Van Thi Tan is a 15-year-old ninth grader at Phuc Than Secondary School in Vietnam. This is her fourth year at the school, but the first time that she and her fellow students have had clean, sanitary bathrooms to use. For years, Tan and the 800 other students shared a single toilet room. It was old, it was dirty, and it smelled awful. Girls would squeeze into the old stalls while holding their noses. Boys didn’t go into the bathroom unless they had to–they opted to go outside instead.
The contrast between the school’s high quality classrooms and the awful bathroom was stark. Sadly, this is a common situation for schools in remote or rural areas across Vietnam. The education department prioritizes classrooms and learning spaces. Schools follow the budget priorities that the government sets. So unless CWS or another organization helps build bathrooms, many poor schools simply don’t have them.
To help address this situation, our team in Vietnam has helped renovate or build new bathrooms at three kindergartens and secondary schools in Phuc Than communes. “The old toilet is repaired and improved,” Tan says. “Now, every day we take turns cleaning our 24 new toilets to keep them clean and fresh. We thank CWS for giving us this change.”
Our aim is to help more students, especially girls, to have safe and clean toilets. Thanks to generous CWS donors, many more Vietnamese students now have this improvement in their lives.
Story submitted by Mai Thi Quynh Giao, CWS Vietnam Finance & Administration Manager.