With Successful Completion of First Toilet Facility at Malawian School, Bread and Water for Africa® Embarks on Second WASH Project

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

With Successful Completion of First Toilet Facility at Malawian School, Bread and Water for Africa® Embarks on Second WASH Project

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Earlier this spring, we at Bread and Water for Africa® received a letter from Debora Mkweya, Girls’ Matron at the Konzere Primary School in Ngabu, Malawi, a small town of about 7,000, located about 60 miles from the nation’s second-largest city of Blantyre to thank us for recently funding the construction of a WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) project at her school.

“Thank you, Bread and Water for Africa,” she wrote on behalf of herself and hundreds of female students attending the school. “You have improved our hygiene. We were always worried every time nature called. We were not comfortable coming to school in the days we visit the moon.

“The fear was, how am I going to help myself in a nasty room without a door and full of cracks? A small room is needed by many, frankly speaking. We were suffering from emotional trauma.”

But no more.

“The construction of these beautiful restrooms has indeed healed us all,” she wrote so poetically. “We are happy girls. Our concentration in class has surely improved. Hygiene and sanitation-related diseases will no longer be our guests.

“We are so grateful. We thank you for respecting the dignity of the girl child.”

It’s a heartwarming sentiment, however it is not us she should be thanking – but it is the supporters of Bread and Water for Africa® who are truly deserving of Debora’s and the students’ gratitude as it is through our supporters’ compassion and generosity that the toilet facilities came to be.

We had been made aware of the severity of the problem in the region by Alex Steven Bango, chairperson of our new partner in the country there, the Faithful Heart Foundation (FHF), who had informed us of the 789 girls who are enrolled there who had no choice but to use a toilet facility (a latrine with no plumbing or running water) he described to us as “a miserable, unhygienic facility that brings fear and danger among them.”

Through his travels around the region, Alex informed us of another critical situation at the John Village School attended by nearly 700 students, including 300 girls.

“This school uses fully cracked and fallen one side toilet and only toilet for boys because theirs had already fallen down due to cyclone two years ago. It’s indeed a big challenge to young, loved children who go to use these toilets. Just imagine one toilet which is already full using both boys, girls and teachers as well.”

Although the students have no choice but to use the facilities, Alex told us “it has a very big hole near the door which they must jump over,” something that is not possible for the younger students in the early grades.

And as was the case at Konzere, “Through observation, they are highly affected emotionally, mentally, and psychologically as they use unhygienic facilities.”

With the help of our supporters around the country, our goal remains the same – to construct three new toilet facilities which in Alex’s words will “help learners to have good sanitary facilities, which will help them avoid absenteeism from school and deserting classes and improve their performances” which is now the case for the hundreds of students at Konzere.

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