Afghanistan: When the village school got a girls’ toilet | Mission East

Afghanistan: When the village school got a girls’ toilet

A girls toilet has improved the attendance of both girls and boys in the school
Afghan school children outside the new toilet building
Attendance and performance for both girls and boys have increased

When Gazergah school in Chall district, Takhar  province  got a separate girls’ toilet, it had enormous consequences for the children's well-being and health.

"Before, it was a punishment to go to school because we could only use the bathroom in the afternoon. Now it's much nicer, because we can go to the bathroom whenever we want. Now I enjoy going to school, and I find that I learn more, "says Hanifa , who is a student at Gazergah school.

Before there was only one toilet at the school. In the morning it was only the boys who got to use it, and in the afternoon , it was the girls' turn. But in 2013 Mission East built a girl's toilet, so now all students can use to the toilet at any time of the day.


Attendance of afghan girls increased significantly

"There were many bad things about the shared toilet. The kids did not go to school enough or went home early, and they found it hard to concentrate in class. When we got the new toilet, the girls’attendance increased significantly, and many of the boys who went home early before, now stay back all day. The children's learning is also beginning to improve steadily, "said Mohd Azim , a teacher at the school.

Also the parents can see the positive difference that the new toilet is making for the children: "I have a daughter in third grade, and before she would not go to school, in fact she was close to dropping out. She would not tell me why, but now I realize it was because of the toilet. Nowadays she is very fond of the school,” says Mohammad, an unskilled farm laborer and a father of seven.

Improved sanitation

Along with the new toilet, the students and teachers also received a course on how to wash hands, as well as a handwashing vessel with clean water, which was set up in front of the toilets. "We've learned that we should wash our hands when we go to the toilet and before and after we've eaten and to keep our environment clean. Otherwise dangerous bacteria can give us diseases such as cholera and dysentery," says Hanifa.

The new knowledge has also spread to the students’ homes : "Nowadays my daughter always ensure that there is clean water at home. I am very proud of her and I will do everything I can to ensure that she can get an education," said Mohammad.