Station House Educare Centre in Bonteheuwel got a new toilet in honour of World Toilet Day from Breadline Africa; the installation also sees the addition of a new school kitchen.
Bonteheuwel, South Africa (21 November 2022) – Breadline Africa’s work in under-resourced communities provides critical educational infrastructure to many pre- and primary schools, helping to create safe learning spaces for children. A critical part of this infrastructure is sanitary toilets. Access to clean, functioning toilets is important to safeguard children’s health and to preserve their dignity.
Last Saturday, the 19th of November is World Toilet Day and in commemoration, Breadline Africa handed over a brand new toilet and kitchen to Station House Educare Centre in Bonteheuwel, Cape Town. Seventy children under the age of six attend the centre, and these new facilities will allow them sufficient space to practice hygienic sanitation and prepare meals for the children.
“In this community, many of the children come from homes without toilets or bathrooms. In most cases, residents make use of a shared toilet that lacks proper maintenance and sanitation,” says Marion Wagner, Breadline Africa Director. “Often, the toilets available at school are the only sanitary facilities they will use daily. This situation needs to be urgently addressed.”
According to Statistics South Africa, 21,6% of residents reported inadequate hygiene at home, and 17% indicated that they did not have running water to wash their hands after using the toilet.
Station House Educare Centre’s greatest need was a sanitary toilet and kitchen for the learners attending the centre. The lack of proper toilet facilities is also a barrier for them to achieving ECD registration, which would qualify them for a daily government subsidy per enrolled child. This subsidy would allow the school founder and principal, Avril Wilson, to ensure that the children are cared for, especially as many parents cannot afford school fees.
The COVID-19 pandemic set the school back significantly, and Avril also recently suffered personal loss in the form of the death of her beloved husband. Nevertheless, she remains unwavering in her dedication to providing a good educational foundation for the children.
The dedicated kitchen will free up teaching space in the current classroom, while the subdivision of the converted shipping container makes provision for toilets. This will save the children from having to walk in all weather conditions to the nearby primary school to use their toilets.
“We are asking everyone, individual donors and organisations, to consider making a donation to commemorate World Toilet Day,” says Wagner. “Every person and child has the right to a toilet and good hygiene. We are just emerging from a pandemic where all the focus has been on hygiene and personal health. We need to ensure that learning spaces, like Station House Educare Centre, do not pose a health risk to the children through poor infrastructure and sanitation.”
To find out more about Breadline Africa, visit www.breadlineafrica.org, or follow them on Facebook at @BreadlineAfrica.