Picture this scene: A young girl from a rural community in Nicaragua is walking with a plastic container to fetch water from a river. This, besides other responsibilities, is her main task every day and it impacts severely on her ability to attend school, to do homework or to just read a book.
This reality is captured in the award-winning short film, A Long Walk, produced by Project Schoolhouse, an international non-profit organisation which focuses on education, clean water and sanitation in rural Nicaraguan communities.
Project Schoolhouse is a Catalyst 2030 member organisation, and as Selina Serna, the Executive Director of Project Schoolhouse, says “I am inspired by every opportunity I’ve had to connect with C2030 members who openly share resources, tools, expertise and networks as we work together to accelerate our progress towards a better life for every person on this earth”.
The poignant short film points out the harsh reality that, every minute, a child dies of a water-related illness and that half of the primary schools in developing countries lack access to clean water.
Thanks to Project Schoolhouse – which sees schools as the centre of communities – this reality is slowly changing for many schoolchildren in rural Nicaraguan communities.
Project Schoolhouse works collaboratively with communities which have identified “both the problems they want to solve and the solutions to fix them” to build new schools, provide clean water, improve sanitation and help students continue their education. Highlighting community building and local volunteer participation, Project Schoolhouse ensures that the projects have “real grassroots support and local buy in” and give complete solutions to communities to solve complex problems.
The organisation believes that improving the quality of children’s education in rural communities is more important than ever as urbanisation increases and the world’s economy squeezes rural producers, and as technology becomes more and more of a requirement in business.
Project Schoolhouse’s work has made it clear that proper access to water in communities has a direct impact on girls’ education. It believes that bringing water directly to every home is crucial to relieving girls from the burden of carrying water so they can focus on their studies.
Project Schoolhouse is at https://www.projectschoolhouse.org/