There are days when we get frustrated in our house because we only have one toilet which is also the same room as our bath is in, and when everyone needs to get ready in the morning it can be a bit chaotic and noisy with everyone shouting for whoever is in there to get out. And of course everyone always needs the loo at the same time!
For a huge number of people however, one toilet in their whole village would be a luxury. Not just one toilet in their house, but between all the houses. Whilst we take for granted being able to go to the toilet whenever we want ( okay, sometimes in our house we have to wait for hours!!) there are so many people who have never used a toilet. They spend so much of their day getting water, using the bush as a restroom and for girls, missing school when they have their period because there are no facilities for them.
Not only do many not have toilets but they also don’t have knowledge of hygiene which results in illness and death. There are such sad stories of girls being attacked as they go to the toilet in the bush.
I, in my ignorance, had never thought that there were people out there suffering in this way. Every place I go I locate the toilet first ( the result of having 4 children!) Until, in my desperation to use the toilet when we were in town, I popped into the nearest church and I happened to see a picture of a toilet on their wall. I looked closer as it seemed like an odd thing to have as decoration and that’s how I learnt about toilet twinning. It costs sixty pounds and that gets you a certificate to hang on your toilet wall of the toilet yours has been “twinned” with. I really wanted to do something and used my savings to twin our toilet but mostly I wanted to make people aware that this was going on in the world and we could do something to help…so I organised a jumble sale with the help of the village donating their goods and time and spending their money! It was a lot of hard work and nights spent at the hall sorting through everything but it was so nice to spend that time with my children and seeing them so passionate about raising money for others. The day was so we supported I was grateful to live in such a community and we raised enough money to buy a single toilet and a school block!!! And maybe mmore importantly were the amount of leaflets people took or read and the knowledge people gained.
Now as we are finding homes for the remains of the goods, we are thinking ahead to our next challenge…the mean bean challenge. If we are fortunate enough to have been born in this part of the world then we should do anything we can to help those that aren’t. It could so easily have been us.