Imagine that you’re sick at the hospital, or, for you ladies, that you are 9 months pregnant and about to deliver. But you have to use the bathroom, and the only “facilities” at the hospital involve walking out into a field and squatting into a pit latrine that has no walls, because they have since collapsed. Oh. And while your pants are down around your ankles, there’s a swarm of small school children across the ways, playing outside of their school. And they’re watching you, of course.
Got your attention?
Just wanted to put up a quick post asking for y’alls help in making one of my last Peace Corps projects a reality. So here it goes (if you want to just skip the details and find out how you can help, scroll down to “HOW YOU CAN HELP” part).
Before I left Cameroon rather unexpectedly, I was in the midst of applying for a grant through Charity: Water (who does some pretty great work, btw). The plan was to have a latrine/bathing room out in the village of Ndionzou where Rameline works as the head nurse of a health center.
I had already had a planning committee meeting where we mapped out the costs, with the help of Rameline, and everything was pretty much good to go, except we were waiting on the funds. They would contribute all of the manual labor and a little bit of material supplies, and the funds would cover things like cement for the bricks (which will last far longer than the typical mud bricks), the metal roof, etc. Rameline had planned a way to make sure that the bathroom would be well-kept and clean, as well. Nobody likes a nasty latrine.
Since I’m no longer there, obviously, I had to cancel my proposal. Before I left though, I made sure that the message would get relayed that I’d still find a way to fund this project. Sooooo….
The cost that we had mapped out was $500USD, which was also the cap of this special small grants program for Peace Corps through Charity: Water. Kim, the Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who was in Bazou right before me, has also agreed to help out with this. So we’re trying to raise $250 a person. Not too shabby. However, there were still a few things that the latrine committee wanted to add, but couldn’t based on the budget. These things included paint for the inside walls, a slightly nicer door so that a slight breeze wouldn’t break a flimsier one, etc. I would say that fundraising a total of $600 would be ideal.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
As of today, I just wired $500 to Rameline to front the costs, since they have been wanting to build this since forever ago. So this is a bit of backwards fundraising.
If you would like to pitch in to the cost of this lovely “Friends of US Peace Corps” latrine in Ndionzou, just shoot me an email/text/reply to this post the amount you would like to give before sending a check made out to me. Please let me know before sending a check though, in case I’ve already reached the goal. I don’t want to have all sorts of extra-money-that-isn’t-mine lying around.
Also, because I am clearly not a 501(c)(3) charity, your donations would not be tax deductable – sorry! I also don’t know how else to make things more transparent so that I can show I’m really not just pilfering money coming to me. But if you want me to send you the Western Union receipt for the $500 that’s already been sent, I’d be more than happy to do that.
Even if $10 is all you have to give, that would mean a lot to me (and, more importantly, the people getting this thing built). Sorry this isn’t super professional…but it’s the best way I could come up with.
Anywho, thanks a bunch in advance for all your help Hopefully we can make this baby happen!
Peace and love,