Imagine you’re a second-grade student in Tajikistan. It’s December and freezing, but your school is unheated. The cold concrete walls do little to trap the heat in, and there’s no floor, so the damp ground makes the room even more unbearable. Being in school makes you ill as your body struggles to keep warm.
Or maybe you’re a child in Pakistan. Your village had a school built 20 years ago, so you’re lucky to not be one of the 9.5 million primary-age students who don’t have access to education. But the number of children at your school has doubled, and your classroom is packed full. So, you join the dozens who sit in the hallway or stand outside to hear—but not see—the lesson.
Perhaps you’re an 11-year-old girl in Afghanistan, and you’ve just started getting your period. Your school has a primitive toilet, but it’s not private, so anyone can walk in, and there’s no water, so you have to bring your own to clean up. You’re too embarrassed and afraid, so you stay home and miss class every month.
Simple infrastructure projects—walls, floors, doors, and plumbing—are key for students to be safe and comfortable at school. This spring, our partners in Central Asia built new boundary walls for protection and started work on expanding and building new classrooms so students have the space to learn. Just as important are sanitary and private washrooms, where students have access to running water to clean themselves and a lockable door for their protection and ease.
The end of winter cleared impassable roads and allowed our Pakistani partner Central Asia Educational Trust to restart construction on five new washrooms, with plans for 10 more this year. Here are some photos of the most recent work:
Installing plumbing for washrooms at the primary school in Tijos, Pakistan
The washrooms are private and now have running water.
The new facility at Akbarya Girls’ School modernizes an unsanitary pit toilet
Modern tiled dividing walls and a lockable door provide privacy
The completed washroom, with separate boys’ and girls’ entrances, at Kamp-e Farm Hada, Afghanistan
This Spring, CAI donors helped install the most necessary elements for schools: constructing boundary walls for safety, building new classrooms to fit growing youth populations, and installing modern washrooms to keep students healthy and secure. Learn here how you can give students a comfortable place to learn so that they stay in school , or read more about the problem in our Spring 2018 Footsteps.