Ha is a fourth grader in Quan Chu primary, and I noticed her during a break between classes as she finished washing her hands at the new basin near the school toilets. She noticed me, a visitor, too, and happily shared this story with me:
“Our crowded school, you know, used to have one toilet only, and it was old and decrepit with a broken floor and leaking tank. It always smelled bad too, and so it was of almost no use. Students all tried to hold off going to the toilet until they went home, or they would use the nearby field instead. For me, it is a bit easier because I could run to my home, which is only 150 meters away, between classes – though sometime I returned to the classroom late.”
“Now, thanks to your group, CWS (the head teacher told me), I no longer have to run home for a clean toilet, and my friends don’t have to suffer either because a new toilet is built and the old one is repaired. CWS also helped us build a hand-washing basin, and we were taught when and how to wash out hands properly to avoid being sick. I always wash my hands at home now, too!”, Ha told me with pride.
Nguyen Lan Anh is Administrative & Program Support Officer of CWS Vietnam.