Access to basic healthcare and hygienic toilets and washing facilities is something many of us take for granted – but it is still a huge problem faced by billions of people in some of the poorest and most remote communities in the world. It is estimated that proper facilities for water, sanitation and hygiene has the potential to prevent at least 9.1% of the global disease burden and 6.3% of all deaths*.
We work closely with local communities in Africa, Asia and South America to identify the problems they face and develop projects that tackle these problems at the root cause, changing thousands of lives for the better, forever.
The problem: Poor hygiene and sanitation
1 in 3 people across the world – that’s around 2.4 billion – lack access to a toilet, costing thousands of children their lives every single day due to preventable and treatable diseases*. In remote villages such as Ta Lek (located next to our Beng Pae camp in Cambodia) families live in very basic houses without any form of toilet. This means people use the undergrowth around their houses, creating a very high risk of spreading disease.
How are we tackling this?
In Ta Lek, we have been working with community members and volunteers since 2014 to construct community toilet blocks, using rain water harvesting for flushing and hand washing. These are strategically placed within the village so that many families can access them, providing safe, clean and hygienic facilities and reducing poor health and disease.
If you’re travelling to Cambodia with us this year, you’ll be helping to continue this amazing project. With the community facilities complete, we aim to eventually provide a toilet for each individual home in the village, greatly improving living standards for many families.
Building on these incredible results, we’re also launching this project in Borneo this summer. Over the next 2 years our volunteers in Borneo will be helping to design and build a brand new community toilet and shower facility in the rural village of Bongkud, serving the needs of the entire community for years to come.
Through our global sanitation projects, we have so far built more than 135 toilet blocks and washing facilities within the rural communities we work with, helping to improve sanitation and living conditions for hundreds of people in rural communities.
The problem: Little or no access to healthcare for rural communities
People living in some of the poorest and most isolated communities in East Africa often have little to no access to the essential medical care they need. With a lack of properly resourced clinics in these regions, and the inability to travel long distances to main hospitals, hundreds of people suffer for years with illnesses and health issues, many of which are preventable and treatable.
How are we tackling this?
Since 2011, we have been running our hugely successful medical volunteering programmes in Kenya. Through our Healthcare Volunteering programme, we have helped to set up and run free pop-up clinics in rural communities, providing medical treatment and advice to nearly 30,000 people. Last year we also launched our Hospital Outreach programme to provide support to the under-resourced and under-staffed Msambweni Hospital.
Our teams of amazing doctors, nurses and support staff work closely with Kenyan medical teams to deliver treatment and advice, improve medical facilities and exchange skills and information between volunteers and local staff.
Due to the huge success of these programmes, we have recently launched an additional departure date for our Healthcare Volunteering trip to expand our outreach even further. If you – or anyone you know – could use their medical expertise to help continue this amazing work, click here to view our programme and availability.
We are incredibly proud of the work we have been able to achieve, thanks to the help of the inspiring community members and local staff we work with, as well as amazing volunteers like you. We’re so excited about what the future holds as we grow our projects even further and help transform even more lives.
If you’d like to join us in making an impact, please click here to secure your place on one of our life-changing volunteer programmes.
*Centers for disease, control and prevention, April 2016.