Astra Primary School in Chatty are taking up the plight of those without toilets on Friday when they perform a “Big Squat” for one minute to experience what 2.6-billion people across the world do every day.
World Toilet Day, which falls on Friday, 19 November is intended to make people aware that an estimated 2.5-billion people around the world do not have proper ablution facilities. The day was started by the World Toilet Organisation. This year people are asked to squat for one minute to understand what life is like for people without a proper toilet.
Astra Primary school in Chatty has observed the day for the past two years to promote hygiene among its pupils. Grade 6 teacher Margaret Fillis started the hygiene campaign at her school after receiving an assignment during her studies at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. “I had to find a way to bring about change in schools,” Fillis said. She decided to find out how sanitation in schools could be improved. During her research she discovered the World Toilet Day initiative. Fillis realised it would be a good idea to change the hygiene system at her school.
Astra primary has since upgraded its toilets. Grade 6 pupil Taylor Marks, 11, said: “I feel proud about what the school has achieved.” Another Grade 6 pupil, Jarred Blaauw, 12, said: “I think the renovation has improved things. I do feel more hygienic.” Fillis said: “On World Toilet Day the Water Board will come to the school to educate the children about basic hygiene.” “Promoting health in schools goes hand in hand with sporting and academic achievement.”
Source: Lerenzo Francis, The Herald Online, 17 November 2010