As a part of Bristol Volunteers for Development Abroad a team of volunteers spent the summer in India aiming to help improve sanitation. To achieve this the tasks included supervising the building of thirty private toilets as well as carrying out the W.A.S.H program, which provided lessons on hygiene, in schools and women’s cooperatives.

The W.A.S.H program aimed to change hygiene practises following the installation of the toilets and taught adults and children the importance of washing your hands, how to do it and alternatives when soap is not available.

Grace, a third year Classics student, had a considerable amount of responsibility from the start having designed and led the project and was nominated to speak at the Student Volunteers for Overseas Partnership Conference in 2016.

She has described her experience:

‘As part of Bristol Volunteers for Development Abroad, I designed a sustainable grassroots project that I carried out in Uttar Prasdesh, India. As a team of five we worked alongside a counterpart Indian foundation to design and run a thorough needs-based assessment, supervise the building of thirty private toilets, and instigate a W.A.S.H program in seven government schools and women’s cooperatives in a total of four villages.’

Grace built relationships with Angelique and AROH, who are not for profit organisations based in India aiming to increase hygiene practises, in order to collaborate on the project and fulfilled a variety of roles throughout the project and participated in both supervising the toilet installations and facilitating the W.A.S.H workshops whilst in India.

The volunteers intend to use their relationship with Angelique and AROH to track the wellbeing of beneficiaries into the future!

The program is repeating again this summer so if you want to get involved or partner with Bristol Volunteers for Development Abroad then take a look at their website and get in touch!

If you are a similar organisation who could benefit from working with students, or, a student looking to get involved please get in touch!