For most of us in the developed world, access to an adequate standard of sanitation is something we take for granted. For the kids and teachers of the Evergreen school in the remote Nepalese village of Nepalenanda however, the daily task of gaining an education is made even harder with little access to toilets or running water. According to Hugh O’Toole, the director of CLAP, ‘Sanitation (toilet issues and menstruation) is a taboo subject in Nepal. People realise the need for working toilets, but it is a topic that people don’t talk much about. Women and girls go about these motions very discreetly, but often feel much pain.’
Thanks to The Happy Herb Company in Australia, this issue will become a thing of the past for the schoolchildren of Nepalenanda with the provision of a $3000 grant for the construction of two toilets.
Functional toilets will go a long way to improving the educational experience at the Evergreen school. Now completed, the new toilet block will ensure a higher standard of hygiene that reduces the transmission of sickness and infections. In addition, students and teachers can now attend to their physical needs at school in a dignified manner. All of these benefits combine to provide healthier, happier students who are more focused on the educational tasks at hand which in turn attract further enrolments.
Low school attendance has been identified around the world as key driver of cross-generational poverty; improving enrolment and attendance at schools via improved facilities supports the students to lift their community out of poverty. Toilet and water facilities will also allow Evergreen to become fully accredited as a school with the Bhojpur Regional Education Office, unlocking local funding opportunities and recognition.
As Hugh points out, the simple donation of a humble toilet can go a long way towards improving the futures of many. “As part of its greater vision”, he says, “The Happy Herb Company has given back to the world, furthering the goals of health and education for all.” The flow-on effects of such simple support are profound: greater school attendance, improved prospects for the next generation, employment for teachers and school guardians, pride in the local village, and reduced water-borne illness.
Now that’s money well spent.