The schools programme of the Foundation provides all primary schools in the 24 villages with decent toilets, according to the priorities and in consultation with the directorates and representatives of the Ministry of Primary Education.
During the last 10 years, toilet blocks have been installed in some of the schools. Support came, among others, from the Casino in Sint Niklaas, and from the municipality of Bierbeek in Belgium.
Thanks to the support of the King Baudouin Foundation, through the Elisabeth and Amélie Fund, the construction of two new blocks for toilets and seven new urinal constructions, spread over 19 primary schools and colleges in 10 villages in the municipalities of N’Dali, Tchaourou and Parakou, was started in November 2019. These investments will provide better sanitary conditions for 1,300 and 3,100 pupils respectively.
In addition to the new infrastructure, lessons on good hygiene in the schools will be organized and the schools and village communities will be supported on how to manage the new infrastructure sustainably and cooperatively.
When installing new infrastructure in villages and schools, we always involve the local communities. They can, for example, help to build the toilets and urinals themselves, often with stones made by them on site. And they manage the infrastructure cooperatively. Through this approach, we create a greater involvement and sense of responsibility among the local population, which increases the sustainability of the investments.
This is part of a multi-year plan in which all 50 schools supported by the Foundation will be provided with potable water and good sanitary facilities (separate toilets and urinals). Through other funds, vegetable gardens are being created in the schools, to be maintained by the students.
The Foundation wants to promote healthy and balanced food in a hygienic environment as efficiently as possible.
For this reason, a multi-sectoral approach (health care, education and agriculture) has been chosen. The ultimate goal is to significantly reduce malnutrition in this region; i.e. reduce with more than 35 %.