MEDLIFE works with local authorities and community members to aid those most in need. Hygiene Projects encompass the construction of latrines, waste disposal systems, handwashing stations, and other structures. We also implement proper hygiene education and provide check-ups and medical treatment for the community during our Mobile Clinics. Our aim is to provide a clean and safe learning environment for students and teachers in rural and low-income communities so that they may continue their education with dignity.
In January of 2011, MEDLIFE completed another Hygiene Project in the jungle community of 21 de Enero of Tena, Ecuador. Read below to learn more about the project:
21 de Enero is a community belonging to the district of Archidona, a 30-minute drive in the sticky jungle heat from the larger city of Tena, Ecuador. The remote community has only one school, which serves 56 children, ages 5 to 12. After local government workers signaled that the school was in great need of improved sanitation, MEDLIFE staff members drove out to see how they could help.
They encountered poor and insufficient hygiene facilities due to the fact that 56 students and four teachers had to share a single toilet. Children would often tire of waiting and just relieve themselves outside while teachers reported occasionally making themselves sick by waiting until they got home to use the bathroom. The tiny stall was also a dangerous potential source of parasites and bacteria.
Calling on the help of students from UNE, Berkeley, FIU, Miami, Cornell, Claremont, Syracuse, and Johns Hopkins, MEDLIFE staff and volunteers completed a larger and more sanitary bathroom for the community over the span of 10 days. The improved facility has two separate stalls and a wash station to help combat the spread of infectious disease. Says school director Elsa Astudillo, “I feel proud to have these new bathrooms.”
For more info on the MEDLIFE Fund and how you can contribute, please follow the links below: