Photo: Zambian children are happy with the new school toilets.
In July, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs announced the beneficiaries of the project support to Finnish civil society organisations. The project of the Global Dry Toilet Association of Finland, in which TYY is involved as a partner, received four-year extension funding for 2021–2024. With the funding, more people can be included in the scope of better sanitation. The grant (€ 1,200,000) awarded to the project is the largest grant awarded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in this application round. Besides TYY, Disability Partnership Finland is involved in the project from Finland.
"We are very happy with the project funding and that we got TYY as a partner. TYY brings ideas to the project from outside the 'sanitation box' and with our students and we can try different approaches to training, content and fundraising. For example, we have discussed the production of material on themes that promote girls ’schooling, such as menstrual hygiene. It is also possible to do theses in the project, "says Sari Huuhtanen, project manager of the Global Dry Toilet Association of Finland.
TYY is happy for the new project
TYY has been waiting a long time for the opportunity to be involved in a development cooperation project. The multi-year cooperation with the Mexican organisation AJAGI ended in 2017, after which TYY considered various options to be involved in the development cooperation project. In 2018, project funding was applied for together with SYL (National Union of University Students in Finland) and a few other student unions, for a project in Guatemala with SYL's long-term partner AMEU, but unfortunately, no funding was received. TYY was looking for a project where it would have more than the role of a funder, and students would be able to genuinely learn about development cooperation and the Global South. At the end of 2019, the Global Dry Toilet Association of Finland was selected as a project partner through a partner search.
“We are in a fortunate position that the Global Dry Toilet Association of Finland became our partner. The association's project manager Sari Huuhtanen has many years of experience in development cooperation and Zambia. With the project, we get to learn new things for ourselves, sanitation, but at the same time, we bring students' knowledge and ideas to the project. The project has an impact on many sustainable development goals, so it is very topical for us, ”says Satu Nurmi, TYY's Specialist in International Affairs.
The project will improve sanitation in Zambia
Currently, only 26% of Zambians are covered by basic sanitation. The project will address the problems of poor sanitation and has the long-term goal of helping Zambia achieve full sanitation coverage by 2030 in line with the Sustainable Development Goal six. Poor sanitation, for example, increases the spread of disease and girls ’school attendance suffers during menstruation. Indeed, one of the aims of the project is to mainstream the inclusion of vulnerable groups, such as women and the disabled, in WASH issues (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene). In addition, the project will improve Zambia’s sanitation by building dry toilets, strengthen the capacity of local partners and civil society to influence sanitation issues, and raise awareness of WASH issues in society.
“In addition to the actors in TYY's Development Cooperation Wing, all students of the University of Turku across faculty boundaries are welcome to participate in the project. During the corona period, the opportunity to meet students other than your own faculty is more challenging, so the project's volunteer team also has the opportunity to get to know students from other fields. No previous knowledge of development cooperation is needed and new ideas are always welcome! ” says Viola Luokkala, Chair of TYY's Development Cooperation Wing.
In the project, the volunteers make communicative content, organise events and training and are in close contact with the actors of the Global Dry Toilet Association of Finland. From the academic year 2021–2022, students can donate to the project, for example in connection with the academic year registration.
Do you want to join the project team?
Please contact: Satu Nurmi, Specialist in International Affairs