The School’s Robin Hood Runners team participated in the annual Ikano Robin Hood Half Marathon in September 2015 to raise money for Dream Big Ghana NGO, a charity that builds compost toilets in villages without basic sanitation. Over £2000 was raised, which will allow Dream Big Ghana to build three toilets, each serving around 20 people.
The opening ceremony to mark the handover of the first toilet took place in December 2015. Assistant Professor Linda East, a founding member and trustee of the charity, joined the ceremony while visiting friends in Ghana for Christmas. Linda said:
“The opening ceremony is a big event, well-attended by members of the community. With the help of the NGO project manager translating, I was able to give a short speech explaining how we raised the money by participating in the Robin Hood Half Marathon. The audience appeared to enjoy this, with one villager commenting that I did well to complete 13 miles for such an old lady!
It was humbling to see how much a toilet is appreciated by those to whom it is a luxury. It is one of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals that everyone should have access to a toilet, and that defecation ‘in the open’ should be eliminated. However, around 2.4 billion people lack this basic facility. While the opening of ‘our’ toilet is a cause for celebration, there are over 80 families on Dream Big Ghana’s waiting list. At the current rate of building two toilets per month, they will have a long wait.
Nevertheless, being present at the opening ceremony reinforced that we have done something very tangible and real to improve the quality of life for people in the village. Logoshie and her family were clearly delighted, and I was so happy to be there and part of the celebration. It was a great experience, and thanks again to The School of Health Sciences Robin Hood Runners, and to all who sponsored us”.
Posted on Monday 25th January 2016