Your old man!
Today, more than half a million people in Hungary do not have one. Our programme builds outdoor toilets through local collaboration and community planning. Statistics only keep track of who doesn't have an indoor toilet, but our experience shows that tens of thousands of families lack outdoor toilets. According to Eurostat data, 523.5 thousand people (including more than 170 thousand children) live in [...]
Today, more than half a million people in Hungary do not have one.
Our programme builds outdoor toilets through local collaboration and community planning.
- The statistics only record who does not have an indoor toilet, but our experience shows that tens of thousands of families also lack outdoor toilets. According to Eurostat data, 523.5 thousand people (including more than 170 thousand children) live in Hungary in homes without their own toilet. Compared to the general population, the housing situation of the Roma is significantly worse in terms of housing quality, so this problem particularly affects them.
- In 2015, we started fundraising to build 30 more outdoor toilets in Porcsalma, in addition to the 84 we had previously built. Since then, every family in the municipality has at least one outdoor toilet.
What did we do during our programme?
Of course, we know that these actions can only go a very small way to alleviate the housing problems of the poorest, but housing quality in particular is a very complex problem, and this is particularly true for families of Roma origin living in settlements or in settlement-like environments, in segregated areas. In addition to discrimination, they face a complete lack of utility infrastructure, inaccessibility to health and social services, and the fact that the abolition of housing maintenance subsidies in 2015 has made their situation even more difficult.
Together for Better Health
The lack of toilets and the resulting housing and health problems of this magnitude were not always so obvious to us. In our "Together for Better Health" project, implemented in international partnership with a Romanian, Bulgarian and Slovak partner organisation, "toilets" have become the most glaring health challenge in the municipalities participating in the programme. The aim of the international project is to promote the expansion, integration and further strengthening of mediation in health care systems, in line with the current situation in each country, through joint action to strengthen access to health care. In the Hungarian pilot project, we would like to build a bridge between the health care system and the people and communities of Roma origin living in small villages, using the methods of intercultural mediation and community planning, thus strengthening access to and use of the local health care system and promoting and practicing health-conscious lifestyles. The project also involves local health nurses, GPs, the mayor, social services staff and teachers, assisted by a locally trained Roma mediator from the local community, who is responsible for bridging the gap between the community and the institutions.
So the project is about much more than just building toilets. The action is planned by the locals in community round tables organised by the mediator. They will involve the heads of the institutions, the nurses, the family doctor and, of course, the inhabitants concerned. The local people themselves plan the purchase of the equipment, the work process and decide together on the time and place of the construction and who will do what. In other words, the local people themselves provide the wood and tools for the construction of the toilets, and the details are discussed at community round tables. Our main aim is 'empowerment', helping these people to find community solutions to help them break out of the poverty they are living in.