Flushed With Pride: Hope Africa School’s Plumbing Success

Caitlin Hotchkiss November 19, 2013 1

If you’re privileged enough to live in a country where indoor plumbing is the norm, then you probably don’t reflect much on how fortunate you are to be able to use a toilet whenever the, er, need arises. Well, today might just be the perfect occasion for giving thanks to Thomas Crapper (the inventor of the modern toilet, because with a name like that of course he is) – it’s World Toilet Day!

Mr. Thomas Crapper

Mr. Thomas Crapper

To laud this important invention, we wanted to highlight some important work that’s been done in a country that’s in dire need of better plumbing facilities. Our nonprofit organization, Planeterra, has been focusing on the Hope Africa Children’s Day School in Shalati Village, near Kruger National Park in Africa. It’s a place where around 80 children under the age of 5 go to learn, have fun, and receive nutritious meals. Unfortunately, one of the big hurdles the school was facing was its lack of washroom facilities – specifically, they only had two washrooms for the entire school.

In need of new facilities at the New Hope Africa Children's Day School

In need of new facilities at the New Hope Africa Children’s Day School

You can probably see how most of the kids preferred to go in the surrounding bushes – risking snakebites in the process. Ouch.

Along with kitchen renovations, new washrooms were the most pressing need at the Hope Africa School. With the help of Planeterra and G Adventures, enough funds were raised (including an amusing initiative called “Toilet Tuesdays”) to build four brand-new washrooms fully equipped with working toilets. A particularly awesome former G traveller donated funds for a new water pump and holding tank (the previous ones had been stolen), and everything was connected so that the Hope Africa School was able to access water through both the kitchen and the washrooms. Proper toilets at last!

Brand new toilets!

Brand new toilets!

The school began with one washroom for all eighty students and one washroom for the teachers, but since the rickety old ones have been torn down, now they have three for the students and one for the teachers – all greatly improved.

The simplest things often mean the most. New facilities installed at the New Hope Africa Children's Day School

The simplest things often mean the most. New facilities installed at the New Hope Africa Children’s Day School

A hard day’s work is never done, though – the Hope Africa School is also in need of replacement windows and roof reinforcements, so head on over to the Planeterra site and celebrate World Toilet Day with a donation!

So when you’ve gotta go, you’ve gotta go – just be sure to take the time once in a while to reflect on how lucky you are to have a place to do your business in comfort and dignity. Happy World Toilet Day!

One Comment »

  1. San Diego Plumber November 24, 2013 at 11:43 pm - Reply

    Wow! This is great! World Toilet Day!

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