley, and falls within the District of Permet. The city of Piskove consists of a congregation of small buildings and homes hugging the main road that runs through the valley. It is a poor community. As of 2011, 110 families regularly receive economic aid and most families rely on subsistence farming to survive. Even though there is a distinct lack of money, the people of Piskove have a strong sense of community, and, like all Albanians, are very proud of their families and country.
The community jumped at the opportunity to help their schools, starting with the Municipal Administrator and the Director of the school. They understand the importance of education and quickly mobilized the teachers, parents and children to discuss how they could help make this project a reality.
Like so many of the cities and villages of Albania, the buildings that contain the schools in Piskove do not provide running water and many parts of the bathroom facilities do not function, leaving children unable to use the bathrooms at school in a hygienic manner. Piskove has two educational buildings; one holds the 9-year school and the high school (together called 1 Maji), while the other is a pre-school. 1 Maji contains 8 toilets and 8 sinks for the children, 4 for girls and 4 for boys, along with one toilet and sink for the teachers. Additionally, the pre-school has one bathroom. Because of a continual lack of funding the bathrooms in both of these buildings have fallen into disrepair. The main concern is providing running water, followed by ensuring that the facilities function with the running water.
As follows is a list of the problems identified in the bathrooms:
School 1 Maji
-8 broken cisterns
-8 broken flushing tubes for toilets
-8 broken faucets
-8 broken locks for stall doors
-Broken glass paneling for one stall door
-No light fixture in the teachers' bathroom
-Broken toilet tube for the teachers' bathroom
-No running water, deposit not installed
-Damaged walls, in need of repainting
-Broken tube for toilet
-No spigot for cleaning purposes
-No running water, deposit not installed
-No door for bathroom
Both the school and the pre-school are missing key materials to make their bathrooms functioning. By teaming with the Municipality of Permet to provide all necessary labor, the materials purchased through the grant will be installed in both school buildings.
The work in the 1 Maji building will ensure that the existing deposit is installed on the roof to provide running water. The new cisterns and tubing are installed to ensure working toilets. The faucets are replaced to ensure the ability for students to wash their hands. There will be a new coat of water- resistant paint added to the bathrooms, to help prevent mold and bacteria from growing.
Additionally, the one broken stall door and the replacement of all door locks will ensure safety for the students. Lastly, the municipal electrician will ensure that the teacher's bathroom has a functioning light source.
For the pre-school, the municipal plumber and construction workers will use the provided materials to replace the full-sized broken sink with two smaller sinks to ensure the children can safely wash their hands.
Also, the labor will ensure that the toilet tube is replaced so that the toilet is fully functioning, and a spigot is installed for the cleaning of the bathroom and in case of accidents with the children (ease of access for cleaning the children).
Lastly, a small pre-existing deposit at the 1 Maji building will be moved over to the pre-school and installed to ensure there is running water for the bathroom. The community is very supportive of this project, parents, teachers have donated roughly $114 in local currency in order to provide a long-lasting supply of bathroom materials, including, but not limited to, toilet paper, soap, cleaning supplies, small trash bins for the individual stalls.
Once the project is complete the local health center, with the aid of the Red Cross nurse from Permet, will perform a series of health lessons related to good hygiene, germs, and the importance of keeping bathrooms nice.
This project will directly benefit 197 students and staff, and indirectly impact visitors and future students.
Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Monitoring and Maintenance
There will be a cleaning and maintenance checklist developed by the cleaning lady of the schools and the municipality of Permet. There will be monthly checks to make sure all parts of the facility are functioning and that report will be filed with the municipality. Additionally, there will be a municipal staff member required to do a site visit every three months to ensure the facilities are functioning and/or to address any issues that were filed in the monthly report. Municipal staff will promptly deal with these issues.
Bashkia Permet, the municipality, is providing the labor, and organizing the procurement of materials.
Let Girls Learn
This project is part of our Let Girls Learn Initiative, and its sub-program 100 Water Projects Program - Albania.
Like many schools in Albania, the Piskove schools lack running water during school hours and the safety of functioning secure bathrooms. This is particularly important for the girls that attend, who make up 42% of the student population. With unlockable doors, girls could be targets for harassment. Without a secure place to feel comfortable changing their menstrual material, girls often stay home during their menstrual cycle.
Most students of both genders do not use the bathrooms in the schools, which can lead to serious health issues related to ‘holding it’ or not drinking any liquids so they do not need to use the bathroom. By providing renovations to these bathrooms, girls will feel comfortable and safe using the school facilities. Additionally, during the health education program there will be a separate session specifically for girls related to concerns related to female sanitation.
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