Vang Thi Tan is 15-year-old 9th grader at Phuc Than Secondary School and, for the first time in her four years at the school, this is the year she could use a toilet that is safe and hygienic. For years, Tan was among 800-plus students who used a single small, old, dirty, smelly toilet room. Girls, including Tan, squeezed into the old toilet stalls while covering their noses. Boys chose to pee into the grass and bushes; they only used the toilet if they had to. Now, Tan says, happily, “The old toilet is repaired and improved! Now, every day we take turns to clean our 24 new toilets to keep them clean and fresh. And, we thank CWS for giving us this change”.
In fact, Tan’s school in Phuc Than has good quality classrooms. But education department and Commune government officials did not prioritize budgeting for good quality, clean toilets. And, sadly, this situation is common in schools of remote rural areas nationwide. Because schools develop their infrastructure based on budgets from the Government and support from development organizations like CWS, if these budgets don’t include funding for toilets, then poor schools simply do not have them.
To help schools address this situation, in 2019, CWS has helped renovate or built new toilets at three kindergartens and secondary schools in Phuc Than communes. The aim is to help children, especially girls, have safe and clean toilets and, thanks to generous CWS supporters, many more Vietnamese children now have this improvement in their lives.
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