News & Learning

26 Aug 2019
Stories | Laos

The Teacher Who Didn’t Give Up

For Mrs. Champy, teaching is not just a job; it’s a lifelong vocation. She cares for her students at Hatdai Village Primary School in Paklay District, Laos almost as if they were her own children. Nothing gives her more joy than seeing them work hard on their lessons and discover their own passion for learning.

But Mrs. Champy’s personal mission faces several challenges. In the school, 150 children share just two latrines so they miss parts of lectures while waiting in long lines to use the toilet. The lack of drinking stations and handwashing facilities lead to students catching waterborne diseases or getting dehydrated. The result? Absences affecting students’ academic performance and their enthusiasm for studying. According to Mrs. Champy, they tried to run a handwashing campaign but the shortage of facilities and running water did not create a conducive environment.

Not letting anything dampen her spirit, she continued to look for ways to help improve the sanitary conditions at the school. Her involvement with women’s organizations in Paklay showed her what Thrive Networks could do and she approached them with her cause.

Through a partnership with the Lao PDR Department of Water Supply and the support of charity: water, Thrive is now helping Mrs. Champy’s campaign for improved health and hygiene practices among her students. Before the year is over, the school will have 40 sinks and 24 latrine stalls, four of which will be accessible for students with disabilities. Healthier and more enjoyable days in school are up ahead for these young students, now with enough clean toilets and handwashing stations for everyone to use.

Mrs. Champy can hardly wait for the new school year to begin in September. She knows that as her students will enjoy the new sanitary facilities, they will have the energy and focus for the exciting new lessons she has planned for them.

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At the heart of our programs are strong partnerships with government, private sector, civil society groups, and local communities. We also implement learning and feedback strategies to strengthen our approaches to promoting gender and socially inclusive WASH practices in our partner communities.