World Toilet Day 2020
On the 19th of November 2020, we celebrate World Toilet Day, acknowledging the work of our grantees across the globe focused on water, sanitation, and hygiene.
On the 19th of November, we celebrate World Toilet Day, the international day dedicated to a global sanitation challenge while inspiring action to tackle the global sanitation crisis and help achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6), which promises sanitation for all by 2030.
In partnership with Splash International and the Addis Ababa City Government, CIFF celebrates World Toilet Day as an opportunity to further one of our primary goals: clean and functional toilets for children. Through baseline research of Addis Ababa schools in 2015, Splash found that most students surveyed preferred not to use toilets at schools due to their unclean conditions. To address this challenge, our partnership designed a program known as Project WISE, which recognised one of the key partners to the success of clean and functional toilets: janitors.
Project WISE (WASH in Schools for Everyone) is a five-year, child-focused water, sanitation, hygiene (WASH), and menstrual health project. The project aims to reach 100% of government schools in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with improved water, sanitation, and hygiene infrastructure; behaviour change programs for kids and adults; and strengthened menstrual health services for girls aged 10 and above.
By understanding the physical and social environment, as well as a janitor’s experiences, the program works to amplify janitors’ motivations in serving the school community and remove barriers in line with knowledge on WASH and janitors’ impact in creating conducive educational environment for kids. The school administrators also participated in the training to support janitors and facilitate proper cleaning equipment and related supplies. At one of the Project WISE sites – a local secondary school – Splash offered a full day training with school janitors supplying them with quality cleaning materials and personal protective equipment. During this time, the entire student body was mobilised to learn about the proper use of sanitation facilities and the significance of the work of janitors in keeping the facilities clean. With the Hygiene Club leading the charge, they handed over certificates to each janitor and collectively expressed their gratitude and appreciation. This recognition was impactful, as one of the janitors said, “no one has recognised and understood our burden until today”.
The training and continuous collaboration with the school administration, teachers, students, janitors, and school guards, as well as governmental and nongovernmental partners will nurture hope and ownership for sustained academic improvement and the health of children across Addis Ababa.