Maintaining good hygiene is one of the easiest, yet most impactful, ways we can keep ourselves healthy, happy and productive. In a country like the United States, we take for granted that nearly every home or building we enter has a working toilet and a sink for handwashing.
But could you imagine how different – and how much more dangerous – your life would be if you didn’t have access to a toilet or a sink for days, months, even years at a time? Unfortunately, this is common in many parts of the world. More than half of the global population lacks access to working sanitation, according to UNICEF, and more than three billion people do not have access to handwashing facilities with both soap and water. More than 670 million people in the world practice open defecation, creating potentially unhealthy conditions for themselves and their neighbors.
As a result of poor sanitation, millions of people die every year from preventable diseases, and the impacts on public health and economic development are astronomical. Children are especially vulnerable to poor hygiene; more than 700 children under the age of 5 die every single day due to diseases that are directly attributable to a lack of sanitation.
Embrace Relief is taking this challenge head on, with a focus on helping schoolchildren in Tanzania. In parts of Tanzania, many schools lack any bathroom facilities at all, forcing boys and girls to use holes dug into the ground, or even bushes and trees, when nature calls. But even where facilities exist, they are woefully inadequate to serve their population, leaving students with the same level of risk to their health, wellbeing and educational success.
The ideal ratio of students to bathrooms is 25:1, but two schools in Ubungo, part of Tanzania’s Dar es Salaam Region, show how far away many communities are: at Makoka Primary School, 2200 students share just 12 washrooms, while at Mavurunza Primary School, 1459 students are served by just 10 bathrooms – ratios of 183 and 146 students per bathroom, respectively. Schools like these have an urgent need to construct new facilities, not only to simply serve their large student populations, but also to provide suitable bathrooms for children with disabilities, and rooms for girls to take care of their reproductive hygiene.
That’s why we need your help. By donating today to Embrace Relief’s Bathroom Project, you’re providing crucial support for thousands of children, to whom together we can give the opportunity to live healthy lives and achieve their educational goals.