Bringing New Meaning to "a Healthy Education"

2021 Uganda Gulu Sanitary Block Septic tank, foundation (1).
New sanitation facilities at a boarding school in Uganda will help ensure students have a safe, healthful learning environment.
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IOCC Helps Improve Conditions at a Ugandan School 
 
IOCC programs offer educational opportunities, small business micro-loans and mentoring, disaster relief, healthcare, food assistance, and other types of aid to people in need around the world. That aid can come in many forms—and while not all are glamorous—they are all essential. 
 
Health—including water and sanitation—is a core area of focus for IOCC. And while toilets may not be what people get excited about when they think of humanitarian programs, a recent project in Uganda is just one example of how “unglamorous” aid can have an important and far-reaching impact.
 
For several years, IOCC has been working with the Uganda Orthodox Church (UOC) to improve access to educational opportunities, especially in rural Uganda. IOCC, in partnership with the St. Nektarios Education Fund, has helped build and update three schools run by the UOC in Butembe, Gulu, and Lwemiyaga.
 
IOCC is currently engaged in a multiyear program with the UOC and the St. Nektarios Education Fund at St. Michael the Archangel Secondary School in Gulu. It began after an IOCC assessment determined that deteriorating sanitary facilities were threatening the health and safety of staff and students.
 
Building a new sanitary block was an urgent priority, along with demolishing old toilets and disinfecting the site—especially since St. Michael is a boarding school, and these communal facilities are the only ones available. The COVID-19 pandemic increased that urgency, as good sanitation is crucial to preventing infectious diseases, keeping students healthy so they can continue learning.
 
As with all IOCC projects, this one began with consultations with all those involved to ensure the project will have lasting impact and ownership in the local community. In this case, that included school officials, the UOC, and the parent-teacher association. In addition, IOCC brought in professional engineers to ensure that the project met the highest standards set by the Uganda Ministry of Education and Sports.
 
Construction is now underway. Groundbreaking and excavation have been completed, as has the masonry work of the large-volume septic tank. Soon, the new sanitary block will help students learn in a healthier environment—and prepare to pursue their dreams, learn valuable skills, or even attend college. 
 
This strong focus on health programs in Uganda continues to be a crucial component to improving the health and quality of life for rural communities.

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