My Toilet, My Dignity

July 14, 2014

Most of us don’t think twice about our bathrooms, much less how having a toilet affects our dignity. But for others around the world, latrines can make the difference between danger and safety, humiliation and honor. One community in Kenya knows this firsthand.

A particular village in Kenya has been an inspiration to many (village name has been removed for security reasons). For the past several months, the community has made strides in embracing change. As a result, it’s been experiencing a facelift; out of 252 households, all have constructed latrines made from materials that are available locally.

That’s why county officials earmarked the village for the annual World Toilet Day celebrations, the theme of which was “My Toilet, My Dignity.” The village became the first community in its county to be declared free from open defecation, which contaminates water sources, causes the spread of disease, and leaves women and children vulnerable to attack.

The achievement has stimulated friendly competition in neighboring communities. A number of leaders from other villages have approached Samaritan’s Purse to inquire about the steps necessary to achieve the same status!

Another observable change in this specific village, thanks to a well that Samaritan’s Purse repaired and improved, is that residents now have time to engage in social economic activities. For example, women can be seen weaving mats in groups as a source of income because they don’t have to spend as much time collecting water.

And finally, more good news: one couple from the area has come to Christ despite 99 percent of the population being non-Christian. The husband and wife were curious about Christianity after we showed a film about Jesus. Now, the husband travels 34 kilometers by motorbike to attend church in another community. That’s what the Good News can do!