Reading Time: 2 minutes
BRAC is working to improve water supplies and sanitation facilities in schools and communities, and promote safe hygiene practices across Bangladesh. Promoting safe hygienic behavior helps break the contamination cycle of unsanitary latrines, contaminated water, and water borne communicable diseases.
BRAC is working to improve water supplies and sanitation facilities in schools and communities, and promote safe hygiene practices across Bangladesh. Promoting safe hygienic behavior helps break the contamination cycle of unsanitary latrines, contaminated water, and water borne communicable diseases. In celebration of World Water Day, we’d like to share the story of one determined teenager and her commitment to helping BRAC’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Program (WASH) achieve its goals.
Though only fourteen years old, Akhi is already a leader in her community. Education has helped define Akhi’s vision for the future and instilled in her a sense of responsibility. Through involvement in BRAC programs, Ahki gained the opportunity to improve life for herself and people in her village. She now teaches people in her community how to live safer and healthier lives.
When Ahki was five years old, her village had no school and she wondered if she would ever receive an education. Since then, Ahki has been able to take advantage of the opportunities BRAC has given her to become a well-rounded, educated young person. She attended a primary school that BRAC built in her village until she was ten. After finishing primary school, she joined BRAC’s adolescent development program, where twice a week she joins other girls to study, share stories, and learn from one another in a safe place.
She is also currently attending a public secondary school where BRAC runs a WASH program to encourage hygienic behavior. BRAC teaches students healthy habits and provides the school with resources to encourage a healthier way of life. When Ahki first went to the school, students had to use a dirty, broken toilet, but this changed when BRAC started the WASH program. “Because of WASH,” says Ahki, “there is a new toilet in our common room and the toilet and hand pump are kept clean.”
WASH has ensured a sanitary environment at her school and this has inspired Ahki to use her knowledge to create a lasting impact within the community. She encourages her classmates to reduce their personal risk of contracting diseases by implementing WASH habits at home and in their daily lives. “My parents are now much more aware of sanitation issues and I have also talked with my neighbors,” she says, speaking of her success in spreading the message of WASH. “I explain the benefits of keeping clean.”
BRAC has been a part of Ahki’s life for more than eight years and promises to support her as she continues to pursue her dreams. She thanks BRAC for giving her opportunities to help others and increase her knowledge and empower herself. “If I ever get the chance to work for BRAC in the future, I will definitely do that,” she said. “It is important to make the people of our country more aware about cleanliness.”