100 Water Projects Program – Albania

100 Water Projects Program – Albania

100 Water Projects Program – Albania

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

100 Water Projects For Albanian Girls!


Water Charity is proud to announce that we have crafted a program to do 100 water projects in Albania over the next year. Due in large part to the vision of Teresa and Graham Anderson, the PCVs spearheading this effort, we have scaled up what would have been 10 school bathroom projects, into a major program to deal with the poor sanitation conditions in schools all around Albania. This ambitious goal is already underway in a dozen schools, and will likely surpass even our lofty goal of 100 projects.

This entire program falls under our Let Girls Learn Initiative. This is an effort on our part to step up and pick up the gauntlet thrown by the First Lady in her call to further girl’s education around the world. Water Charity did the very first LGL project in Cambodia earlier this year and aims to do a couple hundred more water projects that expressly aim to empower young women and allow girls the myriad opportunities that an education can bestow.

NPCA and Water Charity have already helped develop, and provide funding for, a number of great water system projects that exemplify the need for programs like this. It is hard to overestimate the value of clean, functional, dedicated bathroom facilities.  They not only provide hygienic and sanitary conditions, but privacy, safety, and dignity as well.

Lack of proper sanitation facilities at a school contributes greatly to the drop out rate among adolescent women. Upon reaching their menses, many girls simply leave school, and others struggle on while missing a whole week out of every month. Most of them endure a lot of pressure to drop out of school to get married and start families.

Albania, as one of only two majority Muslim countries in Europe, has cultural attitudes towards women and their education that influence many Albanian women to give up on the idea of education completely.

Our goal with this program is to work with the schools to create an environment conducive to young women remaining in school.

The majority of these schools lack running water, and many have no functional bathroom facilities whatsoever at the moment.  Even where they do have toilets, they are often in horrible disrepair or are not useable because there is no running water to flush them… and they are not connected to sewer pipes.

Thus, a large portion of these projects will be to refurbish or build new toilet facilities, complete with running water. We will not stop there, however. Water Charity intends to go on and support a large variety of projects that have an LGL impact. As most people know, lack of clean water and adequate sanitation can make people susceptible to frequent waterborne illnesses, and being sick with such sicknesses, keep children out of school… not to mention threatening their very lives.

We hope you will support us in this effort to make a meaningful difference in this beautiful Mediterranean nation. Check out the various projects in the program below, and don’t hesitate to donate to any projects that seem worthy to you. We are looking for a large donor to adopt this entire program as well, so contact us if you are interested.
This program is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION.

   

   

Sheq i Madh School Bathroom and Water ProjectK – Albania

Sheq i Madh School Bathroom and Water ProjectK – Albania

Sheq i Madh School Bathroom and Water ProjectK – 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
Sheq i Madh School, Fier, Albania

Community Description
Sheq i Madh is a 9 year (nente vjecare) school with 250 students and 15 teachers in the region of Fier. It is one of the smaller local schools

Problem Addressed
The bathrooms need refurbishment, and to have running water.  The general sanitation situation at the school is thoroughly inadequate.

There are four student toilets, and one for the teachers, but all need rebuilding and connecting to running water with a new deposit in the roof to provide 24 hour supply.

Project Description
This project will provide 5 new Turkish toilets, 4 hand basins (one already exists), and the plumbing for running water to them. In addition, a new water storage container on the roof, and an associated water pump will be installed to provide a continuous source of water.

Project Impact
300 people will directly benefit from the project.  In addition, family members, visitors, and workers who come to school will benefit.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Graham Anderson

Monitoring and Maintenance
Fier Bashkia (Municipality) will be responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the 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 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 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
$1,200

Donations Collected to Date
$0

Dollar Amount Needed
$1,200


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.
This project has been completed.  However, we are still collecting donations. To read about the conclusion, CLICK HERE.

Jani Vreto School Bathroom Project – Albania

Jani Vreto School Bathroom Project – Albania

Jani Vreto 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 adolescent girls around the world!

Location
Leskovik, Korca, Albania

Community Description
Leskovik is a small town in southeastern Albania with just over 1,500 inhabitants. Due to the mountainous terrain and poor road conditions, Leskovik is quite isolated, with the nearest city being 2 hours away.  During the Communist era, it was a city of certain military importance due to its close proximity to the Greek border, but the population has since fallen dramatically.

However, Leskovik is still known for its wine and music. The school is the largest source of employment in the town and surrounding villages with 30 teachers and staff.  Jani Vreto is the only school building, with a total of 250 students in grades 1st-12th, approximately 120 girls and 130 boys.

Problem Addressed
The conditions of the school toilets present both safety and hygiene concerns for anyone using them, especially women and young girls. The restrooms in the school are in dire need of repair and replacement. Currently, there are two Turkish toilets for female students and staff, and two for male students and staff. There is no running water inside the school at all.

At the beginning of every week, large barrels are filled with water from the outside tap and one is placed in each restroom. With this water, students and faculty are expected to flush the toilets and wash their hands. Due to the height of these barrels, the younger students are unable to do either.  The stall doors cannot be secured; many are even unable to close.

Project Description
This project will ensure that all four toilets are functioning and that both sinks are hooked up to water for the student body and faculty. It will involve replacing four Turkish toilets, two sinks and faucets, four aluminum doors that lock, as well as fixing the plumbing so that there is a direct connection to running water. This will also require the bathrooms be equipped with a water deposit to ensure students and faculty have access to clean water throughout the school day. This involves installing the deposit inside, as the climate is too cold during the winter months to be placed outdoors.

The local plumber, who is under a contract through the municipality, will do the skilled work. Cleanup will be completed by the school faculty and parents.

The municipality, along with parents, will provide the school with other necessities that are currently lacking (i.e. soap, hand towels, toilet paper, trash bins) as well as cover all labor and transportation costs.

After the construction has been completed, a group of teachers will begin designing lessons about hand washing and the importance of personal hygiene. Homeroom teachers will be responsible for conducting pre-arranged activities that show how quickly germs are spread and illustrate the importance of using soap instead of only water.

Project Impact
This project will impact 280 people directly, 250 students and 30 teachers and staff.  The project also impacts guests to the school as well as future students.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Stacey Weidemann

Monitoring and Maintenance
The municipality will maintain the facility with regular inspections. Community members and faculty will ensure that the restrooms are well stocked with essential materials.

Comments
Many girls miss several days of school each month due to the lack of a safe restroom equipped with running water. Regularly missing school due to unavoidable conditions may cause girls to stop attending school altogether. By addressing this problem, girls will no longer need to miss school because of menstruation. The inability to lock the stall doors poses safety concerns that affect all who use the restrooms but in particular women and girls.

When PCV, Stacey Weidemann first discussed this project with other teachers, she was surprised by how much they had to say on the subject. There are no restrooms exclusively for faculty, but Stacey had never thought about how it affected the teachers. The physics teacher, who has been working at the school for over 30 years, said that she used the restroom once. She told Stacey she walks home now when she needs to relieve herself; she lives on the other side of town.

It’s easy to understand why faculty and students have avoided using the restrooms. Even though the toilets are at the end of the hallway, the stench from the restrooms fills up the entire first floor. By midday, it’s the first thing you notice upon entering the school.

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

This project has been fully funded.

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

    

   

Mother Teresa School Bathroom Project – Albania

Mother Teresa School Bathroom Project – Albania

Mother Teresa 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 adolescent girls around the world!

Location
Rreshen Town, Mirdita, Albania

Community Description
Rreshen Municipality is part of the Mirdita District and the Prefecture of Lezhe in Northwest Albania.  Rreshen Municipality consists of 14 villages and has a total population of approximately 20,000 inhabitants.  It is located 74 km from the capital of Tirana.

Mirdita is historically known as the only district in Albania that stopped the Muslim Ottoman Empire from expanding its power there, so it became the only Catholic district in the entire country.

Mirdita is a traditional tribal land; its name was recorded in 1571 and in English means “good day.” The town of Rreshen is a humble and small community with one main road that runs through the entire town.  Along this road could be found in coffee shops, clothing stores, hair salons, bank offices, small parks, a fresh market, and a grocery store. At the center of Rreshen is located the Bashkia, the Ministry of Education, the cultural building and a couple of coffee shops. The people of Rreshen are very friendly, kind and proud of their heritage and Mirdita’s history.

The town of Rreshen has one kindergarten, two elementary and middle schools (Mother Teresa and Pashko Vasa), one high school, and one vocational school.

Problem Addressed
Rreshen is typical of many towns in Albania, which have appalling school toilets. It is also typical, in that more boys than girls are in school. Girls in the schools are unable to use the toilet facilities, for both privacy and sanitation reasons, which means that many of them go to their home to use the bathroom, do not use the bathroom at all, or use a nearby bar. Whichever option they choose there is safety, attendance (once they go home they tend not to come back), and/or health implications.

Specifics Issues:

•The school is a two-floor structure, on each floor, there are 9 toilets; 3 toilets are dedicated to girls and 6 toilets for boys.

 •Since September 2014, the Mother Teresa School has a pending notice of violation from the Rreshen Public Health office; currently, the bathrooms at the school are not meeting the sanitary standards according to the health office.

•The 18 toilets at the school do not flush because they are missing a flusher cistern.  Only some students will flush the toilets using buckets of water, but primarily the janitors are the ones that flush the toilets by the end of the school day.

•The school needs a supply of water to flush the toilets; the water at the school is provided by the city on a scheduled basis, therefore the school uses cisterns to store water. The school needs a water tank to ensure running water to improve the meager conditions of the bathrooms, provide hygiene, and overall to keep student’s attendance at the school. Many girls refrain from using the bathrooms.  When girls are going through their menstrual period, many of them prefer to use the bathrooms at their home or go to a near coffee shop; some will return but others will not return to class. The teenage girls would prefer to use a western toilet because is cleaner, is away from the ground (prevents them from getting any bacteria), and is more comfortable.

•The faucets need to be replaced; most of them are broken or not working properly.  The school needs to provide working hand basins and faucets so the students can wash their hands after using the toilets. Hygiene is crucial to preventing stomach and intestinal diseases. The students mentioned that there is no clean water and soap to wash their hands, and the water in the cisterns is not completely clean; there are particles of dirt in the bottom of the cisterns.

•The girls at the school do not feel safe when going to the bathroom and do not have privacy; the two main doors when entering into the girl’s bathroom do not have a lock and the stall doors need functional locks. The lack of locks on the doors exposes the female students to harassment. The boy’s bathroom is next to the girl’s bathroom, which forces the girls to go to the bathroom in pairs, while one uses the restroom the other one watches the door.

•The bathroom for the boys in the second floor does not have a door, the boys do not flush the toilets, and the girls are exposed to the urine smell from this open restroom; there are no water cisterns in the boy’s bathroom. There is a need to add at least a door to one of the stalls in the boy’s bathroom for the teacher’s privacy.

•The last time the bathrooms at the Mother Teresa School had an upgrade was in 2005 at the expense of the Director and the teachers, but the current conditions of the bathrooms are now beyond their limits and they need external aid.

Project Description
This project is part of a community restoration project for the Mother Teresa elementary and middle school. The goal of this project is to improve the inadequate conditions of the 18 bathrooms at this school so that the students are able to use the bathroom facilities at the school and are not forced to go offsite to use the bathrooms at a Café business or at their home.  This project is a joint effort of the Bashkia, the school staff, members of the community, the Peace Corps, and the Water Charity.

The project restoration will be a combination of Western and Turkish toilets and will take an average of three days.  It will include the renovation of existing toilets, air pipes, water pipes, doors (adding handles to doors and locks on all stall doors), and faucets that are broken and are not meeting the sanitary conditions. Also, it will include the addition of two water tanks on the roof to provide running water all day, a flusher cistern for each Turkish toilet that is currently missing one, and two doors for the boy’s bathroom on the second floor.  The tile in each toilet floor area will be replaced, due to the removal of older sewer pipes to add new ones.

The Mayor of Rreshen, Ndrec Dedaj will support the project by covering the labor on the municipality’s payroll. Florjan Ndrejaj is a private plumber who helped initially with the project; however, the Bashkia has provided two plumbers, two builders, a carpenter, a tiling contractor, and an engineer to help us prepare the budget and do the assessment of what needs to be repaired and replaced in the bathrooms.  Mr. Pashka Ndoja is a private carpenter, a well-known individual within the community; he evaluated the conditions of the doors and told us what needs to be repaired and how we could replace some parts of these doors in a more cost-effective approach.

The Director of Mother Teresa School, Nora Kaqorri and the teacher’s staff will donate a total of 14,000 leke; this money will be used to buy paint, and toiletry supplies such as soap, toilet paper, and trash cans for each bathroom. This donation will be given in order to support the sustainable education program that the school will offer each week for two hours.  The student’s parents will also contribute to toiletry supplies, labor, and a monetary donation according to their financial possibilities.

Project Impact
This project will directly benefit 481 people; 446 students, 30 teachers, 3 sanitary employees, 2 security officers, parents, and guests.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Pier A. Vernaza

Monitoring and Maintenance
The supplies and maintenance of the renovated bathrooms will be the responsibility of the Bashkia Rreshen and the Mother Teresa School; the janitors, teachers and the Director will jointly collaborate in this effort to inspect and keep up to date on the maintenance of the bathroom facilities.  The school will provide through the “Ore Educative” program sessions to students about handwashing and sanitation. Peace Corps Volunteer Pier Vernaza and Bledar Jushi will accompany the plumber and the engineer of the Bashkia to purchase the materials listed in the proposed budget.

Comments
This project is part of the Let Girls learn program sponsored by FLOTUS Michelle Obama. The goal of this project is to keep girls in school and boys too. Lack of proper functioning bathrooms forces girls to drop school as teenagers.  It is a crucial responsibility for schools to provide clean bathrooms with functioning doors, and proper working toilets to allow girls a healthy and safe environment.

Another problem worth mentioning, due to the lack of proper bathrooms, it is not fair for these teenage girls to have to “hold” their need to use the bathrooms because of the lack of proper doors, and unhealthy and broken toilets.  These girls are compelled to return home or seek the nearest café place to go.  When seeking alternative places to go, the girls could (and this is not unusual) possibly be exposed to harassment or assault.  If the girls go home, it is unlikely that they will return. If the girls are “holding” it, this situation can lead to urinary tract infections and kidney infections.  If the infections are recurring they can lead to reproductive health harm.

Another problem that could arise from not using the bathrooms, is if the girls do not have properly functioning toilets to use, they may feel obliged to not drink liquids during the day and may suffer from dehydration.  Chronic dehydration can lead to problems such as gastritis, heartburn, arthritis, headaches, depression and weight problems. For school girls who are menstruating, not having a place to change their sanitary pads, dispose of them, and wash their hands very often leads to girls missing school while menstruating.

The project is part of WC’s Let Girls Learn Initiative – Worldwide which includes all the projects we do under the Let Girls Learn program.

This project will be happening thanks to the incredible striving “100 Water Projects” program that Water Charity is funding in Albania, as a major thrust of the LGL initiative. The ambitious scope is due in large part to the efforts of PCVs Graham & Teresa Anderson. In addition, this project has valuable support from the community members, the Director of the school, Nora Kaqorri, the teacher’s staff, the parents of the students, and the Mayor of Bashkia Rreshen, Ndrec Dedaj who altogether will provide more than the required 25% community contribution, which includes labor, cleaning and toiletry supplies.

Dollar Amount of Project
$1,846.57

Donations Collected to Date
$1,846.57

Dollar Amount Needed
$0.00 – This project has been fully funded through the generosity of Wilco Krul, of Einhoven, Netherlands.

Additional donations will go to other projects in Albania.

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

   

31 Korrik 9 Vjecare School Bathroom and Water Project – Albania

31 Korrik 9 Vjecare School Bathroom and Water Project – Albania

31 Korrik 9 Vjecare 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 girls around the world!

Location
31 Korrik 9 Vjecare, Bashkia Mat, Dimer District, Burrel, Albania

Community Description
Mat is a municipality in Dibër County, northern Albania. It was created in 2015 by the merger of the following municipalities: Baz, Burrel, Derjan, Komsi, Lis, Macukull, Rukaj and Ulëz. The seat of the municipality is the town of Burrel, which had a population of 10,862 in the 2011 Census and represents a region of approximately 30,000.

The town of Burrel lies on a terrace of the Mat River, which has the appearance of a plateau, with visibility from all sides, areas, and villages in the province of Mat.  Bashkia Mat, previously Bashkia Burrel, has recently assumed the responsibility for the school buildings in the villages that are now within the Mat region.  These school buildings are in addition to the schools within the city of Burrel, which they had always been responsible for.  This is part of Albania’s decentralization process that is currently being implemented.

Problem Addressed
This school is without bathroom facilities due to a lack of water and non-functioning equipment.  The children do not have access to running water or use of lavatory facilities during school hours, resulting in poor hygiene and at times children, especially girls during their menstrual cycles, opt to stay home.

Bashkia Mat received notification of school buildings that should not be opened on the September 14, 2015 opening day, due to bathrooms that are non-functioning.  Access to bathrooms is essential to a positive learning environment, particularly for young women who will oftentimes stay home from school during times they are most in need of having access to a bathroom.

Many of the schools that now fall under Bashkia Mat’s responsibility have been in disrepair for many years.  Bashkia Mat will incur significant costs repairing not only the bathrooms but also many other areas of the school buildings.  Funding to assist with the bathroom portion of these repairs is greatly needed to ensure education for the Mat children, girls and boys.

31 Korrik, a 9 Vjecare School (grade 1-9) contains six bathrooms: one male and one female on each of the three floors with 3 toilets in each bathroom.  The bathrooms are in need of the following; toilets, toilet doors, and entrance doors, replacement of damaged windows, damaged sink tiles, water meters and all hardware and pipes necessary for the toilets and sinks to function.  The bathrooms need ceiling lights and environmental painting.  There is water in the building and the sewer system is working.  One of the two water tanks needs to be replaced and the bathrooms need to be connected to running water.
Project Description
The 31 Korrik School project will repair 18 toilets including the stalls and ceiling.   Three sinks will be repaired and reconstructed in a trough style with multiple faucets.  Door replacement will be made on 24 doors, 18 toilet doors, and 6 entrance doors. In addition, the walls will be painted to correct water and mold issues and any other electrical or lighting problems in the bathrooms will be repaired. Damaged and broken windows will be replaced.  Also, the second water tank will be replaced.

Project Impact
This project will impact over 900 people per year. There are 804 children in the school; (366 females, 438 males) and 24 teachers, plus support staff, visitors to the school and future students.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Barbara Richardson

Monitoring and Maintenance
Bashkia Mat is responsible for the monitoring and maintenance of the project following completion, including its repairs and supplies.

Comments
Bashkia Mat will contribute 29.26% of the total projected costs.

This project is part of the Let Girls Learn Program, a powerful collaboration between First Lady Michelle Obama and the Peace Corps which was formed to expand access to education for adolescent girls around the world. https://letgirlslearn.peacecorps.gov/.  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.

Fundraising Target
$4,200

Donations Collected to Date
$150

Dollar Amount Needed
$4,050

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.


 

   

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

Kongressi School Bathroom Project – Albania

Kongressi School Bathroom Project – Albania

Kongressi 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 adolescent girls around the world!

Location
Lushnje, Albania

Community Description
Lushnje is a city located in central Albania with a population of around 120,000 residents. Well known throughout the country for its amazing produce, Lushnje is a leading agricultural hub for Albania.  Lushnje is currently in the process of reconstructing many parts of the city to help transform it into a more urban area.

Many of the buildings have the architectural style from the Communism period that Albania experienced for 45 years. Now, these buildings are having “facelifts” and are painted bright colors to give a personality to the city. Lushnje is home to many small businesses including family-owned markets, cafes, tailors, cobblers, etc., as well as many big businesses.

Even though Lushnje is a city, there is still the “small town” feeling to it.  Peace Corps Volunteer, Hilary Richardson reported that each day on her walk to work, she would see the same friendly people who always would say hello. It seems no matter where you go in the city, you will always see someone you know, whether it is a neighbor or colleague.

Hilary stated that “What I also love about Lushnje is how alive the city becomes during the hours of 7 pm-10 pm”. This is the time that the residents of Lushnje participate in what is called the gjiro, which is where everyone comes together in the city center and walks up and down the pedestrian boulevard. Hillary said, “It is so much fun to go out and see everyone walking around and chatting. After living here for the past 5 months, Lushnje has become my new home.”

Within the community of Lushnje, there are 17 schools.  There are 5 kindergartens, 8 primaries (nine-year) schools, and 4 high schools. Each school has varying populations ranging from as little as 50 students to over 900 students.

Problem Addressed
The Kongressi School is a nine-year school located in the Kongressi neighborhood in Lushnje. There is a total of 16 bathroom stalls for the students at Kongressi School, many of which are in terrible condition. The infrastructure is very outdated and damaged. The toilets are extremely unsanitary and do not have doors for students’ privacy.  The bathrooms also lack proper handwashing facilities, leading to many students not washing their hands after using the bathrooms.  Because of all of this, many students “hold it” during the school day and lose focus in the classroom and jeopardize their health.

Project Description
This project is to reconstruct 16 toilets and bathroom stalls in the Kongressi School.  Along with the new toilets and stalls, new sinks will be installed in the bathrooms to provide students with proper handwashing facilities.

The work team provided by Bashkia Lushnje, along with the PCV and her counterpart (an engineer) will purchase the materials needed to complete the project. The goal is to do the construction project over a few weeks with completion being done by January 1, 2016.

The individuals completing the work will be from the staff of Bashkia Lushnje, including the local plumber, engineer, and construction workers.

Water Charity funds will be used to purchase materials for the reconstruction project.

Bashkia Lushnje will provide the doors and the use of power tools.

Project Impact
This project will impact approximately 561 people directly, 536 students and 25 staff, as well as visitors and future students.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Hilary Richardson

Monitoring and Maintenance
In order to monitor and maintain the project, a maintenance schedule was created.  PCV Hilary Richardson will check on the facilities once a month throughout her service to make sure that they are being properly used as well as maintained by the school staff.  Hilary also plans to ask the school director to provide her with the grades of students, mainly the female students to see if the grades have improved at all over the course of the introduction of the new toilets.

Comments
Computer programs like Excel, Word, and Autocad have been utilized to help assist in the planning process of the project.

Hillary commented:

“When visiting the school during my numerous visits, there were students outside playing football (soccer) and they stopped to come and talk to me. When I began speaking Albanian with them, they were surprised and loved that I could speak with them. We then joked around and took some photos. They all told me how excited they were to have new toilets and thanked me for my work. There have been many ups and downs throughout this planning process, but the simple exchange with the students that I am directly helping made the struggles I have experienced the past few months, worth it. I cannot wait until the project is complete and to see the smiles on their faces.”

Dollar Amount of Project
$1,800

Donations Collected to Date
$0

Dollar Amount Needed
$1,800

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.

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

Naim Frashëri 9-vjeçare Bathroom Project – Albania

Naim Frashëri 9-vjeçare Bathroom Project – Albania

Naim Frashëri 9-vjeçare 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
Naim Frashëri Elementary School, Elbasan, Albania

Community Description
Centrally located, Elbasan is Albania’s third-largest city with roughly a quarter of the population living in the capital city, Tirana.  Elbasan is home to 17 kopsht or kindergartens, 16 9-vjeçare or elementary/middle schools, and 12 gjmnaz or high schools.  Elbasan is a diverse community, home to Albanians, Greeks, Turks, Americans, and Italians.  Elbasan is essentially equally divided by gender, and ethnically the population is predominately Albanian (85%), with a little less than 1% identifying as Roma, Vlach, and Egyptian.

The Naim Frashëri, the oldest 9-vjeçare (elementary school) and the first school in Elbasan, established in 1908 is the site for this project.  It is home to a diverse 808 students from all walks of Albanian life. The school is comprised of boys and girls, with roughly half the students coming from poor and disadvantaged families.  Three students are from Roma and 15 from Egyptian families, historically populations that are economically disadvantaged and underserved.   In addition, fifty percent of the students live far from the school in villages that make leaving school to use the bathroom an impossibility.

Problem Addressed
Statistically, as is common in Albania and around the world, there are more males enrolled in this school than females, but only by a small margin.  This is exacerbated by the poor sanitary conditions at the school.  Both bathrooms are in disrepair, with few having a fully functional door (i.e., either the top or bottom half is missing), and none have a lock.  Not having doors, much less locking doors, is a real deterrent to both boys and girls alike to use the facilities, but more so for the girls who use this as a reason to leave.  None of the Turkish-style toilets work, the main sewage drain is constantly backing up, half the faucets do not work, the lighting is very poor, if functioning, and there is no glass in the girls’ bathroom window, so that during the winter the bathroom is the same temperature as the outside, in addition to rain coming in.  Half the sinks drain onto the floor, leaving the bathroom floors constantly wet and moldy.  Due to the sewage line problem, the first floor often smells of sewage.

The Peace Corps volunteer has met with all classes in the school, during morning and afternoon sessions, first through ninth grades, to introduce the students to the idea of the project.  She is working on building community, school, parent and student support.  A flyer was created for the students to take home.  Signs were posted in the school and information is being posted on the school’s Facebook page to educate the school about this project.

Project Description

This project is to rebuild two bathrooms at the school.

The plan is to replace all twelve bathroom stall doors with steel doors (a solidly constructed material which will withstand much use), install locking mechanisms on the inside of each new door, and replace all twelve of the current cistern toilet mechanisms with a simpler design (basically a large pipe with a flushing mechanism that allows water to go directly to the Turkish toilet to flush waste versus having a cistern which collects water and then releases water to flush).  This version will last longer and require less water to use.  The one missing sink and all six facets, most of which are broken or difficult to turn on and off will be replaced.  A light fixture will be installed in both bathrooms (the new fixtures will be energy efficient and the light output will be significantly brighter than the bulb that is currently functioning as the sole light source in each bathroom).  Glass will be installed in the girls’ bathroom window leading to the outside, and the second water deposit that is currently not connected will be connected, thereby providing double the water to the bathrooms.

The plan was created together with the President of the Parent Organization for the school. There is a community volunteer who is consulting on the project, an expert in the field of plumbing, electrical and metalwork. He is giving his time to help determine what must be done and how to do the work.  He is also helping with the implementation.

90% of the labor has been secured as in-kind donations for all of the needs for this project.  The only labor that must be paid for is the labor needed to make and install the steel doors.  There are several labor sources.  The consultant will complete most of the plumbing labor plus install the new light fixtures; another volunteer will install the glass in the girl’s bathroom.  The ninth-grade class volunteered to paint both boys’ and girls’ bathrooms.

In addition, the Bashkia (Mayoral office) is partnering to clear out the sewage line.  They will “roto-rooter” both main lines going through the boy’s and girls’ bathrooms, all the way to the mainline.  This is an expensive endeavor, one that they are fully contributing to the project.  There are no materials needed for this, only the labor (all donated). At the end of the renovation, there will be a school-wide activity to introduce the school population to the improved bathrooms, in addition to offering hand washing and healthy lifestyle lessons and activities.

Family involvement and financial support were requested to help with the project.  The families were asked to donate time, and small amounts of money, in addition to supplies for the bathrooms (hand soap, cleaning supplies, toilet paper, trash cans, and brooms).  The little children in classes first through third have been the most encouraging and excited for the project.   When asked what the children thought of the current state of the bathrooms, overwhelmingly they responded that the bathrooms were “bad, dirty, broken, and not safe.”  On the day that we stated that we would return for their donations, each class collected the items the students brought from home.  Each class made a donation, from hand soaps to bottles of cleaning supplies to money.  The children were really proud to be an active part of the project.  Impressively, the school brought in about $100 in bathroom supplies and $80 in monetary support.  This is a lot coming from families who have very little.  Many cleaning supplies have been collected, in addition to hand soap for the bathrooms.  The school has promised that they will keep these supplies safe and keep the bathrooms clean and stocked.

It will take two weeks for the doors to be made and installed.  The doors are being made and installed by a local steel construction company.  During this time, the other necessary equipment and additional supplies will be purchased, all from local small businesses in Elbasan.  When the doors are ready to be installed, the glass; toilet flushing mechanisms, sinks, faucets, and lighting will be installed, and the students will paint.  The project will be finished with the installation of the doors.

Water Charity funding will specifically pay for materials: steel doors, toilet flushing mechanisms, locks for the doors, light fixtures, and paint, as well as the labor, to install the doors.  The funds collected from the community will purchase the one sink needed, glass for the girls’ bathroom, faucets and drainpipes for the sinks.  Labor has been secured for clean-up, and the Bashkia will clean out the sewage line.

Project Impact
There are 850 students, teachers, and school personnel who will be directly impacted.  This project will also impact visitors and future students.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Laurel Duncan

Monitoring and Maintenance
Laurel Duncan and the Parent Organization President will be overseeing the implementation of the project from beginning to end.  They have met with all the students prior to submitting this proposal to find out what they thought and what they needed.  Once the project is complete, the PCV will survey the students again to find out what they think about the completed project.  The school has promised to oversee the renovated bathrooms and keep them clean and maintained.  The Parent Organization is also committed to helping oversee the upkeep of the bathrooms.

Comments
This project particularly benefits the girls in the school.  Because half the students come from villages outside Elbasan, girls are likely not to come to school on days that they have their period or other issues that might require many trips to the bathroom.  The current state of the bathroom keeps girls from using the bathroom at school.  There is no privacy, due to the broken doors, in addition to any way to feel safe in the bathroom, due to the lack of locking doors.  In addition, this project will offer activities after the project is complete to talk about bathroom hygiene and healthy bathroom habits to keep the students healthy.

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.

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

With the installation of doors, locks, and properly flushing toilets, the students, specifically the girls, will have a sense of security needed to know that they can go to school any day and have the facilities needed to complete their school day without worrying about needing to return home.

The PCV reports that Elbasan has been a wonderful site for her third year of service in Albania.  “I have found much support and receptiveness to working and helping my new community.  There are many projects to be done, but this is one in which I felt the most pull to fulfill a secondary project.  This project was brought to me and I was asked to help Albanian colleagues versus trying to find someone to create this project.  The school has been extremely receptive and encouraging, and I could not have asked for a better group of people with whom to collaborate.  Between my colleague and myself, we have managed to bring together many people to help with this project who would not have worked together, yet we have been able to garner much enthusiasm for the school. Elbasan established the first school for teachers for all of Albania in 1903.  The city has a rich history of scholastic excellence.  Yet, the schools are allowed to fall into disrepair: buildings, schoolyards, classrooms, and bathrooms alike are calling for intervention.  But bathroom facilities are one issue that stands out as an important issue in regards to keeping students in school and concentrated on their schoolwork yet gets little attention and much less funding to fix than other areas.”

Dollar Amount of Project
$2,044.44

Donations Collected to Date
$0

Dollar Amount Needed
$2,044.44

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.

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

 

Conclusion of Naim Frashëri 9-vjeçare Bathroom Project – Albania

Conclusion of Naim Frashëri 9-vjeçare Bathroom Project – Albania

Conclusion of Naim Frashëri 9-vjeçare Bathroom Project – Albania

This Let Girls Learn project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Laurel Duncan. To read about the beginning of the project, CLICK HERE.

Laurel reports:

The goal of this project was to repair all the bathrooms in one Elbasan elementary school so that the bathrooms were safe, private and clean for the students, in particular so that the girls felt safe and had equal access as the boys. We proposed two objectives: 1) To make the bathrooms better by repairing and replacing sinks and faucets, replacing the flushing mechanisms, and replacing the doors; and 2) To clean out the sewage lines so that the toilets did not back up, nor the school smelled of sewage.

And, over the course of 7 full working days, we accomplished just that. There were some roadblocks along the way, and our timeline did not happen the way that we initially planned it. While we hoped to complete the work in January or February, the work was begun the last weekend of April. We also learned, as we were about to start, that the sewer problem that we had been told was the reason for the smell throughout the first floor, was not the whole problem. In fact, the problem stemmed mainly from the Turkish toilets in the boy’s bathroom not being plumbed correctly. Waste did not go anywhere. It just sat in the u-shaped pipe just below the porcelain toilet.

As luck would have it, the flushing mechanism that we had planned to purchase and which we believed would be less likely to break, was no longer available by the time the grant was approved and we received the funds to begin purchasing supplies. So, we decided to fix the pipe problem by removing the boy’s six Turkish toilets, and installing new pipes and Turkish toilets after laying intermediary lines to the main sewer line. In addition, we cleaned out the main sewer line, which was blocked from the building to the main road. All of these changes cost less than the originally priced flushing mechanisms and allowed us to complete the work under budget, but far over the man hours that we initially anticipated.

We also placed two light fixtures (versus one) per bathroom as we decided that more light was better for the stalls and children’s comfort and safety. The lights had decreased in price, so the overall price for 4 units versus 2 was not substantial. We had saved in other areas (due to decreased prices and unexpected donations), so we felt it was okay. Both bathrooms were painted, walls and ceilings. And, the students contributed by painting different murals on the outside of the boy’s and girl’s bathrooms. Initially getting them interested was a challenge, but once the painting began, a lot of students (and, a few teachers) wanted to help.

We replaced all the faucets and fixed all leaky pipe issues within our scope (there are still a few more major issues that we have reported to the school director. She needs to get the Bashkia and water company to take care of these two problems). All the drainpipes were replaced, and all the bathroom stall doors were replaced. We used steel doors instead of the typically used aluminum. Steel is not only stronger, therefore will last longer, but the cost per door was significantly cheaper. As it turned out, the owner of the steel company is the father of two children who attend the school, so he donated one of the 14 doors as a community contribution in addition to two other small steel-related items we needed.

We had some challenges with the Bashkia workers, who did not really want to do the hard labor required for the job. This, in turn, required myself and our community contractor to do more work than anticipated, but the job was done and we feel that the job was done well.

The Department of Public Health’s contribution were hygiene and puberty lessons with every class from kindergarten to 9th grade. For the older students the nurses focused on puberty issues, and for the younger, hand washing and personal hygiene.

Our last activity was a panair (health fair), and because the school in total has 800 students we conducted mini health fairs throughout the day seeing two classes at a time. The health fair consisted of watching the UNICEF Global Hand Washing video, then breaking into small groups (10-15 students) for a hand-washing lesson using glitter to illustrate germs and best-practices for getting germ-free hands (towel only, water only, or soap). The students really enjoyed the activity and by the end, the students proudly showed their “PA MIKROBE!” hands (without germs!). The last thing was teaching them the Peace Corp Niger Hand Washing song, which we had translated into Shqip. Everyone came together to sing the song, and then make a promise to keep the bathrooms clean, to protect them and take care with them. The health fair was really a highlight of the whole project. The school has taken part since the beginning when my counterpart and I visited every class asking them what they thought of the bathrooms and what could be done. They all invested in the project by donating soaps, toilet paper, cleaning products and small amounts of money. They had seen myself and the contractor coming time and again to meet with the director and various other workers, as well as working on the bathrooms, to the finish when they painted the murals. It was a beautiful end to a very long process.

Comments from the Community:

  • Jemi te kenaqur nga rregullimi i tualeteve te shkolles, femijet tane e kane shprehur kete gje me kenaqesi. (We are happy with the renovated school bathrooms: the children of the schools have expressed this.)
  • Eshte bere nje ambjent i kendshem, ka uje te rrjedhshem dhe te vazhdueshem. (This is a nice environment, with constant, running water.)
  • Ka xhama dhe nuk eshte ftohte ne dimer. (There is glass [in the girl’s bathroom, so now] it won’t be cold in the winter.)

We are grateful to Laurel for completing this excellent project.

   

Tchore Borehole Project – Togo

Tchore Borehole Project – Togo

Tchore Borehole Project – Togo

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

Location
Tchore Center, Canton of Tchore, Kara Region, Togo

Community Description
This community received its political autonomy in 2012. The village is the seat of the regional chief, and all disputes or social affairs take place in his courtyard. There is a small clinic that provides first-aid, medicine and midwife services. This clinic services the seven surrounding villages that make up the political limits.

The market in the center of town goes from morning to night every Tuesday, with plenty of local beer and fried doughnuts. Next to the market is the elementary school, with a kindergarten. The pace of life is very slow, but not boring.

Problem Addressed
The most fundamental problem of the community is the scarcity of water. The rains stop in mid-November and do not begin again until May. During this seven- month interval, the river dries up and so do the three wells. The only water to be found comes from holes in the ground, which is hardly enough to sustain life.

The mid-wife at the hospital uses dirty groundwater to wash newborn babies and to clean the vaginal tracts of new mothers. The use of dirty water leads to elevated rates of dermatologic and infectious diseases.

Women and girls are exhausted by the competition for resources because they have to wake up early and go far to fetch water. Many women spend their whole day trying to accumulate enough water for their families.

A main source of income for women is the preparation of local sorghum beer, but women use dirty water and the community often suffers from intestinal worms and parasites.

Project Description
This project is to build a borehole with a hand pump in proximity to the community hospital and elementary school.

The well will be dug to about 40-60 meters and be enclosed by a cement wall. After the technical work, the community will plant trees around the pump in the hopes of retaining water and beautifying the environment around the well.

An open community meeting will be held to choose a water committee to oversee the management of the well. This committee will decide the method of payment for water, and how to collect this money. There will be members designated as daily maintenance agents and several women will be trained by the pump technicians on preventative maintenance and small repairs.

Water Charity funds will go to renting heavy machinery, drilling the well, purchasing the materials (such as pipes, pump hardware, cement), and paying for skilled labor.

The community will add approximately $2,000 to the project’s total funds, along with sand, gravel, manual labor and lodging of the skilled laborers.

The company contracted to perform the work is E-Forage Togo, a local business based in Kara.

Project Impact
500 people will benefit from the project.

Let Girls Learn
This project will allow girls to stay in school because it brings water closer to them, reducing the amount of time it takes for them to retrieve water for the daily needs of their families.

In addition, clean water will reduce illness, allowing them to devote more energy to their studies and attend school more regularly.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Riley Pavelich

Monitoring and Maintenance
The community has formed a committee for monitoring and maintaining the pump. Members of this committee have been designated for cleaning and upkeep, collecting fees, and repairing breakdowns quickly.

People wishing to use the pump will have to pay a nominal fee, and the money raised will go into a specific bank account. The company installing the well will train a group of women to make small repairs and to service the pump regularly to prevent eventual problems.

Comments
Riley notes:
“This project is possible through the participation of Water Charity and two generations of Peace Corps Volunteers. As the current volunteer, I see the desperate need for a protected source of water. The previous volunteer, once home in the US, fund-raised more than $2,000 and sent it to the president of the Village Development Committee (who is a good friend of his).”

This project is being paid for through the generosity of an anonymous donor. If you would like to support additional great projects such as this one, please contribute to our Western Africa Water and Sanitation Program by clicking on the Donate button below.

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

   

Meanchey Middle School Water Project – Cambodia

Meanchey Middle School Water Project – Cambodia

Meanchey Middle School Water Project – Cambodia

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

Location
Meanchey Middle School, Roneam Village, Meanchey Commune, Sandan District, Kampong Thom Province, Cambodia

Community Description
Meanchey is a farming commune located in rural Kampong Thom, Cambodia. The Meanchey Middle School is the only middle school in a commune of over 3,400 people. Fifteen teachers educate 284 students aged 11 to 18 years old. A large majority of people in Meanchey are farmers and usually have one or two additional jobs such as teaching or selling produce at the market in order to support their families. Many families don’t have access to clean water and use the local river for showering and washing their clothes. Although people in this community face many challenges, you will rarely see them without a smile on their faces. They know how to find happiness in simple things, and tend to work together to solve common problems.

Problem Addressed
A challenge the school faces is the lack of access to clean water. For years the school has depended on rainwater and a broken well as their primary sources of water for basic needs. Rainwater is not a dependable source in Cambodia, especially during the dry season. The old well stopped working after a big flood in the area in 2004 and now only produces dirty water.

The school has no history of securing an adequate, uncontaminated water supply. Sanitation is also lacking in the school. Since there are few waste bins and no recycling bins, students throw trash on the ground and do a poor job of cleaning it up once a week. The school director and teachers have communicated their concerns regarding the health of their students due to the lack of safe drinking water and the uncleanliness of the school. The consequences are diarrhea, skin disease, respiratory illnesses, intestinal and other waterborne diseases.  These diseases decrease the number of times children is in school. The school has expressed interest in a well, a handwashing station, water filters, and waste/ recycling bins.  They also have a request to provide education on proper handwashing, drinking safe water and the importance of maintaining a clean environment.

Project Description
Local construction workers will construct a well at the Meanchey Middle School.

A hole will be dug 45 meters deep using safe techniques.  A 3 x 4-meter area outside of the well will be cemented. A motor will be used to pump water out of the well and into the latrines and handwashing stations.

A handwashing station will be built next to the latrines on the right side of the school near the 8th and 9th-grade classrooms and another will be repaired next to the latrines on the left side of the school by the 7th-grade classrooms. Locally purchased waste and recycling bins will be placed throughout the school.

School teachers and the Peace Corps volunteer will conduct a two-hour session to promote proper handwashing techniques, the advantages of drinking safe water and the importance of maintaining a clean environment for each of the seven classrooms in the school, educating all 284 students over the course of three days. Students will volunteer to be peer educators and pass on the information they have learned to elementary school students, demonstrating they have understood the material and are reinforcing it by teaching it to others.

The school will provide bars of soap to the handwashing stations at all times. Each of the seven classrooms will be supplied with low-maintenance, portable and effective ceramic water purifiers to provide safe drinking water for students.

Project Impact
This project will impact 299 people; 284 students and 15 teachers will benefit from this project.  Future students and visitors will benefit as well.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Valerie Rojas

Monitoring and Maintenance 
Students in the school’s youth group will monitor the new facilities and notify the director when repairs are needed or if they are out of soap for handwashing. The school director has committed to repairing or making necessary adjustments within a month of receiving notice. The PCV will monitor behavior changes in the school such as students washing their hands appropriately and disposing of trash in bins and recycling.  The PCV will also provide additional education or reminders as needed.

Comments
The community organization involved with this project is the Meanchey Middle School Teachers. The project is part of Water Charity’s ongoing Let Girls Learn Initiative – Worldwide.
Let Girls Learn: Lack of clean facilities is a leading cause of girls dropping out of school. Girls often miss school throughout the duration of their period every month because the bathrooms have no water or waste bins to allow for sanitary pad disposal or hand washing. Many of them never go back. The lack of clean water also adds to unsanitary conditions in the bathrooms which is harder on the girls since the boys are able to use the bathroom outdoors.

This project will ensure girls’ access to clean bathrooms and therefore lower the number of dropouts among girls.  Sustainable improvements in hygiene behavior patterns require more than education activities and, at the same time, facilities are not sufficient on their own to improve health. A holistic approach that combines the promotion of behavior change and the provision of facilities will lead to a sustainable outcome for the school.

Building the capacity of the middle school staff will be an integral part of the sustainability of managing and sustaining hygiene, water and sanitation programs for long-term success. The Peace Corps volunteer will work with the school to enable the school environment as well as promote community-based management to ensure the effectiveness and sustainability of all water, sanitation and hygiene efforts.

The director and teachers are equipped with the knowledge and skills to effectively manage their own facilities and have advocated for the basic right to safe water. The attainability of their own water source instead of dependency on unreliable sources will lead to empowerment and participatory approaches i.e. community-led hand washing demonstrations for a healthier learning environment.

The water source and the environmental component will promote key hygiene behaviors such as handwashing with soap, using clean toilets, treating and drinking safe water and protecting the environment which once learned will remain a part of their lifestyles.

Dollar Amount of Project
$1,800

Donations Collected to Date
$0

Dollar Amount Needed
$1,800

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.

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