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Make a difference with ASIF Foundation's School Toilet Project: Improving usability and sanity of school toilets is improving children's wellbeing

For generations, students have dreaded school bathrooms. The thought of holding your breath or "holding back" when nature calls is a common (and unpleasant) experience. But here's the surprising truth: school bathrooms are far more important than we give them credit for.

Schools are a child's second home, where they spend a significant portion of their day. Clean and well-maintained restrooms are crucial for their well-being. They impact a child's health, both physically and mentally, affecting their ability to learn and develop.

Traditionally, toilets are seen as mere "extras." However, they play a fundamental role in a child's life, just as important as classrooms, libraries, and quality teaching.

The importance of hygiene and safe school toilets

A 2023 UNICEF report reveals that there are inadequate 10,000 school toilets in Vietnam, and over 7.7 million students lack adequate supplies and soap for hand washing after using the toilet. A 2022 survey by the HCM City Department of Education finds that many schools in the city's suburbs have severely deteriorated toilets.

Surveys also reveal low satisfaction from both parents and students regarding the state of school restrooms. Many students report fearing or avoiding the toilets due to uncleanliness and safety concerns. A lack of hygiene training and education is identified as a factor contributing to students' limited awareness and hygiene habits.

These conditions have a significant impact on students' health and well-being. Holding urine or feces for long periods can lead to urinary tract infections, kidney stones, and other health problems. Additionally, unsanitary toilets can contribute to the spread of diseases such as diarrhea and dysentery.

According to Mr. Maharajan Muthu, Head of UNICEF Vietnam's Child Survival and Development program in 2022, three main factors contribute to the lack of sufficient and high-quality school toilets:

  • Underinvestment: Toilets are often seen as "ancillary facilities," leading to a lack of funding for building and maintaining them to proper standards.

  • Resource limitations: Schools may struggle to allocate resources for ongoing maintenance, allowing facilities to deteriorate.

  • Lack of hygiene education: Students may lack proper training on hygiene practices and proper toilet usage.

ASIF Foundation's School Toilet Project 

The ASIF Foundation's School Toilet Project aims to address the issue of inadequate toilets in schools across Vietnam. The project will build new toilets, renovate existing ones, and provide training for teachers and students on hygiene practices. In 2024, our project will focus on 05 districts: Binh Chanh, Hoc Mon, Can Gio, Cu Chi, and Thu Duc City with 14 schools participating in the project.

The project tackles the issue of inadequate toilets through a comprehensive approach that combines infrastructure improvements with educational initiatives, with the aim to: 

  • Solve the issue of inadequate toilets: The project will ensure adequate and well-maintained facilities are available for all students.

  • Improve hygiene and safety: Educational programs will empower students to practice good hygiene, prevent accidents, and contribute to keeping facilities clean.

  • Promote sustainable practices: The project aims to foster maintenance and proper toilet usage within schools and the community.

The project consists of 4 components:

  • Building and renovating school toilets: The project will build new toilets, and renovate existing ones with full equipment according to standards.

  • Training for everyone: Teachers, students, and key school staff will receive training on hygiene practices, safety, and how to keep the facilities clean.

  • School support: The project will help schools secure resources for ongoing maintenance and repairs.

  • Promoting good habits: Students will learn about the importance of maintaining cleanliness and using the facilities properly. 

ASIF Foundation also prioritizes long-term impact. Mr. Nguyen The Vu - the Project Coordinator and Legal Manager shared: "Before building the toilet, we work very carefully with the school in operation and maintenance. The school is responsible for maintaining the toilet facilities' cleanliness and providing training to raise awareness of hygiene for students to form a sense of environmental hygiene school."

The toilets at Go Xoai Secondary School after being completely rebuilt,

part of the ASIF Foundation's pilot project in 2023

ASIF Foundation welcomes further collaboration and companionship to expand the project to more schools. Stay tuned for updates on the project's next steps!

School toilets are essential for children's health, well-being, and development. Together, we can make a positive impact on the lives of children by ensuring they have access to clean and safe school toilets. 

Join ASIF Foundation and help make a difference!

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