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Young Women Find Hope for their Schooldays

SAFE LATRINES AND CLEAN WATER EMPOWER YOUNG WOMEN IN CAMBODIA TO COMPLETE THEIR EDUCATION.

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 who are 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.”

Tevy has also learnt how to best care for her body’s needs through our Menstrual Hygiene Management training sessions and isn’t embarrassed to share her newfound knowledge with other girls.

*Name changed for privacy 

Support Our Work

Samaritan’s Purse is working to bring water to communities that are stricken by drought, disaster, or poverty. Your gift can help install a BioSand Water Filter or provide menstrual education to young women like Tevy.*

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