Water1st International is dedicated to unleashing the potential of people around the world, starting with clean water and toilets. Water1st supports water and sanitation projects that last. They believe people are their own best resource in escaping poverty, so Water1st encourages people to define their priorities and perspectives, then promotes community-based solutions.
When Jamila grows up, she wants to be a banker. That’s what she told the Water1st team when they visited her school in Dhaka, Bangladesh. And why shouldn’t she dream big? Her community has already tackled one of the biggest obstacles facing the urban poor: securing reliable access to clean water and toilets.
Jamila is healthier and able to focus on her schoolwork.
In 2009, her family received piped water and a clean toilet for the first time. Then her school built a water system and a toilet as well. Jamila serves on her school hygiene committee where they take turns keeping the student bathroom tidy and encourage students to wash their hands.
Jamila’s mother was one of 15 women recruited by Water1st’s local partner to receive training in leadership and public health education. They are now working to ensure that all of their neighbors have daily access to clean water and a toilet. They are also solving other high priority problems, like garbage collection and storm-water drainage.
With clean water and toilets, Jamila is healthier and able to focus on her schoolwork. Additionally, her role on the school hygiene committee has allowed her to recognize her own potential as a leader and pursue her goals.