I am Jim Harvey, 9 years old, and the eldest child in a family of two. I am currently in Grade 5. My younger sister, Lhea, is 6 years old and a Grade 1 student.
In our community, having a decent comfort room or toilets used to be a problem. Most families here did not have their own comfort rooms because it is expensive to have one. [Editor’s note: A simple toilet bowl may cost between P2,000 – P3,000 ($40-$60).]
My father is a construction worker earning Php400 ($8) a day. But his job is not regular. When there is no construction work, he takes on any job in the community to earn money. And the usual job here for fathers is farming. My mother occasionally works in a farm to help my father. They each earn Php100-Php200 ($2-$4) for a whole day’s farming work.
Because of my parents’ low income, we couldn’t buy a toilet or have a nice comfort room. We had to share with our grandmother’s. Her house is several houses away from us. I find it difficult to use her toilet at night because I have to walk in the dark and there are many shrubs to pass through.
To make things easier, I would go to the nearby pond or vacant lot. Most children in the neighborhood did the same thing. I know it’s wrong because our school taught us proper use of toilet. But there is not comfort room to begin with. And my parents couldn’t afford to have one.
Learning of our toilet problem here, World Vision recently gave families a new toilet bowl and helped us build a nice comfort room. The families here are happy!
I am also very happy. I don’t need to go to my grandmother’s house at night and use her toilet, or do my stuff in the vacant lot near our house. My family is happy with our new comfort room that my father installed some floor tiles to make it look good. (Photos by Dannadel Villar || World Vision Philippines)