What a sunrise! The sun rises over the savanna to great us for our first full day in Lira.
The morning started with us meeting the OCA team. The team are like a family and show so much passion and excitement for the Step Up programme they run and for the beginning of the WSV training programme. A properly awesome group of people!
With introductions done, we are loaded into an old UN 4×4 and set off to the field:
The school toilets
Our first stop a secondary school highlighted by OCA for the one of the first Roots toilets. This school with 400 boarding students, only had 4 cubicles each for boys and girls! The toilets filled up so quickly that the school has to empty them once a term, costing 1,000,000 UGX each time (for context, the average community wage is 44,000 UGX per month).
It was amazing to see the excitement as they began to understand the impact of the Roots toilets. It would mean they would have permanent, more hygienic toilets that would no longer have to empty.
The second school we visited, showed the massive lack of communication between government and schools when they do support the building of toilets. Each cubicle had a massive metal door on the front. This not only proved to be a waste of money but also posed a potential security risk for students, in particular young girls.
This school was even more excited and is taking the Roots toilet designs to their management team this week.
The Step Up programme
Following our visit to the local schools, we had the opportunity to meet some of the people on this amazing Step Up programme.
Step Up takes a holistic approach to development; working with subsistence farmers to empower them to realise for themselves the issues with current behaviours and supporting them to tackle fundamental issues. From sanitation and gender issues to navigating the legal system and everything in between; in total this 6 year programme has 132 topics!
The sustainability and impact of this programme is something all charities should be learning from! Self-sufficience and resilience should always be the aim of development.