The community established their Youth Committee and Toilet committee and after much talk and discussion, they approached me about helping them to help them find funding to help them get materials for a VIP toilet project. The construction of the toilets would create facilities that would aid community sanitation and provide a space to practice proper menstruation hygiene. The Women in these communities are continuously being empowered because they have been involved in the planning, budgeting and will also be involved in the implementation of this project. This project has two main parts: The construction of VIP toilets in common community gathering spaces across the local communities and workshops educating people on the importance of proper menstrual health and sanitation. The latter is a great need as there are many preconceived notions and fears regarding the menstrual cycle of the Woman. The female is not expected to attend community events, trainings, meetings, church associated events or school when they are having their menstrual cycle. The lack of proper toilet facilities does add to that way of thinking. With this project, the construction of the toilets would begin first and would create facilities in which would aid community sanitation and provide a space to practice proper menstruation hygiene. We will celebrate the completion of the toilets with a community opening, where construction leaders explain proper upkeep of the facilities. At this time female community leaders, health worker, Youth committee members and Peace Corps Volunteer will lead a workshop for the women and girls in the community about menstrual health and hygiene, as well as a separate awareness for men in the community. These trainings provide a learning opportunity for Women and Girls on Menstrual hygiene and sanitation and help break down preconceived notions that exist. Ultimately the increase awareness will help to break down social and physical barriers to Girls’ and Women education and ability to attend community training events by helping everyone in the community understand what Menstrual hygiene is all about. Additionally, in the training specific to the Girls and Women, the Peace Corps Volunteer and Counterpart will introduce reusable menstrual pads known as 'Days for Girls' by Mamas Life association in the training. By building these toilets at common Community gathering spaces and the Aid Post, it will be a great opportunity to have training on a subject that is not easily discussed. It will also help send a message that menstruation is not a reason to skip any community event and this will help to give women the confidence and knowledge and resources they need on menstrual hygiene. It will encourage Girls and Women to attend school every day and to not skip important learning opportunities that occur during community events, as well as properly informing males in order to break down preconceived fears and ideas of women’s health. VIP Toilets were chosen because after all construction is completed they require minimal maintenance efforts and are highly functional. With proper construction, these toilets will last for 25 years. Also the design is simple enough for community members to construct new toilets utilizing the VIP design as the need arises.
Every VIP toilet will have a 3 meter hole. With proper construction these toilets should last for 25 years. The toilet houses will be constructed of local materials. When these materials break down, they can easily and quickly be replaced. VIP Toilets were chosen because after all construction is completed they require minimal maintenance efforts and are highly functional. With proper construction, these toilets will last for 25 years. Also the design is simple enough for community members to construct new toilets utilizing the VIP design as the need arises. Peace Corps Volunteer along with counterpart, youth and Toilet Committee will run a series of three workshops. The first will cover types of toilets and why VIP toilets are appropriate for the community. The second will show how to properly construct a VIP toilet. The third will discuss how to maintain a safe and clean toilet and why it is important. Youth from every nasara are required to attend the workshops because they will serve as representatives of each family and take on a leadership role of making sure that their families remember these trainings and will also help their families maintain their toilets. Current and future PCV will work with toilet committee, Health worker and Youth chiefs to monitor the outcome of the project, also train the health worker to compare new data with data pre-VIP toilets to see if there is any reduction in WASH related illnesses.