A Look Back at 2018

Unusable Latrines at Barlie School, Sierra Leone

Healthy Schools International is thrilled to be a supporting partner on a 3-year, $101,000 International Global Grant. The grant was awarded by Rotary International to the West Springfield, Virginia, USA and Bo, Sierra Leone Rotary clubs. We are part of a pilot program designed to improve student performance at three underserved rural schools in the Bo District of Sierra Leone.

Each school will receive new furniture and classroom supplies and three teachers at each school will attend certification training (qualifying them for a government salary). HSI will provide safe sanitation and solar electricity for each school campus. Most recently, we’ve completed a solar electricity micro-grid for Largo Primary, one of the three pilot schools.

School ChildrenWe are happy to report that all nine teachers have started their certification training and each school has received new furniture, blackboards and supplies. HSI has also completed its work with Largo Primary by implementing a new latrine block utilizing waterless, composting technology. The next school we want to start construction for is Barlie Primary which is more remote than Largo and whose latrines could really stand replacing (as you can see from the header photo above).

Look for more great news about the the important work your support is bringing to rural and underserved schools in Sierra Leone and Kenya!

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As I’m sure you’re aware, most every online credit card processor charges a fee, even for donations to charities. Well, through the end of the year, the PayPal Foundation is waiving all processing fees for donations made to Healthy Schools International! AND, on top of that, they will add 1% to each donation.

If HSI is in your giving plans this year, please consider making your donation through the PayPal Giving Fund at this link. Thank you!

Healthy Students Need Safe Sanitation

Eloo Installation at Nairobi School

November 19th was World Toilet Day. Why would that be “a thing”?

Anywhere in the world where there are people living together, there is going to human waste to manage; every home, every village, every city, every country.

And every year, millions of people, particularly children and the infirm, suffer and often die from enteric disease. School days are missed, learning is affected, students suffer short- and long-term impacts.

There is no safety or safe sanitation here

Human waste management is essential for healthy schools.

Many countries are still economically developing and are unable to either afford the cost of large infrastructure projects (think building a lot of septic treatment plants and then either trucking or piping the waste to them) or, a more difficult reality, there is not reliable access to water (clean, grey or otherwise) that would support a water-based waste management system.

We have selected the Enviro-Loo by Enviro Options in South Africa as the primary solution for human waste management at the rural schools we partner with in Sierra Leone and Kenya. We’ve installed them with great success in varied settings (schools, church, small hospital) in Sierra Leone.

The featured photo for this post shows these “Eloos” installed at a primary school outside Nairobi, Kenya.

Photo of children in Sierra LeoneSafe sanitation helps keep students healthy and thriving. They can then have a good shot at growing up to be healthy, contributing citizens who can help break the poverty cycle.

Take Nothing For Granted

Outdoor pit toilet with palm branch enclosure

It’s a sort of standing joke with my friends that, whenever we get together for a visit, my wife will get to talking about the grandchildren and I, well I get to talking about poop.

The United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has some startling statistics about how people suffer, especially children, from poor Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene (WASH).

For example, in Sub-Saharan Africa only 31% of the population has access to “improved” sanitation.

Sadly, in the rural areas where Healthy Schools International operates that percentage is even lower. That featured photo for this blog entry, yeah, that’s one of the two “toilets” for a school of nearly 500 students in Sierra Leone. The bush in the background, that is also a toilet area.

So, yeah, I talk a lot about ways to better manage human waste rather than taking it for granted that everyone in the world has access to a clean and safe toilet.

Eloo Installation at Primary School
Enviro-loo Installation at Nairobi School

November 19th was World Toilet Day. It marks an observance that there are communities still needing help to develop safer ways to manage a natural bodily function without creating a health hazard for the entire community.

So, wherever you go, please…

Photo of empty toilet paper tubes
Take nothing for granted.