By Cyndie Berg, Director of Business Development, Splash
In March, Splash’s Seattle office hosted two of its leaders from Ethiopia: Dawit Alemishet, Country Director, and Kelbessa Wordofa, Director for Project WISE (WASH-in-Schools for Everyone). They were in town to meet with colleagues planning the launch of Project WISE (WASH-in-Schools for Everyone), an initiative to reach every government school in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and Kolkata, India, with WASH infrastructure (water storage, filtration systems, drinking and handwashing stations, and improved toilet facilities), as well as behavior change programs for children and adults, and strengthened menstrual health services for girls aged 10 and above.
Splash has reached 79 schools serving 78,000 children in Addis Ababa, and 194 schools serving 55,985 children in Kolkata. Through Project WISE, the organization expects to reach approximately 1,600 schools serving one million children by 2023.
Splash’s efforts will benefit even more children like Kidist, a fifth-grader who is 11 years old. Kidist is very pleased about the improvements that Splash has made at her school. She especially loves the different colored drinking and handwashing stations and is attracted to wash her hands and drink from them.
In the past, she and her brothers used to bring water from home, but it was never enough to last all day. As Kidist explained, they couldn’t bring a very big bottle of water, since her parents don’t have access to water in their home and needed to source water from the neighborhood tap. Sometimes her brothers finished their water before lunch, and she would share her own half-liter bottle with them.
Thanks to Splash, Kidist and her brothers and all the other students can access clean water at school all day long.