Part of the 2011 Kicukiro Water Project was the installation of 10 Eco-San toilets, hand washing stands & rain barrel systems at the Gahanga School Complex. 3,256 primary & secondary students benefit from having access to water, safe bathrooms & learning how hand washing can be a life-saver!
We pull up and the kids immediately run to the truck. In fact, even the kids playing soccer leave the field to welcome us. They are beautiful, smart and kind. I'm overwhelmed by the love we feel...and they really don't even know the part we played in the water project.
It doesn't matter where you are, kids are pretty much the same: They want to learn, play and feel secure. But these kids have to deal with a much harsher reality when basic necessities, such as water, are lacking. Or they don't feel safe going to the bathroom.
Evelyn is in P-6 (or 6th grade.) When asked how she liked the new latrines she said, "There were demons in the old ones." We didn't know what she meant. Then we learned that during the Genocide of 1994 people were routinely thrown down latrines and left to die. We suspect these old facilities might have been used for this purpose. Another girl told us the old ones "smelled" and she didn't like going into them. But they both LOVE the new bathrooms and had a huge smile when talking about how much better they were.
While our primary mission is to increase access to clean water, proper latrines are important as well, particularly for young girls. Having a safe environment when girls feel especially vulnerable and exposed can be the difference between them coming to school or staying home. And studies show that education makes a huge difference in not only the success of people, but in the future of a country. After all, these are the leaders of tomorrow's Rwanda, and with us being such an interconnected world it matters to ALL of us!