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What does sanitation and hygiene have to do with education?

By Oxfam

See how restoring a water system helped one school in West Mosul re-open its doors to children and provide a clean, safe space for young girls to learn.

In West Mosul, Iraq, families are beginning to return home to rebuild their lives post-ISIS rule. Over the last few months, children have started heading back to school. However, like so many other buildings in Mosul, fighting has destroyed the schools. Windows are smashed, roofs are leaking, and walls are crumbling down, making the schools unsafe for children who so desperately want to continue their educations.

That’s where Gashaw Shareef, comes in. She’s one of Oxfam Iraq’s public health engineers, and she is part of a Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) team that is rehabilitating schools, hospitals, and water plants across Mosul.

Shareef, along with other WASH team members, has helped restore water and sanitation systems in several schools, ensuring children who have already been through so much trauma have safe and sanitary environments to continue their schooling. This work is complemented by interactive games that teach children about the importance of keeping themselves and their environment clean while serving to bring the children together and rebuild friendships. 

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