Sinangpad Healthy Village Project (Philippines) – 70 sanitary household toilets
Partners in Aid (PIA) is a non-profit organization established in Melbourne in 1962 which seeks to improve the living standards of people in vulnerable communities in developing countries. To this end, it has developed long-standing relationships, based on mutual respect, with partner organizations in India, Bangladesh and the Philippines.
One of the partner organizations with which PIA collaborates is the Sinangpad Association Inc., a local, community-based, Filipino NGO, registered in the Philippines and working in the Province of Kalinga, northern Luzon.
The main project being undertaken by the Sinangpad Association is the Sinangpad Healthy Village Project. This project is supported, both financially and through occasional mentoring, by Partners in Aid (PIA) which has worked with this NGO for over ten years.
The overall goal of the Sinangpad Healthy Village Project is the reduction of environmentally-related illnesses such as diarrhea, parasitism, etc in poor, remote villages. The aim is to realise this by:
- motivating and enabling community residents to act themselves to make their community healthier by recognizing and reducing health risks arising in their local environment, and
- enhancing the sustainability of community health development through encouraging local government willingness to support community health initiatives and pooling of resources across NGO, Government units and communities.
The most common problems addressed are the need to eliminate open defecation through construction of sanitary toilets, the construction of pig pens to stop pigs roaming freely through the village where little children play on the ground, effective solid waste management, improved drainage and the establishment of backyard vegetable gardens (possible once pigs have been penned). The emphasis is on seeking sustainable, cost-effect solutions that minimize harm, rather than optimal solutions that communities canít afford to either build or maintain in the future. Once the planning and community organization has been carried out, Sinangpad members visit the community intermittently, and provide ongoing motivation and mentoring.
In the last 10 years, over 60 villages have been involved in the Project, and most are showing some sustained improvements in their local environment. (An assessment is currently being undertaken with respect to the impact on health.)
UCF received an application for a $2,000 AUD grant to be used specifically to enable the purchase of materials necessary for more households, in communities participating in the Sinangpad Healthy Village Project, to construct sanitary toilets, thereby ensuring that in in at least two communities, all households had their own toilet, or shared a toilet with one of their neighbors.
A grant of $2,000 AUD would provide materials for the construction of approximately 70 household sanitary toilets, and enable two communities in which diarrheal diseases are prevalent, especially among children, to become open defecation free.
The UCF Board were pleased to approve this grant application to help these communities achieve healthier living conditions.