Improving Water & Sanitation in Schools in the Northern Coast

Donor: ExxonMobil Foundation
Local Allies: Fundación Mamonal, CINARA
Beneficiaries: 8,270 students and their families
Location: Cartagena, Barraquilla, Santa Marta and Riohacha

In 2008, Give To Colombia and Fundación Mamonal partnered to implement a water and sanitation project in the northern coast of Colombia. The goal of this project was to prevent neglected tropical diseases and thereby to lower school drop-outs rates, as water-bourne diseases are one of the main causes of academic dissertion.

This project relied not only on the construction of proper sanitary spaces, but also implemented an educational component which was developed by CINARA, the Research and Development Institute in Water Supply, Environmental Sanitation, & Water Conservation that belongs to Universidad del Valle. The workshops developed helped the teachers learn the UNICEF methodology and they then become multipliers of the knowledge within their schools. As part of the educational component, the project also had a participative method of involving students, parents, and staff of each school as they conducted assessment exercises.

Although the initial goal was to work with six schools, the project was expanded to benefit seven schools bringing the total number of students benefiting from this initiative to 8,270.