This activity is supportive when the construction of new toilet facilities is planned. Remind your students to be realistic as there are only limited funds available. Let them think of a) ways to raise the funds or b) less costly ways to reach the same goal.
After you have broken the taboo to talk about toilets with the students (see activity “Let’s discuss our school toilets!”), and sensitized them on the issues they face with their current sanitation supply you can now start to involve them in the planning process of the new toilet facilities. Students rarely get involved in the planning of school toilets, although they are the ones who mainly use it. This exercise gives students the power to get involved in the process of planning the building of restrooms and creates ownership.
Before you start this task with the students you have to coordinate with the head of school, possibly the school board, the architect and the construction supervision. Which decisions are still open to make, which resources not already acquired and where could the students engage without affecting the construction process too much? Depending on your context, the areas of possible engagement vary. We propose the following:
- Tile design (floor/wall)
- Cabin colour
- Wall painting
- Type of bins/soap/toilet paper
If you have more time and you are still in an early planning phase, you can consider student consultations where they can bring in their ideas in a participatory process. To bring up gender specific topics like, separate sessions for girls and boys are advisable.
Students take part in the design or decoration of their new toilet facilities.
Ownership for the school toilets is created.
• Paper, pen, toilet construction plan
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