RI President Mark Maloney visits WASH in Schools (WinS) Program in Guatemala
By Narayan Murarka, Barrington Breakfast Rotary Club, D-6440
WASH in Schools (WinS) is a Rotary Foundation program.  The key feature of WinS is to leverage efforts to provide clean water and sanitation by connecting them with health, hygiene and education.  Addressing health and hygiene training while developing water and sanitation infrastructure may have a profound positive impact on the overall health of a community, as boys and girls benefit from that education.  
In February 2018, The Rotary Foundation (TRF) awarded a $560,000 competitive challenge grant (PG17 90001) to our team comprised of Club Rotario Guatemala Sur, Rotary Club of Antigua, Rotary District 4250 and Barrington Breakfast Rotary Club, Rotary District 6440 addressing the need for  Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, (WASH) in Schools (WinS).  The program is being implemented under the direction of PRID and TRF Trustee Jorge Aufranc and Rotarian Narayan Murarka.
RI President Mark Maloney visits our WASH in Schools (WinS) Program in Guatemala
Narayan Murarka, Barrington Breakfast Rotary Club, D-6440
Approximately 16,000 children between the ages of 3 to 18 from 48 schools in the Sacatepequez department of Guatemala, will have 24/7 access to clean filtered water and sanitation facilities with an emphasis on education and training for health, hygiene and menstrual health management. These efforts increase health in the region, which in turn decreases absences from school.
Background:  Within developing countries, unsafe water, poor sanitation and lack of hygiene together create a high-risk situation for school-age children leading to diseases that may also contribute to death from malnutrition.  Unsafe water is not only linked to health, but it also affects education for children.  When they become ill from diarrhoea and other water-borne diseases, school attendance is severely affected.  The impact and consequences are poor education and challenges for a better future. 
The adolescent girls in schools have unique added challenges due to the lack of menstrual hygiene knowledge, resources and facilities.  Providing Menstrual Hygiene Management training in schools encourages adolescent girls to continue their education without dropping out of school, improving their long-term development and self-confidence.
Contaminated water and poor hygiene are the “status quo” in rural parts of Guatemala which has a significant indigenous population.  TRF, through its initiative “Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) in Schools (WinS),” is intervening to improve the quality of and access to education– particularly for girls.  UNICEF is working in more than 95 countries with the WinS program.  WinS became a priority for TRF recently and is being implemented as a pilot project in Guatemala, Honduras, Kenya and India.
The program is implemented as follows:
WASH Facilities
  1. Access to clean safe water is provided with Sawyer SP 202 water filters.
  2. Handwashing and drink stations are being built with multiple faucets.
  3. Gender segregated toilets are built.
  4. Restrooms with toilets and sinks for girls to meet their needs during the menstrual cycle are built to guarantee washing, changing and menstrual waste disposal with privacy.
Education & Training
  1. Effective health and hygiene training program encourage the formation of cleaning/washing habits and promotes a cultural behavioural change.
  2. Menstrual hygiene management program focused on the biology of the menstruation cycle and safe practices.  The goal is to prevent girls from dropping out of school.
  3. Incorporate these lessons in the school curriculum.
RI President Mark Maloney, with his wife Gay, visited the Bilingue School in Sumpango Municipality of the Department (state) of Sacatepéquez on September 2, 2019 to celebrate the completion of project work at this school.              
An addendum to the original letter of “INTER-INSTITUTIONAL COMMITMENT” for WinS was signed in Guatemala between the Guatemala Ministries of Education and Health and Rotary District 4250.
As part of the commitment, the Ministry of Education will review, endorse and register the list of schools in which the WASH Program will be implemented, and grant through the corresponding Directorates, the respective permits and/or authorizations for the entry of people and materials to the schools where this program will be carried out, as well as any necessary management assistance to execute the ideal infrastructure needed by the schools.  It will also issue the instructions for the school authorities to provide the support as necessary.
The agreement was signed on September 2, 2019 by Mr. Elder Vargas-Minister of Culture (3rd from left) and Mr. Jose Moreno-Vice Minister of Education (fourth from left).  District Governor Francisco Viau (fifth from left) signed on behalf of Rotary District 4250.  RI President Mark Maloney (second from left) signed as the witness.  Trustee Jorge Aufranc joined the signing ceremony.   The agreement is now extended through August 20, 2021.