A Bathroom Hygiene Project for Girls
Ait Hmida is a small village of 635 in southeastern Morocco, about 40 kilometers north of the city of Essaouira. There is little infrastructure in the village - many homes lack electricity and running water and are located far from schools, food markets, and health clinics. The girls in the village attend primary school, but do not have access to a proper bathroom (unlike the boys). Many girls choose to avoid school to avoid having to go to the bathroom outside. This is a primary cause for the very high school dropout rates of young girls in the village, and a likely cause of low literacy for women in the village - only 23 women in a village of 635 can read. This project will result in the construction of a private bathroom for girls at the school. A simple solution, requested by the community, will lead to more girls staying in school every year.
The private bathroom facility is complete. Teachers provided students with informative hygiene lessons, educating them on germs, sanitation, and proper hand washing. A hand-washing mural was created on the side of the bathroom facility to further reinforce the lessons learned, and to allow the students to have direct involvement in the completion of the facility. The school has been monitoring attendance rates to help evaluate the impact of the bathroom, and so far, unlike in previous years, no girls have dropped out of school.
"Before, the situation at the school was very bad. I have been a teacher here for 8 years and before now, the students never had a bathroom. Now they do and we are all very excited. We think more children will come to school now and that there will be fewer children staying home from illness. We were happy to take part in the project and think that the mural will help educate the whole community." - Fatima, Project Beneficiary
"The bathroom is really good. Now we don't have to stay home from school. Before now, things were not good. There was no place for us to go to the bathroom. Now we have a really nice place. I think the mural looks really nice." - Kautar, 12, Project Beneficiary
"We are very excited to have a bathroom. It's really beautiful." - Zeeneb, 11, Project Beneficiary