How separate toilets have improved my life

WASH in School

By Shwe Yamin Khin
UNICEF Myanmar
©Community Development Association/2023/Han Wunna Htun
New gender-separated toilets make huge improvements for adolescent girls like Shwe Yamin Khin
10 February 2023

It's amazing to see how something as simple as a separate toilet at our school has made such a big difference in my life.

My name is Shwe Yamin Khin. I am 12, and I currently attend Mon National Primary School in Mae Ka Than village, Kyeikmaraw township, Mon State.

UNICEF Myanmar
©Community Development Association/2023/Han Wunna Htun
12-year-old Shwe Yamin Khin used to miss classes during her menstruation

I used to miss school days during menstruation because girls had to share the toilets at the school with boys. It made me and many of my classmates feel uncomfortable.

But everything changed when UNICEF built gender-separated toilets, wash basins, and waste bins at our school. We also received menstrual hygiene kits and learned how to take care of ourselves during menstruation.

We were so happy because this has improved the overall learning environment of our school.

These improvements are especially important for girls like me. Now, we can focus on our studies without any worries or embarrassment.

UNICEF Myanmar
©Community Development Association/2023/Han Wunna Htun
Shwe Yamin Khin and her best friend can now study without any worries or embarrassment during menstruation.

I come from a family of farmers. My older brother is no longer in school. He helps out by working with my dad to bring in some extra income to support my education.

My mom can barely read or write, so my family really want me to stay in school. They were all so happy when I told them about the new toilets and other facilities. They said they never had access to facilities like this and they're just so happy I no longer have to miss important lessons every month.

The toilets are also very beautiful and come with a wash basin, which makes it easy to clean up. I feel much more secure and confident.

I hope that other schools in our village and beyond will also receive similar support to improve the sanitation and hygiene facilities at their schools.

The UNICEF WASH in school programme is funded by AEON 1% Club and have supported 68 schools in Mon and , Kayin States and Tanintharyi Region.

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