“Toilet-Twinning Julia” is West Sussex County Times Youth Award Winner

Well done to Julia for winning the West Sussex County Times Youth Award 2014 for Fundraising for “Toilet Twinning”

Toilet Twinning is a project which is raising funds for founder charities Cord and Tearfund to enable people living in poor communities in developing countries to have clean water and a decent toilet, and to learn about hygiene. This helps to prevent the spread of disease, reduces the number of deaths among children, and protects women from the risk of attack. Donors are asked to raise £60 for each toilet, and they are then sent a photograph of the toilet built by the charities.

In Summer 2013 Julia took part in a church youth trip to Cape Town, where she was concerned by the limited provision of toilet facilities in informal settlements such as Sweet Home Farm. When Julia heard about Toilet Twinning she was inspired to encourage individuals and organisations in Horsham to twin their toilets with one in a developing country.  She began by holding a toilet party instead of a birthday party, where her friends were asked to make a contribution to a toilet rather than bring her a present. The party games included a team challenge to wrap a team member up entirely in toilet paper and carving a sculpture from a bar of soap. Costumes ranged from bottles of Matey to a toilet brush and they watched the film ‘Flushed Away’ and ate a birthday cake which was in the shape of a toilet.

Julia then asked St. Mary’s Church to contribute money to twin all the church toilets. Within two weeks she had raised enough to twin all 7 toilets. The money raised has provided toilets in many different countries such as Burundi and Cambodia. When the pictures of these toilets arrived, Julia presented them to the Church to be displayed in the toilets. She then asked for individuals to twin their own toilets, which many members of the congregation have done. Julia also visited St. John’s Church in Broadbridge Heath to do a presentation about Toilet Twinning and St. John’s have now also twinned all their toilets.

Julia is working with Mr. Skinner from Millais school to raise money to twin a toilet block and she will then be contacting other schools to encourage them to do the same. Julia is now looking for contacts with other organisations throughout the town who could help her to extend her project.

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