12 Days of Christmas (5): Twin your toilet!
With the silly season upon us and thoughts turning to Christmas gifts we thought a few hints from the green Christmas elf wouldn’t go astray! Over the next 12 days we will posting some Christmas gift ideas that are a little greener, useful, and perhaps more giving than what you might find on the High Street.
Of course, you will all have plenty more ideas – so please share these with us.
Toilet Twinning is a simple, quirky way to solve a serious problem and save lives.
Toilet Twinning provides people in the poorest communities on the planet with a decent toilet, clean water and all the information they need to stay healthy. It’s the key to helping whole communities break free of the poverty trap.
For just £60, you can twin your loo with a latrine halfway around the world, in a country of your choosing. For £240, you can twin with a school block.
Your smallest room becomes the proud owner of a personalised certificate, complete with a colour photo of its twin and GPS coordinates so you can look up your twin on Google Maps.
Your donation is used by Tearfund to provide clean water, basic sanitation, and hygiene education. This vital combination works together to prevent the spread of disease. Children are healthier, and able to go to school; parents are well enough to work their land and grow enough food to feed their family. With better health, and more ability to earn a living, men and women discover the potential that lies within them to bring transformation.
Family by family, community by community, nation by nation, we are flushing away poverty.
Simple loos are lifesavers in the communities we work with. In fact, as these people will tell you, toilets are much more than that…
Toilets = education
The new girls’ toilets and changing room at Bridget’s school in Uganda are reversing drop-out rates. Before, teenagers like Bridget missed class during their period – or left school altogether. Already, 65 girls have re-enrolled since the toilets were built. ‘I want to become a nurse so I need to stay healthy,’ says Bridget.
Toilets = community
Once they’d been trained to construct toilets, Nsckanaba’s neighbours in the DRC voted to build one for her. The men dug the pit: the women built the shelter. Nsckanaba is 75 and a widow: her children have moved away. Now she has a new family and feels she belongs. ‘When you’re part of the community, other people’s children become your children and help you,’ she says.
Toilets = fresh purpose
Before Amanuel and Meselech had their toilet, they were often sick and found it hard to keep farming. Their new toilet has renewed their zest for life and work. As their health improved, so did their harvest – and their finances. ‘Now my compound is clean, it makes me want to be productive,’ Amanuel.
Toilets = long life
When Bishwo built his toilet, he held an open day for his neighbours in Nepal and invited them to try it out. Before, he had never understood why his relatives had had to be hospitalised with diarrhoea. Or why half his students used to fall sick during the monsoon. ‘This latrine is my guarantee of reaching old age,’ says Bishwo.
Toilets = protection and pride
Ranju’s toilet may be part-built but she’s hugely proud. Before, Indian culture dictated she had to wait until dark to relieve herself in the bushes, risking attack. She feels much safer now and her family’s far healthier. ‘When we went outside to the toilet, my children and I were frightened – but not now,’ Ranju says.