Hygiene highlighted

2016-09-13 06:00
Enricay Lenee, teacher David Herbert, governing body chairperson Farieda Moses, Nabeelah Moses, Sulabh project coordinator Heather Reed, teacher Caroline Moodley and deputy principal Suren Dilraj.  PHOTO: Samantha Lee

Enricay Lenee, teacher David Herbert, governing body chairperson Farieda Moses, Nabeelah Moses, Sulabh project coordinator Heather Reed, teacher Caroline Moodley and deputy principal Suren Dilraj. PHOTO: Samantha Lee

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From Portlands to Johannesburg, Dubai and Delhi, the sanitation club from Portland High School is spreading the word about good hygiene and taking ownership of improving sanitation.

On Thursday 15 September, two teachers, two pupils and the governing body chairperson will head to India for a nine-day trip to learn more about sanitation and challenges from other countries.

Clubs from countries such as Afghanistan will be in attendance at the conference, hosted by Sulabh International. Sulabh International is a sanitation NGO and they have built more than one million twin pit toilets in rural India and 8000 public toilets in the Indian city centre. The organisation hopes to create an international sanitation club where pupils from various countries can share knowledge and learn more about the challenges they face. Sulabh began in India in the 70s and the group will visit a toilet museum housed at their head offices.

Sulabh also paid for the trip and all other expenses attached to it.

Heather Reed, a Sulabh South Africa project coordinator, says this is the first trip organised by Sulabh SA and is a step in the right direction in building international relationships. Sulabh was also instrumental in the renovations of the school toilets in July last year (“Flashy flushes in school”, People’s Post, 7 July 2015). The renovations were also sponsored by Sanlam.

Farieda Moses, the school’s governing body chairperson, says this will be a good trip for the pupils. “This is not a holiday. The pupils have speeches prepared to be able to tell others about our problems and learn about theirs so that they can come back and tell the rest of the club more about the challenges other children face,” she says.

Moses says they are also looking forward to attending the Indian Prime Minister’s birthday bash and seeing the Indian slums.

Nabeelah Moses and Enricay Lenee have been selected to represent the club. They will be accompanied by teachers Caroline Moodley and David Herbert. They will join a second group from Gauteng to represent South Africa at the conference.

Reed says Sulabh partners with other organisations and the local education departments to make these clubs and projects a success. “We have nine clubs at the moment and we look forward to having 25 clubs next year,” says Reed.

V For more on Sulabh, visit their website on www.sicas-sa.org.

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