World Toilet Day: Providing Hygiene and Dignity for All

Outdoor toilets, like this one pictured, provide privacy and cleanliness to families like Malak and Jaki’s.

World Toilet Day, a movement organized and backed by the United Nations, aims to bring awareness to the lack of basic sanitation and hygiene in the world. The World Health Organization and UNICEF reported in 2015 that, worldwide, 2.4 billion people lacked rudimentary sanitation facilities. With little to no access to any form of facilities, these people are forced to relieve themselves in the open. Of these 2.4 billion without sanitation facilities, nearly half (946 million) defecate in the open,[1] and 9 out of every 10 of those live in rural areas.

Malak and Jaki, who attend a local church lead by a GFA-supported pastor, know what this is like.

A Family in Need

Malak, before being touched by Christ’s love, had been an alcoholic. After reading the entire Bible from start to finish, Malak was transformed and abandoned the bottle. Some years later, he met Jaki, and they were married.

Eventually, the couple were blessed with two children. It seemed as if all was right for Malak and his family. However, a singular problem arose: The family had no toilet. The nearest place to relieve themselves was a little less than a mile away—during extreme weather forcing the family to stay indoors, those facilities would be useless. Going outside in the open was degrading and unhygienic, and at nighttime it was dangerous—who knew what kind of wild animals lurked about?

The Blessing Even Toilet Brings

However, Malak and his family prayed, and their requests did not go unanswered. During a Christmas gift distribution, they received a complete sanitation facility. No longer would they have to trek half a mile just to use the bathroom or use the outdoors in fear.

Malak and Jaki not only obtained something useful, they received dignity.

Millions today face the same problem this family experienced. Through projects like GFA-supported gift distributions, families are being blessed with outdoor toilets and a chance to know God listens to the needs of mankind.

Read how villagers learned about cleanliness through Global Handwashing Day.

 

[1] http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2015/jmp-report/en/
*Names of people and places may have been changed for privacy and security reasons. Images are GFA stock photos used for representation purposes and are not the actual person/location, unless otherwise noted.

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