Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Digging it Forward

Sanitation may not be sexy to the rest of the world, but it is essential in keeping a community healthy. When UVP does a sanitation push in a community (mobilizing the community to dig trash pits and latrines, build plate stands to dry dishes, and make hand washing devices called tippy-taps) a community is equipped to improve its sanitation household by household.

Our “all hands on deck” approach to sanitation pushes can result in an interesting assortment of people digging and hammering in one of our 10 Healthy Villages. Beyond community members and staff, district officials, and even volunteers from other communities. In March, a Peace Corps Volunteer lent his energy to one of our pushes.

More than a welcome set of hands, Nick also took what he learned from UVP and has begun applying it in his own village. He shared a bit of experience with his family and friends:

Work has been going well; my Pit Latrine project has really taken off by itself. I started digging one pit latrine, (I learned from the Uganda Village Project in Iganga) then Julia came to my site and three pit latrines were built by people I have never met. Then I came back a week later and 20-30 people have built Pit Latrines. I was really proud of the villagers about taking over the project and really wanting to create change in their community. I am doing well with other projects. The school I teach at wants me to teach about sanitation and life skills every Wednesday. I really like the kids I teach, they have actually followed me home (which is about 30 yards from the school) and asked for more homework, something I don’t think that ever occurred to me to ask my teachers when I was their age. –Nick Duncan

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