Sixteen-year-old Tevy* was in distress. She was beginning to feel like she had no choice but to quit school, believing it would be the simplest solution to the profound problems she faced while trying to attend: the lack of a safe bathroom and reliable, clean water.
Tevy isn’t alone. In rural Cambodia, girls tend to drop out of school as soon as their menstrual cycle begins because of a lack of safe facilities and support during this significant life change. Those who remain in school often receive less than adequate education because they miss so much class.
The smell near the school grounds was a telltale sign that Tevy’s peers didn’t find the latrine sufficient either, preferring to go to the washroom outside and offsite rather than use it.
The latrine had no ceiling or lock. A fearful Tevy would ask her friends to guard the door, or she would avoid using it altogether—preferring to wait until back in the privacy of her own home at the end of a long school day.
“Girls drop out [of school] because their schools do not have a safe or private place for their menstruation management,” explained Lok, who is part of our local Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene team (WASH). “Some girls, when they need a bathroom, go to houses around the school or go home during school hours. Some do not come back.”
But we thank God for donors like you providing safe latrines and clean water for girls like Tevy. She doesn’t feel the need to abandon her education anymore. Instead, she can attend school consistently and confidently.
Your gifts helped construct an accessible, safe bathroom at Tevy’s school. A large school-sized BioSand Water Filter was also built so students can enjoy clean water for drinking and washing throughout the day. And the schoolyard has been transformed now that students are comfortable using the latrine and understand the importance of doing so.
“I would like to thank God because now I like to come to school,” Tevy said with gratitude. “I feel secure having this latrine, and it allows me to continue my education longer.”
Now part of a Girls Club started with the support from donors like you, Tevy has learned how to best care for her body’s needs and isn’t embarrassed to share her newfound knowledge with other girls.
Please continue to reach out in Jesus’ Name, and with His love, to many other young women in need. They are blessed abundantly by simple resources like safe latrines and clean water at school.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).
*Name changed to protect privacy
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