WASH FOR DEVELOPMENT VIA NONPROFIT PARTNERSHIPS – Water Charity – The Gambia

WASH FOR DEVELOPMENT VIA NONPROFIT PARTNERSHIPS – Water Charity – The Gambia

WASH FOR DEVELOPMENT VIA NONPROFIT PARTNERSHIPS – Water Charity – The Gambia

GambiaRising, Trees for the Future, and WASH for development

We believe liberating women and girls from the duty of fetching water is the key to real development. It frees up women’s time for income production and girls’ time for school. In our Sustainability and Development Plan & Fulabantang Ward Pilot Project, we partnered with two nonprofits. GambiaRising had financed the community building of five schools in the Fulabantang Ward and provides numerous scholarships and school-related services in the area. With Water Charity as a motivated partner, Trees for the Future launched a 4-year forest-garden project in the Ward, training more than 300 forest gardeners and furnishing them with nurseries, tools, and training. We recruited from the GambiaRising-affiliated schools’ mothers’ clubs to organize the women smallholding farmers, as well as to lobby for and enable education, particularly for the girls who would otherwise be made to tend to the household’s water fetching duties.

Trees for the Future provides all that it takes to farm smallholding forest gardens to assist in family smallholder-centric and female-centric income generation. By steering a portion of the resulting additional income toward a water maintenance fund, we seek to move from water-based relief to development. When farmers implement the Forest Garden Approach, their families have a diverse array of foods growing year-round. The improved quantity and quality of foods available lead to ending hunger and improving the nutritional status of families in a sustainable way.

32 rehabilitated waterpoints (including a few boreholes) in 24 villages in Fulabantang Ward

In September, 2019, Trees for the Future, Gambia Rising, and Water Charity started the first of its kind program in The Gambia: training 22 of the Fulabantang Ward’s most talented gardeners to be forest garden trainers. GambiaRising financed the community building of several schools, two in the Fulabantang Ward, where our Trees for the Future Forest Garden project is now based. We made sure that women were well represented in the group of Fulabantang Ward Forest Garden Trainers.

If our Fulabantang Ward Sustainability and Development Pilot Project works, and with the help of Gambia Rising, we hope the water systems will be maintained so that girls can continue to go to school and women and other smallholder farmers can continue to increase their incomes and contribute to the water system’s long-term maintenance fund. Meanwhile, we have fixed 32 water points in 24 villages in the Central River Region’s Fulabantang Ward to water those forest gardens over the next four years of our Trees for the Future forest garden program.

Training 22 of the Fula Bantang Ward’s most talented gardeners to be forest garden trainers.

Our model adds to Water Access the components of Education and Income/Nutrition through partnerships with other NGOs.


Return to Water Charity – The Gambia landing page.

PLEASE VISIT OUR OTHER PROGRAM PAGES:

WATER ACCESS FOR WATER-CHALLENGED GAMBIANS

THE GAMBIA WASH CAPACITY AND GIS MAPPING

COVID-19 HAND-WASHING STATIONS IN THE GAMBIA

There is still a great deal of need for water access in rural The Gambia, so PLEASE DONATE TODAY USING THE BUTTON BELOW.

School Qamil Guranjaku Bathroom Project – Albania

School Qamil Guranjaku Bathroom Project – Albania

School Qamil Guranjaku Bathroom Project – Albania

This project is made possible through the partnership of Water Charity and the National Peace Corps Association.
This is a project under the LET GIRLS LEARN Program, a collaboration of First Lady Michelle Obama and the Peace Corps to expand access to education for adolescent girls around the world!

Location
School Qamil Guranjaku, City of Elbasan, Region of Elbasan, Albania

Community Description
Elbasan is the fourth largest city in Albania. It has a population around 127,000 people. Elbasan is in the Elbasan region in central Albania.

Problem Addressed
The restrooms in the school Qamil Guranjaku are in need of repair and refurbishment.

Project Description
This project involves replacing twelve Turkish toilets with western toilets, replacing pipes, reconstructing the floor by replacing the concrete, adding a coating of hyperdesmo to protect the concrete from water damage and replacing the tilling on the floor and walls around the sinks. Other than a few power tools all the work will completed by hand.

The proper materials will be purchased. and transported to the school. The floor and walls will be refurbished and the old tile will be replaced with new tile. The twelve Turkish toilets will be replaced with Western toilets. The municipality wants to finish in a three week time frame so that the restrooms will be ready for when school begins in September.

All the labor for the project will be completed by plumber(s) and builder(s) on the municipality’s payroll. The funds provided by Water Charity will be used to purchase the western style toilets and most of the concrete needed for the project. This includes a tax of 20% for the purchase of materials.

The Municipality of Elbasan is the driving force behind the project and has a goal of improving the restrooms in the schools in the city. They have received support from the director of education for the region and the director of the school for this project.

Project Impact
805 people will be affected this school year, with many more people served over the years to come.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Thomas Pyke

Monitoring and Maintenance
The municipality is responsible for the upkeep of the school, and the director of the school is responsible for inspections.

Comments
While this is not an official Let Girls Learn project, it does fall into Water Charity’s LGL+ grouping of projects that have a pronounced element involving helping girls go to, and stay in, school, and falls under our 100 Water Projects Program – Albania as well as our larger Let Girls Learn Initiative – Worldwide.

Dollar Amount of Project
$2,100

This project was determined to be infeasible and was not implemented. There were no donations collected and expenditure of funds.

   

Polena School Bathroom Project – Albania

Polena School Bathroom Project – Albania

Polena School Bathroom Project – Albania

This project is made possible through the partnership of Water Charity and the National Peace Corps Association.
This is a project under the LET GIRLS LEARN Program, a collaboration of First Lady Michelle Obama and the Peace Corps to expand access to education for girls around the world!

Location
Polena Village, Korca, Albania

Community Description
Polena is a small village of 650 people located close to Korça city in southeastern Albania.  Tucked against the rugged mountains on the western edge of Korça’s rich agricultural plain, the village looks out over fields of potato, onion, corn and other crops.  In the early fall, apple orchards grow heavy with the region’s famous ruby fruit. At around 3,000 feet elevation, the Korça valley has a much cooler climate than most of the country.  Pleasant summer breezes give way to cold and wet winters, blanketing the landscape with snow for several months.

With limited indoor heating, the winters can be a hardship. School children and teachers are accustomed to temperatures as cold inside the classroom as outside.  Despite this, the region prides itself on its history of culture and quality of education. Residents are quick to explain with pride that the first Albanian-language school was established nearby and that many of the country’s most famous educators, writers and artists hail from the small region. Though poor, the charm of Polena is undeniable, strangers are accepted with the warmth of old friends, and residents meet the challenges that life presents with hardy good humor.

Problem Addressed
The bathrooms in Polena’s only school are in terrible condition.  The two toilets (one for boys and one for girls) are located in a small addition to the main building that has crumbling walls and a failing roof, to the extent that the bathrooms are exposed to the outside elements through holes in the ceiling.  During the harsh winter, this exposure can render the bathrooms unusable, with frozen pipes and ice forming on the walls and floor.  The roof shingles are falling off and portions of the roof are held in place with nothing more than loose rocks.  The internal ceiling panels are rotten and collapsing, and the walls are covered in a thick coat of mold due to poor ventilation.  The toilets are flushed with hoses that spray water all over slippery tiled floors, and the doors cannot close or lock properly.

These conditions will continue to deteriorate throughout the rainy fall and snowy winter, causing the mold to proliferate from the dampness and the ceilings to collapse further under the weight of water and snow.  In addition to hygiene concerns and lack of security posed by these conditions, the safety risk to the children presented by the failing structure is significant. Additionally, the number of girls in attendance at the school (presently 22 girls to 38 boys) is worryingly low.  The poor conditions of the bathrooms may be partly to blame for these problems, as parents are reluctant to send their daughters to a school without a safe and secure place to use the bathroom.

Project Description
The project will renovate the Polena middle school bathrooms so that they are clean, safe and secure for children to use.  Currently, the bathrooms consist of a single girl’s room with a squat toilet, a single boy’s room with a squat toilet, and an anteroom with a sink connected to both bathrooms.

We will completely renovate all three spaces, by completing the  following work:

1) Repairing and renovating the interior and exterior walls
2) Replacing the roof
3) Replacing the light fixtures
4) Replacing the sink and adding Western toilets
5) Re-tiling the floor and interior walls
6) Replacing the exterior windows with windows that open for adequate ventilation
7) Replacing the interior ceiling panels
8) Replacing all three doors and repairing the door frames to (i) the ante-room and (ii) the boys’ and girls’ bathrooms.

Additionally, to increase community involvement and awareness, the project will include a grand opening and family day/health fair at which children and their parents can play games, enjoy the new bathroom facilities, learn about important hygiene practices for the upcoming cold and flu season, and listen to talks about the importance of education and staying in school (especially for girls).  The fair will include face painting, and the opportunity to make posters about hand washing which will be laminated and posted on the school walls.

The funds provided by Water Charity will go toward purchasing all materials to complete the project, including for the bathroom fixtures, plumbing, and construction materials.  A small amount (less than $25 USD) will also go toward purchasing materials for the opening day health fair, including for face paint and laminated posters.

Project Impact
68 people, including 60 children and 8 employees, will benefit directly from the project.  This project will also impact any visitors to the school and future students and staff.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Miles and Michelle Killingsworth

Monitoring and Maintenance
Peace Corps Volunteers Miles and Michelle Killingsworth will work closely with the Polena middle school and the Korca municipality to ensure that construction and renovation is completed successfully.  Once completed, the Polena middle school and the community of Polena will be responsible for maintaining the bathrooms in working condition, and keeping them stocked with soap and other supplies.

Comments
The Municipality of Korça’s Department of Education and Infant Services will provide the labor for the renovation.

Let Girls Learn 
This project is part of our Let Girls Learn Initiative, and its sub-program 100 Water Projects Program – Albania.

Polena’s lack of adequate school bathrooms has an especially negative impact on the education, quality of life, and safety of girls in the community, including in the following ways:

•  Girls might seek an alternative place to go (such as a local cafe), which puts them at significant risk of harassment or assault
•  Girls might “hold it in”, rather than regularly relieving themselves, increasing the risk for urinary tract infections which in turn can cause kidney and reproductive health problems.
•  Inadequate doors and security in the bathrooms can expose girls to harassment or assault
•  Girls without adequate bathroom facilities might not attend school while they are menstruating Repairing the bathrooms in the only school in Polena will have a strong positive impact on all children in the community, but especially the girls who are particularly vulnerable to problems posed by inadequate facilities.  The renovation of the bathrooms will address these problems, and in turn, help to increase the low number of girls in attendance at the school.

Dollar Amount of Project
$1,550

Donations Collected to Date
$100

Dollar Amount Needed
$1,450

ADOPT THIS PROJECT BY CONTRIBUTING THE DOLLAR AMOUNT OF THE PROJECT.
Donations of any amount will be appreciated. The full amount will allow you a posted dedication, if that is something you would like.

   

Piskove School Bathroom Projects – Albania

Piskove School Bathroom Projects – Albania

Piskove School Bathroom Projects – Albania

This project is made possible through the partnership of Water Charity and the National Peace Corps Association.NPC & WC

Location
Piskove, Permet, Albania

Community Description
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.

Problem Addressed
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 sinks 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

Pre-school
-Broken tube for toilet
-Broken sink
-No spigot for cleaning purposes
-No running water, deposit not installed
-No door for the bathroom

Project Description
Both the school and the pre-school are missing key materials to make their bathrooms functioning. By teaming with the Municipality of Permit 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, and 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, and 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.

Project Impact
This project will directly benefit 197 students and staff and indirectly impact visitors and future students.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Jaclyn Boroff

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.

Comments
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.

Dollar Amount of Project
$1,248.06

Donations Collected to Date
$0.00

Dollar Amount Needed
$1,248.06

ADOPT THIS PROJECT BY CONTRIBUTING THE DOLLAR AMOUNT OF THE PROJECT.
Donations of any amount will be appreciated. The full amount will allow you a posted dedication, if that is something you would like.

    

Shkolla Abdyl Bajraktari Middle School Bathroom Project – Albania

Shkolla Abdyl Bajraktari Middle School Bathroom Project – Albania

Shkolla Abdyl Bajraktari Middle School Bathroom Project – Albania

This project is made possible through the partnership of Water Charity and the National Peace Corps Association.
This is a project under the LET GIRLS LEARN Program, a collaboration of First Lady Michelle Obama and the Peace Corps to expand access to education for girls around the world!

Location
Koplik, Malësi e Madhe, Shkodër District, Albania

Community Description     
Nestled between the eastern shore of Lake Shkodër, the largest lake in the entirety of the Balkan Peninsula, and the western edge of the majestic Albanian Alps, Koplik is one of Albania’s Northernmost regional capitals. As the seat of the municipal government of Malësi e Madhe, which translates to “The Greater Highlands,” Koplik is also the largest town in this extremely isolated and poverty-stricken region. Koplik’s population of roughly three thousand is mostly comprised of subsistence farmers, owners of small general stores, or laborers who commute to the larger metropolitan areas of Shkodër to the south. Koplik also serves as a central commercial hub for the inhabitants of the surrounding villages and for the populations of Malësi e Madhe’s exceptionally remote valleys, the Shkrel Valley and the Kelmendi Valley.

Despite the general level of poverty, which prevails in Malësi e Madhe, the people of Koplik are friendly and extraordinarily welcoming of strangers and foreigners. One need only spend a short amount of time there to encounter the legendary hospitality of the Malësorë (inhabitants of Malësi e Madhe). The people of Koplik are also all too eager to boast of their region’s unique designation as the only part of Albania, which was never fully conquered by and incorporated into the Ottoman Empire.

Two schools, a “Shkolla 9-Vjeçar,” or elementary/ middle school, and a “Gimnaz,” or high school serve Koplik. It has a small regional health center, and the only police station within the entirety of Malësi e Madhe. Koplik also has three small grocery stores, a handful of building and farming supply shops, and around a dozen or so cafes where old men can be found playing chess or dominos at all hours of the day. Given its dilapidated appearance, and its deplorable state of disrepair, one might find it difficult to believe that Shkolla “Abdyl Bajraktari”, the only middle school in Koplik, is also the largest and best staffed middle school in the entirety of Malësi e Madhe.

In addition to serving the families and children of Koplik, roughly half of the school’s student population is bussed in from the numerous isolated farming villages located at the mouth of the Shkrel Valley and along the coast of Lake Shkodër.  Shkolla “Abdyl Bajraktari” currently serves roughly 591 students and staff. Classes are divided by grade and by the village. For example, all 9th graders who are residents of Koplik are given the designation “Klasa 9A,” while the 9th graders from Zagora, an impoverished village to the northeast of Koplik, are placed in “Klasa 9C.” A lack of funding and resources for repairs means that the majority of the classrooms at the school lack heating appliances, have damaged or missing windows, and are in need of repainting. Unfortunately, the classrooms in the best condition are generally allocated the more affluent students of Koplik, leaving the worst classrooms for the poorest students. To compound this issue, students who live in Koplik are generally allowed to return to their homes during class in order to use the restroom, whereas the poorer students from the surrounding villages are not afforded this luxury; they are forced to utilize the deplorable restrooms at Shkolla “Abdyl Bajraktari.”

Problem Addressed
Shkolla “Abdyl Bajraktari” has three bathrooms: a boy’s bathroom on the first floor and two girls’ bathrooms on the second floor. All three are in deplorable condition. To start with, none of the restrooms have any running water. There is no way for students to flush the toilet or to wash their hands afterwards. Therefore, since all of the toilets at the school are of the “Turkish” type, this means that, without water, they are essentially just holes in the ground. Furthermore, there are no facilities in place for toilet paper or hand towels, though this issue seems rather trivial given the host of other issues associated with the restrooms. The toilet stalls in the boy’s restroom are all missing doors, and a number of stalls have been entirely filled with building refuse and trash, rendering them inoperable.

Even more distressing is the fact that the outflow plumbing from the girl’s restrooms above snakes along with the ceiling of the boy’s restroom. Due to a combination of misuse, the lack of water, and improper installation, this outflow piping has ruptured. The result is that excrement from the girl’s restroom simply falls from the ceiling and covers the floor of the boy’s restroom. This is an extreme health hazard, and the idea that children are expected to enter such a revolting environment is almost unbelievable. To make matters worse, all of the windows in the boy’s restroom have been destroyed. The result is that the stench from the falling excrement and the unflushed toilets wafts up to the girl’s bathrooms and to the classrooms on the third floor of the school, all of which are similarly lacking operable windows. These classrooms are generally allocated to six grade classes composed entirely of students from poor families, which live outside of Koplik.

The lack of running water, the lack of stall doors, and the lack of any options besides cracked or broken Turkish toilets are, and of themselves, enough to warrant outrage from parents and the community as a whole. However, add to this the fact that human waste is literally filling a room on the first floor of the school and the primary concern shifts from the matters of dignity, hygiene, and the fostering of a welcoming learning environment, to the matter of preventing serious illness and even death as a result of children being forced to enter an open septic tank in order to earn an education.  If this situation were to unfold in the United States, it would be a scandal worthy of the national press and the school in question would be demolished. However, as it stands, due to corruption and a lack of support from the national government, the municipality of Malësi e Madhe simply cannot allocate funding to refurbishing its schools.

Project Description
In summary, the plan which has been devised for the refurbishment of the restrooms at Shkolla “Abdyl Bajraktari” calls for the redesign and replacement of the outflow plumbing system, the replacement of all damaged Turkish toilets and flush water basins, the installation of five western-style toilets, and the repainting and refurbishment of all stalls and doors.

Two large water cisterns, which are currently unused and in storage, are to be installed on the roof of the school and from which piping will be connected in order to supply all of the restrooms with running water. All of the sinks and faucets will be repaired or replaced where necessary. Finally, all of the windows in the bathrooms will be replaced, and measures will be taken to shield both the windows and outflow plumbing from vandalism and destruction. The municipal government has approved the plan, and the mayor of Koplik has agreed to supply the necessary labor.

Furthermore, a local contractor, a man well respected throughout the town, has also agreed to take on the project at an extremely discounted rate, asking little more than the cost of the required building materials. Given the municipal governments’ involvement, and the labor provided free of charge by the local contractor, the total contribution of the community, according to the proposed budget, amounts to about 30% of the project cost. Finally, after the completion of the project, the mayor has proposed implementing a system whereby parents, students, teachers, and cleaning staff attend seminars on proper hygiene and restroom care. The contractor and the school directors have also mentioned stipulating that the parents of children caught defacing or damaging the refurbished restrooms are fined.

Project Impact
This project will directly impact 591 people; 560 students and 31 staff members.  It will also impact visitors and future students.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
William Hunter

Monitoring and Maintenance
The school will be responsible for monitoring and maintaining the new, improved facilities.

At first glance, one might assume that the success of this project would be evident upon the completion of the reconstruction and refurbishing of the restrooms. However, the goals of this project are broader than simply replacing broken equipment and repainting walls. The overarching theme of this project is to increase the students’ of Koplik’s capacity to learn and attend school by providing them with the option to remain in the school when they have to use the restroom removing fear and uncertainty from their school day, and combating the spread of transmutable diseases through better hygiene practices. Over the course of the next school year, teachers and faculty will be keeping attendance in order to determine if the goals of this project are being met. Furthermore, at some point in the future, students will fill out a survey on the success of the project as a whole.

Comments
Bashkia e Koplikut is the community organization involved in the project.

A note from the Peace Corps Lead, William Hunter:
“I have been serving as a Peace Corps volunteer for well over eight months now, and during the course of my service, I have traveled through many cities and towns in Albania. I have met students from the far south and central regions, given lessons in schools in the mountains on the Macedonian border, and witnessed classes in my sister region of Tropoja. And while I have found bright and enthusiastic pupils everywhere I have traveled, I have come across no community so devoted to the education of its youth and so full of potential as my own Peace Corps site in Malësi e Madhe. The students here have a true thirst for knowledge, and despite the horrible condition of their learning facilities, they continue to consistently rank at the top of national student rankings. The people from Koplik and Malësi e Madhe can be found throughout every corner of Albania, working in high-skill positions in law offices, hospitals, and universities. If anyone part of Albania has a tradition of academic excellence, it is certainly Malësi e Madhe.”

As an LGL project, this falls under our 100 Water Projects Program – Albania as well as our larger Let Girls Learn Initiative – Worldwide.

This project is part of the LET GIRLS LEARN program sponsored by FLOTUS Michelle Obama.  It is intended to have a positive effect on keeping girls in school after they reach adolescence.  Lack of clean facilities is a leading cause of women dropping out of school. Water Charity is proud to have sponsored the very first LGL project and continues to be the leading contributor to the program, as evidenced by projects like this one.

Dollar Amount of Project
$2,287.90

Donations Collected to Date
$0

Dollar Amount Needed
$2,287.90

ADOPT THIS PROJECT BY CONTRIBUTING THE DOLLAR AMOUNT OF THE PROJECT.
Donations of any amount will be appreciated. The full amount will allow you a posted dedication, if that is something you would like.

Lezhe Cultural Palace Bathroom Project – Albania

Lezhe Cultural Palace Bathroom Project – Albania

Lezhe Cultural Palace Bathroom Project – Albania

This project is made possible through the partnership of Water Charity and the National Peace Corps Association.

Location
Lezhe Cultural Palace, Lezhe, Albania

Community Description
The municipality of Lezhe is fairly large, and is made up of around 60,000 people. There are many villages surrounding Lezhe, and each one seems to have its own special flavor. The city of Lezhe is considered the center. You know you’re in Lezhe when you look up and see its beautiful castle up on the mountain. The sunset over Lezhe is extraordinary year-round, but during the Summer, you can stay out late and watch the sun go down over the seaside. Although Lezhe is a tourist hot spot in the Summer because of its beaches, the rest of the year is similar to many other Northern Albanian towns. There is an outside market where you can buy vegetables, fruits, clothes, and household items for very cheap prices. There are many different cafés available for Albania’s favorite pastime, drinking coffee. Most everyone in Lezhe either knows one another or is in some way related to each other.

Lezhe has an old-Albania feel to it, but it also seems to be on the rise and progressive. As a female, you can go out for a coffee without public shame, and on the same day, you can also see a villager riding his horse and carriage filled with firewood. Many people in Lezhe have a good basic understanding of English. The surrounding villages are green, beautiful and full of generous, hard-working people. Lezhe inhabitants are proud of their traditions and values, yet still aim to advance with the times. This attitude shapes Lezhe’s character.

Problem Addressed
The bathroom in the Cultural Palace is so damaged that it has been boarded up for safety reasons. A few volunteers (including project manager Miranda) actually crawled through the spider webs, and sewer-like atmosphere to check out the remains of the Cultural Palace’s bathroom. The first thought was to re-do the piping in the old bathrooms, but it was quickly realized that the pipes would run straight to the river, and while not only harming the environment by distributing waste into the river, every time it would rain in the future, the bathroom would run the risk of flooding back into the facility.

After carefully looking at the situation with an engineer from the Directorate of Education, where Miranda volunteers, she saw an opportunity to rebuild the bathrooms in a room currently being used as a storage space. This space offers enough room for one bathroom for females and another for males. It also provides a space for windows and ventilation, which the other bathroom did not have. Most importantly, this space allows for tubes and pipes to run properly to an appropriate place for waste removal, not the river!

The cultural Palace has taken on a new responsibility this year, agreeing to not only host all cultural events of the county, but also monthly movie nights. Besides pool halls, casinos, and cafés, Lezhe does not offer any community entertainment. Movie nights are a great chance for families to come together to do something fun, but without a bathroom, a movie theater is difficult to enjoy. The last thing anybody needs on a fun family night out, is to worry about needing to go to the bathroom when there are no appropriate facilities around. A basic bathroom facility needs ventilation, running water, a toilet, and a place to wash hands, light, a door, soap, and toilet paper. The previous bathroom did not have any of these necessities.

Project Description
The current plan for fixing the bathrooms involves permanently boarding up the old bathrooms, cleaning out the storage area, installing windows, and creating 2 separate restrooms (one for girls, another for boys), which includes a new floor, 2 sinks, 2 toilets, 2 secure walls, 2 doors, new tubes and pipes, and a water heater.

The engineer from the Directorate of Education has designed a plan and has already shared it with the Director of the Cultural Palace as well as the engineer from the Municipality. All three institutions will collaborate together with Miranda (the Peace Corps Volunteer) to see this project through. The Municipality will provide workers as well as 62% of the material and labor costs. The Directorate of Education will continue to provide support, the plan from the engineer, and supplies for future activities. The Cultural Palace itself will provide labor and will ensure the facility’s maintenance.

Project Impact
This project will positively impact around 7,200 people.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Miranda Der

Monitoring and Maintenance
Monitoring and maintenance will be in the hands of the Municipality and the Cultural Palace. The Municipality pays custodians to clean the facilities daily and to do routine check-ups, and the Cultural Palace will keep an eye on the bathroom to report any damage. As a backup, the engineer from the Directorate of Education has offered to assist the project in any way, including helping with the original design and construction of the bathroom, as well as providing routine maintenance.

Comments
The community organization involved in this project include the Directorate of Education, the Municipality, and the Cultural Palace of Lezhe, which will assist in the financing and rebuilding.

Let Girls Learn 
Learning for girls extends to many places outside of schools. As development increases in Albania, so does the inclusion of girls in outside-school activities. It is important for girls and women to have a proper place to go to the bathroom so that they can have a place to appropriately tend to their menstrual cycles, wash their hands, and avoid health issues such as urinary Tract infections from holding in their urine. It is much safer for women to have a bathroom facility since if they go outside they run the risk of public shame, as well as sexual harassment and assault. For these reasons, all places of education and learning should have a bathroom facility available for girls. Schools in Albania offer the basic forms of education but do not act as institutions where students may find and improve more specialized and specific skills (i.e. acting, musical, public speaking, debate, creative writing). Girls have started to participate in activities outside of school such as Girls Leading Our World conferences, Albanian Model United Nations, and Write On, and the desire for them to keep participating in such activities is constantly increasing.

The theater in the Cultural Palace of Lezhe wants to play a big role in school-related activities. It will act as a place for students and community members to come watch and partake in musical and theatrical performances, films, and assemblies. Girls already have a difficult time participating in activities outside of school since many old mentalities of families believe that women belong in the house when not at school or work. This pressure, particularly from fathers, makes many girls hesitant to join in extra-curricular activities. If the venue where these activities take place lacks a proper bathroom, it just gives girls another reason to not want to be involved in such activities.

The new director of the Cultural Palace, Albana, is a famous Albanian Opera singer. She thrives on the idea of giving children a place to be creative and artistic. She also sets a great example for girls to see that if they really love something and follow their passions, they can become anything they dream of. When Miranda first heard Albana’s voice she was moved. When Albana told Miranda about how passionate she was about improving the Cultural Palace, Miranda was even more motivated to help her out in some way. Lezhe is a town with a theater, and you can believe there are many people that want to watch an event in those chairs and even get up on that stage. Creativity and passion live in the director of the Cultural Palace and in the young minds of the children in Lezhe, and by providing basic facilities such as a working bathroom, we will get a beautiful artistic movement started here.

As such, this project falls under the Let Girls Learn Initiative, a program we have to support the goals of FLOTUS Michelle Obama’s worldwide effort to help women and girls around the world receive and maintain an education.

Dollar Amount of Project
$2,500
Donations Collected to Date
$0

Dollar Amount Needed
$2,500

ADOPT THIS PROJECT BY CONTRIBUTING THE DOLLAR AMOUNT OF THE PROJECT.
Donations of any amount will be appreciated. The full amount will allow you a posted dedication, if that is something you would like.

Hagati Secondary School Rainwater Catchment System Project – Tanzania

Hagati Secondary School Rainwater Catchment System Project – Tanzania

Hagati Secondary School Rainwater Catchment System Project – Tanzania

This project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION.

Location
Hagati Secondary School (Mbinga), Ruvuma Tanzania

Community Description
Hagati Secondary school is a small government school in rural Tanzania, about 2 hours southwest of Mbinga. There are approximately 285 students and 30 teachers at the school, with about half of each group living on campus.

Ruvuma is one of the more forgotten regions of Tanzania–with almost no outsiders (tourists, NGOs, or others) making their way into the very southern, westernmost corner of Tanzania. Hagati is in the last of the highland valleys before reaching the western side of Lake Malawi (called Lake Nyassa in Tanzania), and as a result, provides an excellent climate for the main industry of the area–coffee farming. Most of the students at Hagati are the children of coffee growers, and many plan on working on their own farms when they complete their education.

The seasonal nature of cash crops, however, as well as the lack of infrastructure to transport their product to market, creates some hardship for the people around Hagati, but a decent climate and soil allow subsistence agriculture (mostly corn) to supplement their income. Unlike in many parts of Tanzania, such as Mbeya or the Kilimanjaro region, large-scale commercial agriculture is non-existent, and almost all produce is from small farms perched on the edges of steep hillsides.

Many of the students dream about leaving the valley behind, with its lack of paved roads and electricity, and going to big cities like Dar es Salaam or Mbeya. Even for those who remain, however, change is definitely coming—the government has proposed (and started constructing) new electric lines that will bring wired electricity from Mbinga all the way to Mbamba Bay on the shores of the lake.

Problem Addressed
Currently, the school relies on a tap for its water supply. The tap provides water from a mountain spring that is several kilometers away from Hagati, and during the rainy season provides a convenient and reliable source of relatively clean water. During the dry season (May through November), however, the spring and the tap often run dry. When this happens, the school must rely on a nearby river to provide its water. This creates two major problems. First, female students are often pulled from the classrooms and sent to fetch water for the school. One trip can take upwards of half an hour, and depending on how much water the school requires, the girls can miss quite a lot of class. Additionally, the community members do not purify the water in any way, which leads to an increase in sickness due to waterborne illness from drinking untreated river water. This leads to lost worker hours on the part of both students and teachers, negatively impacting the students’ education.

Project Description
This project will be to create a water catchment and storage system. An analysis of the rainfall patterns at the school indicates that the rainwater catchment could provide an excellent supplemental source of water for the school during the rainy season.

Gutters, made from the cut tin roofing material, will be added to the roof of the large assembly hall, which is on the school campus. The gutters will collect rainwater and funnel it into an underground storage tank.

The underground storage tank itself will have a capacity of approximately 40,000 L. The construction will be reinforced masonry, with the bricks, sand and gravel being supplied locally. A local technician, who has experience installing similar systems in the area, will oversee the implementation of the project. Local community workers will provide much of the labor for digging the hole, and the technician and his workers will erect the gutters and construct the tank walls and roof. Water will be brought out of the tank using a simple pump of a type similar to that purchased by a nearby community. Using a local craftsman and technology that those in the area are already familiar with will help ensure the sustainability of the project.

The school will provide unskilled labor, a portion of the engineering fee, and many of the materials, including bricks, sand, gravel and rocks.

Project Impact
Approximately 315 people will benefit from this project immediately, as well as future students and staff.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Emily Van Dam

Monitoring and Maintenance
The implementation of the project will be monitored from start to finish by the water committee. The water committee, comprised of several teachers, the second master (vice-principal), the academic master, and the Peace Corps Volunteer, will be in charge of overseeing all material purchases, as well as regularly inspecting the work of the technician and organizing the unskilled labor. All work and materials will be obtained locally and be done by local technicians. This ensures that should the need for repairs arise, the school will have access to all the necessary materials and skilled labor that it requires.

Purification treatment will mostly consist of avoiding contamination of relatively clean rainwater. The first heavy rain of the season each year will be used to flush the system. At that time the tank will be thoroughly cleaned, bleached, and then pumped dry, and only rains after the initial rainfall will be collected. The tank will be covered, and a pump will be used to further prevent contamination.

Comments
This is a project conceived and organized by the community. It will provide immediate benefits related to health and hygiene, and result in training and empowerment for the community.

Let Girls Learn
This project will be implemented under the Let Girls Learn Program, and included under our Let Girls Learn Initiative – Worldwide.

In Tanzania, the responsibility for collecting water is considered to be the job of women and girls, and Hagati Secondary is no exception. During the dry season, when the community tap runs dry, female students are regularly pulled from their classes at random and sent to fetch water from the river. This has a very negative impact on their ability to receive an education, and it is something that their fellow male students do not have to deal with. As a result, many girls at the school are at a disadvantage during the dry season due to the lack of readily accessible water at the school.

This project will provide an alternative (and cleaner) drinking source right on the school campus. As a result, girls will no longer need to be pulled from class for lengthy periods of time to fetch water as the school cook, and the other teachers would have immediate access to water at the school, even when the tap runs dry.

This project is a part of our ongoing East Africa Water & Sanitation Program.

This project has been completed.  To see the results, CLICK HERE.

This project has been fully funded by a major WC donor who prefers to remain anonymous.

Further donations to this project will be applied to Emily’s next project or to future Peace Corps projects in Tanzania.

   

School Migjeni Puke Bathroom Project – Albania

School Migjeni Puke Bathroom Project – Albania

School Migjeni Puke Bathroom Project – Albania

This project is made possible through the partnership of Water Charity and the National Peace Corps Association.

This is a project under the LET GIRLS LEARN Program, a collaboration of First Lady Michelle Obama and the Peace Corps to expand access to education for girls around the world!

Location
Puke, Puke District, Shkoder Region, Albania

Community Description
Pukë is a remote town of 5,000 residents located in the mountains of northern Albania. Residents have little access to health services as the health care system is largely corrupt and the local hospital has limited resources, and will possibly be closed in the next few years due to lack of funding.

Most residents must make the trip to Shkodër or Tirana when they become ill, which is difficult to arrange due to widespread unemployment and poverty. Illnesses are easily spread in tight living arrangements, with entire families living in dilapidated one-bedroom apartments.

The Government Municipality, or Bashkia, and Directory of Public Health, wish to focus more on taking preventative measures to protect citizen’s health. One way in which they can do that is by addressing the lack of sanitation found in the school bathrooms.

Problem Addressed
The current state of the school bathrooms serving grades 1-9 is deplorable.  A total of 543 people use these bathrooms and not a single toilet flushes. The janitors must flush the toilets using buckets at the end of the school day. Only one of four sinks functions, inferring that only 25% of students are able to wash their hands after using the bathroom. While there is running water and a deposit tank, it can only be accessed from the sink in the girl’s first floor bathroom.

Furthermore, all doors in the girl’s bathrooms are without locks, while there are no door is the boys bathroom.  The doors were all made of glass, and they are all shattered; only the frames remain.

Due to the state of the school bathrooms, students are exposed to illness. Often times, they do not even stay at school to use the restroom, which raises the possibility that they will not return for the rest of their classes. Of particular concern are girls during their menstrual cycle. With unsanitary facilities, they are exposing themselves to an assortment of health issues, as well as overall stress and taboo. With doors that do not lock, they are unable to have the level of privacy needed to change a pad or tampon. Again, this often leads many of them to just return home to take care of their hygienic needs.

Project Description
The project will take place in “School Migjeni Puke,” which teaches students from grades 1-9. On both the first and second floor, there is both a boy’s bathroom and a girl’s bathroom. Every bathroom has 4 stalls and one sink, totaling 16 toilets and 4 sinks. In order for these students to learn in a sanitary environment, all bathrooms will be refurbished. This includes fixing 16 doors and 3 sinks, as well as replacing 16 toilet tanks.

The original toilets are Turkish toilets. The bowls are still intact and do not need to be replaced. The school has a working water supply, as well as a water deposit in case Puka is on a water schedule.

The local Bashkia will provide the 25% community contribution requirement, which will be used to provide labor and cleaning supplies. A group of five engineers/plumbers provided by the Bashkia will be installing the new materials.  The funds provided by Water Charity will cover the cost of the materials required to fix the bathrooms,

Peace Corps Volunteer Laura Hobbs, will accompany an employee and an engineer from the Bashkia to purchase the proposed materials. After installation, the Office of Health Promotion will go into the schools and provide informative lessons on germ theory and hand washing to students in grades one through three, using the newly refurbished bathrooms. Girls in grades five through seven will be taught about their menstrual cycle and what to do if they are at school at that time of month. This will allow these girls to remain at school during their cycle and eliminate much of the shame and embarrassment that is currently associated with it.

Project Impact
543 people, consisting of 502 students and 41 employees, will benefit from the project

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Laura Hobbs

Monitoring and Maintenance
The Bashkia will provide materials for the bathrooms to cover three to four months of use, but the school will continue supplying the bathrooms with soap and cleaning supplies when this is depleted. This will ensure that the bathrooms are being used properly and students have access to the level of sanitation, which they deserve.

Furthermore, an initiative will be started within the schools for each student to bring one bar of soap or roll of toilet paper into the classroom at the beginning of the school year. This is a relatively cost-effective way for families in Pukë to support this project through tangible means.

In terms of maintenance of the actual toilets and sinks, the school janitors will be required to report any damage or wear-and-tear to the Bashkia, who is responsible for fixing these problems. Peace Corps Volunteer Randolph Kent, who works in the school, will ensure that damage is being reported and corrected in a timely manner.

Comments
By refurbishing the school bathrooms, students are insured a cleaner learning environment, which carries over into the larger community context in eliminating illness.

Bashkia Puke is providing community contribution funding and is in charge of long-term bathroom maintenance.  The Office of Health Promotion, Directory of Public Health, will deliver the curriculum for hand washing and germ theory

This project is part of the LET GIRLS LEARN program sponsored by FLOTUS Michelle Obama.  It is intended to have a positive effect in keeping girls in school after they reach adolescence.  Lack of clean facilities is a leading cause of women dropping out of school. Water Charity is proud to have sponsored the very first LGL project, and continues to be a leading contributor to the program, as evidenced by projects like this one.

As an LGL project, this falls under our 100 Water Projects Program – Albania as well as our larger Let Girls Learn Initiative – Worldwide.

Dollar Amount of Project

$2,650

Donations Collected to Date

$0

Dollar Amount Needed
$2,650

This project has been completed.  To see the results, CLICK HERE.

ADOPT THIS PROJECT BY CONTRIBUTING THE DOLLAR AMOUNT OF PROJECT
Donations of any amount will be appreciated. The full amount will allow you a posted dedication, if that is something you would like.

Conclusion of School Migjeni Puke Bathroom Project – Albania

Conclusion of School Migjeni Puke Bathroom Project – Albania

Conclusion of School Migjeni Puke Bathroom Project – Albania

This project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Laura Hobbs.

To read about the beginning of the project, CLICK HERE.

The following is Laura Hobbs’ final report:    

SCOPE/PROCESS:
In conjunction with the Office of Health Promotion in the Directory of Public Health Pukë, Laura originally planned on submitting a grant for oral hygiene lessons and materials for the 9-vjeçare. However, when she and her office went to assess the likelihood of this grant with the school, it was discovered that their bathrooms were not in working order. Even though there was running water, there were no sinks or toilet cisterns to access the running water. Therefore, janitors would bucket flush the toilets at the end of the day and students did not wash their hands. We decided that we need to address this problem before we could attempt to address oral hygiene.

Upon receipt of the funds in November, 2015, I began coordinating with the Bashkia for when the bathrooms could be installed. Due to a working project the Bashkia had going on, the workers were not available until December, 2015. The first round of school bathrooms (16 total stalls and 4 sinks) were installed in December of 2015.

In early January, we began the educational phase of the project in conjunction with the Directory of Public Health Pukë. In two groups, six nurses from the Health Promotion Office taught students from Grades K-8 about personal hygiene, microbes, flu season, and hand washing. This was done over the course of two weeks, and students who participated in a microbial experiment were overseen directly while they washed their hands to ensure that the lesson’s goal was achieved.

Once the first component was completed, I emailed Water Charity to acquire approval for a project expansion to complete an extra bathroom in the school. Water Charity and the Small Grants Committee approved this extension, with the second stage of bathroom refurbishments totaling 26050 ALL. Further, the Committee approved the usage of any leftover money to go towards extra cleaning materials to supplement those being supplied by the Bashkia.

GOALS:
The first goal of students properly using the refurbished bathrooms to promote a cleaner learning environment was very successful, due to the expansion of the objective to teach students about hand washing.

The original objective only states that students in grades 1-3 would be taught lessons, but this was expanded to grades K-8. This serves a wider base of students and ensures that every student using the bathrooms do so properly. The skill building of the students during these lessons was an important component of the project. We taught a total of 265 students from grades K-5 about microbes and hand washing. The middle school students were taught about personal hygiene during puberty and hand washing, totaling 155 students from grades 6-8.

The installation took place in December and the education component in January. This timeline was pushed back because the grant was received after the original timeline had already passed, and winter break interrupted the student’s teaching schedule.

Overall, the community feeling is extremely positive. On February 20th, parents attended students’ final class of the day for teacher-parent meetings, and many were very pleased with the changes made. One parent of a 4th grade girl was thrilled that the “entry hall and first floor no longer smell like bathrooms and waste,” and that “the bathrooms are so clean,” even she would use them!

SUSTAINABILITY
The project will be monitored by Randolph Kent, a current volunteer in the 9-vjecare, as well as by the school director. We have agreed with the bashkia that if repairs become necessary, they will make them out of pocket. Therefore, if Randolph (or the school director) finds something in the bathroom to need repairs, they can be notified and the bathroom monitored until the repair is made.

In terms of sustainability of proper student usage, the Directory of Public Health, Health Promotion Team makes yearly trips to the school during flu season to teach about the importance of handwashing and hygiene. This ensures that even new students will be a part of the health curriculum each year and use the restrooms properly. Further, a school initiative where students bring one bar of soap in at the beginning of the school year will ensure that there are still bathroom supplies for hand washing once those donated by the Bashkia have run out.

We would like to thank Laura once again for executing such a fine project.

Jani Bocova School Bathroom and Water Project – Albania

Jani Bocova School Bathroom and Water Project – Albania

Jani Bocova School Bathroom and Water Project – Albania

This project is made possible through the partnership of Water Charity and the National Peace Corps Association.
This is a project under the LET GIRLS LEARN Program, a collaboration of First Lady Michelle Obama and the Peace Corps to expand access to education for adolescent girls around the world!

Location
Dancing at Jani BucovaJani Bocova School, Afrim i Ri village, Fier, Albania

Community Description
Jani Bocova is a 9 year school (primary and intermediate grades 1-9) with 240 students and 15 teachers/staff.  Albania is a largely Muslim country where women are not given many opportunities to do anything other than raise families.

Problem Addressed
The facilities for hygiene and sanitation are woefully insufficient.  The bathrooms that exist now need to be rebuilt and refurbished.  The toilets are currently outside, across a short walkway, with no windows and open to the elements.

Lack of running water and doors for the stalls are a barrier that prevents girls from being able to handle their periods at school, and contributes to the cultural pressure for them to drop out of school.

The toilets themselves need running water, and the basins need taps and piping. Also, the sewer pipes are blocked and broken and need replacing. The school is on a watering schedule and needs a deposit and pump to ensure running water.

Project Description
The project will build walls and insert windows to make the toilet block weatherproof. Running water will be brought to the bathrooms; new faucets and piping will be installed. The sewer pipes will be replaced.  And, additionally, a water storage tank will be installed with a pump.

More DancingSome of the toilet doors are recoverable but need refinishing and new door frames.  Handles and locks will also be added.  All the toilets will be completely replaced.  There are 3 Turkish toilets for the girls, 3 for the boys and 2 for the teachers/staff… 8 in total.

Project Impact
255 students and teachers, plus parents and visitors to the school, will benefit.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Teresa Anderson

Monitoring and Maintenance
The bashkia (municipality) will be responsible for monitoring and maintaining the new bathroom facilities.

Comments
This project is part of the LET GIRLS LEARN program sponsored by FLOTUS Michelle Obama.  It is intended to have a positive effect in keeping girls in school after they reach adolescence.  Lack of clean facilities is a leading cause of women dropping out of school. Water Charity is proud to have sponsored the very first LGL project, and continues to be a leading contributor to the program, as evidenced by projects like this one.

As an LGL project, this falls under our 100 Water Projects Program – Albania as well as our larger Let Girls Learn Initiative – Worldwide.

Dollar Amount of Project
$1,050

Donations Collected to Date
$0

Dollar Amount Needed
$1,050

This project has been completed.  To read about the conclusion, CLICK HERE.

Funding is still needed for this project, and many more in Albania.  Please Donate.

ADOPT THIS PROJECT BY CONTRIBUTING THE DOLLAR AMOUNT OF THE PROJECT.
Donations of any amount will be appreciated. The full amount will allow you a posted dedication, if that is something you would like.

Mold and decreptitude100 year anniversary plaque

bashkia (municipality) checking out the facilities