School Bathroom Remodel

  • Health
  • Education
  • Youth
  • Water & Sanitation
  • Albania
This project is led by Colin O'Brien, a Volunteer from Wisconsin

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The bathroom remodeling project is being pursued to help increase the amount of time students spend in class and reduce absences. This will be done by removing the major barrier of the school lacking functioning bathroom. First we believe this will aid the female students and teacher population who do not attend school during their menstruation period. The 9-year local school, the municipality, the parents, and the students within the community have all expressed a strong desire for this project. The municipality has agreed to sponsor the community portion of the project through labor and some materials. The director of the school has assigned teachers to create a viable budget along with an engineer. The public health office will work on health promotion for students and parents in the community to educate them on proper bathroom hygiene, puberty, and how to maintain public spaces. The bathroom project has three objectives. First, the number of absences and students leaving school during the day to go home to use the bathroom will be reduced to zero by the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. The second objective is that all female students over the age of 11 will receive support and education about how to use a public restroom when they are menstruating. The third objective is all students will know how to use and respect the school’s public facilities.

The school community has been the driving force of the project. The development of the plans were created by the director, the English, and the mathematics teacher along with the help of an engineer that they found themselves. The school has even taken several meetings with the municipality when I was not able to attend during the month of December. When I arrived back at my site in the beginning of January they presented me with schematics and a proposed budget that they had created. In the discussion of educating the students, the director of the school offered to personally contact each parent to have them come and learn along with their students. She felt that it was necessary not only for the students to be educated, but also the parents as well. Though I am only at the school one day a week, the teachers always try to fill my time with discussing different ideas to make the project as effective as possible.

The school already employs a cleaning lady and receives supplies from the municipality to maintain the space. Proper maintenance will be done by the municipality. The school plans to continue working with the health department every year to hold community education classes in hygiene and puberty. The sustainability will come with time and education. The municipality has a highly motivated health department with a strong track record of reliability. The school itself has several key stakeholders that are determined to make sure that the school keeps the school well maintained, which can be seen through the cleanliness of the rest of the school.

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