It’s International Toilet Day, so we thought it only appropriate to compile a list of the best of the bogs.
World Toilet Day falls on the day in 1792 when the Toilet that flushes itself at regular intervals was patented. Call it a bit of ‘toilet humour’ if you will, but there is a serious side. Campaigners suggest it also a day to celebrate the humble, yet vitally important, toilet and to raise awareness of the global sanitation crisis.
With Christmas fast approaching, not everyone is feeling flush. But you can now give a toilet as a gift to the developing world, on someone else’s behalf, through a range of aid agencies so it needn’t be expensive.
Aid agencies such as World Vision, and Christian Aid are working to build toilets and, you can now support their work by giving a bog to a specific community through their innovative charity gift schemes. It can all be done quickly and easily online, and even as a gift on someone else's behalf for Christmas. You choose the toilet - and then a card is sent to your friend, relative or loved one telling them that a toilet has been given on their behalf - a creative and unusual gift for all concerned!
We've been supporting their schemes for about 5 years now, and have now raised over £1 million through the Ekklesia website for the developing world. Please do consider giving.
Here are our 'number ones', 'number twos...'
You can give not only a toilet, but a tap and sink too through Christian Aid. Their clean piped water can transform the lives of poor families in India. The gift means that the local organisation that Christian Aid works with can help a family install a household tap, sink and toilet. With a fresh water supply, families are no longer at risk from waterborne diseases. And a source of water close to home means an end to the long walk to fetch water and the time can be spent gaining an education or earning a living instead.
Through World Vision you can give fully equipped facilities in Zambia. Accessing health care in Makoka is often impossible, especially for pregnant mothers and small children who are unable to walk long distances to the rural health centre. World Vision is working with the local community and health organisations to build a new health centre that can give more children a chance at survival. With the support of donations, the new health centre will increase access to anti-malarial medication for children under 5 years old. It will be training staff to help pregnant women deliver their babies safely and monitor the healthy growth of children. In addition, World Vision are also encouraging people to have counselling and testing for HIV to prevent the spread of infection from mother to baby
In Zimbabwe these portable, dry toilets prevent water sources becoming contaminated and bring vital sanitation to thousands of deprived people like Grace Hatumwi. They can help stop the spread of deadly diseases like cholera and dysentery, and also restore the dignity of the people who use them.
In some Vietnamese schools, one dirty toilet is shared by hundreds of children. As a result, parents often keep their daughters at home. One project your money could help fund is constructing water and sanitation systems. With clean facilities, girls can go back to school and gain the skills they need to build a better life.