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Ensuring children’s sense of security regarding school hygiene

date_range2024-03-10

Cẩm Mỹ District, situated in the Southeast of Đồng Nai province, is one of the areas facing significant challenges regarding social welfare in the region. Across its rural landscapes, the majority of school toilets paint a grim picture. Dilapidation or outright absence characterises these facilities, leaving students with unhygienic conditions. Dirty bowls, rusty faucets, and a scarcity of hand soap are all too familiar sights, highlighting the inadequacy of sanitation infrastructure in these educational spaces.

Particularly at Nguyen Ba Ngoc Elementary School (Dong Nai province), there were only four toilet blocks shared equally between male and female students, including those that couldn’t be used safely anymore, leading to students queuing for a long time once they need to use. Additionally, the infrastructure was in a poor state, with floors covered with moss and mould, walls peeling, and often a very unpleasant smell.

In light of these circumstances, with sponsorship from Lacoste Foundation and USV – United Sweethearts VN Garment Company, the construction project for toilets at Nguyen Ba Ngoc Elementary School was officially inaugurated last month. The new facility has been completed with double the number of toilet rooms, including two specifically designed for users with disabilities. This project is anticipated to cater to the needs of approximately 195 students annually, facilitating more convenient school attendance and ensuring hygiene within the school environment.

In their 5th year studying at Nguyễn Bá Ngọc Primary School (Đồng Nai Province), students are so delighted to witness the transformation of the toilets’ structure and appearance, sharing from Oanh and Ngoc:

“The old toilets were deteriorating, with only two cubicles for females, and one of them was malfunctioning. Luckily, the recently-built ones help me feel safer and more comfortable.”

Saigonchildren’s School Building and Environment Programme delivers new, dignified, and safe classrooms for students in rural areas and emphasises improving and enhancing toilet facilities at these schools. These positive changes will incentivise students, particularly adolescent girls, to continue attending school when provided with access to clean and safe toilets. They can cultivate good personal hygiene practices from a young age, thereby disseminating and elevating hygiene standards within the community. With cleaner and more comfortable infrastructure, the risk of spreading infectious diseases will also be significantly mitigated.

To learn more about saigonchildren’s School Building and Environment Programme, visit: https://www.saigonchildren.com/what-we-do/school-building/

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