Some men and women from Bappeda (the local planning ministry) and the District Education Office of Jayapura district visited our school. They met with our headmaster and some teachers discussing something that we didn’t know about. We thought it was just ordinary visit from government staff. It was almost one hour that the visitors had a conversation with our headmaster and teachers and then they went together to the backyard of the school to see something that we were not aware of. They also took some photographs around our schools and also pictures of me and my friends, teachers and head master.
I still remember that visit as it was good news for me and my friends because I was told by my teacher that our school would be provided with a new school latrine in the coming months. My teacher told me that collaboration between the education office, UNICEF, CARE, Dubai Cares and Save the Children will provide the latrine with participation from schools and parents. Beside the facility there would be also some training and messages provided in terms of hygiene in school.
By the way my name is Andini, nine years old, and now I’m studying in grade 4 in SD Demta 1. My school has six rooms for primary level with 350 students studying in this school. For the time being, there is one old broken school latrine which is located far away from class room and always dark. It takes at least four hours to reach my school from Sentani, the capital city of Jayapura district because of the bad condition of road; no wonder anyone wanting to go to my school should use a four wheel drive car.
Since that time I kept dreaming that how happy I am and my friends that we will have a new school latrine. We will be no more going into the bush or to some houses located close to our school to go to the toilet. This issue had been spread widely to all students in this school, and students keep on praying and asking their teachers when exactly the new school latrine will be constructed.
Through the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Schools Empowerment initiative (WISE) UNICEF, Save the Children and CARE International – backed by the Dubai Cares Foundation and others – are supporting the local government in six districts including Jayapura, to improve hygiene practices and access to safe water and sanitation for all students. The initiative aims to reach a total of 90, 000 children after twenty eight months project that will end in June 2013.