Dressed in suits, Berlin school students publicly demonstrated on the occasion of World Toilet Day 2019. They invited passers-by to a “toilet exhibition tent” at Potsdamer Platz in the heart of Germany’s capital. Inside the tent, a self-built, “inadequate” toilet demonstrated the poor sanitary conditions, which are reality in many parts of the world. Bottles of dirty water were handed out and a toilet-cake was on offer. The message: Toilets can save lives!
Berlin, 29 Nov 2017 – 11th grade students of Berlin’s Kaethe-Kollwitz-School surprised tourists at the city’s Brandenburg Gate with a flashmob and an ensuing “reverse-demonstration” on the occasion of the World Day of People with Disabilities. One student began proclaiming “Toilets save lives” in sign language – over and over again. With each repetition he was joined by more peers. And even passers-by joined in. Afterwards the group orbited Pariser Platz with a reverse demo, walking backwards to draw attention to the fact that not enough progress is being made concerning the issue of inclusive sanitation.
Together with pupils from Berlin, the German Toilet Organization celebrated World Food Day at the symbolic Worldtime Clock at Alexanderplatz, connecting nutrition with sanitation, water and hygiene. The pupils exhibited their crafts to the public, showing the serious influence of missing toilets on global hunger. 795 million people in the world are still suffering from hunger. One third of the world’s population does not have access to basic sanitation and good hygiene. Children under 5 years of age in particular suffer from chronic and life-threatening diarrheal diseases, which lead to deficiency of nutrition and permanent impairment of the mental and physical development. The World Health Organization estimates that 50% of all malnutrition goes to the account of poor sanitation, unclean water and poor hygiene. Thus, access to good toilets can make a significant contribution to eliminating hunger and malnutrition worldwide.
Although the United Nations have officially announced the Human Right to Water and Sanitation in 2010, still 2,5 billion people worldwide do not have access to adequate Sanitation facilities (WHO/UNICEF). Regarding the Human Rights Day on the 10th of December, pupils from Berlin and Potsdam demonstrated together with the German Toilet Organization and called for worldwide solidarity, as everybody has the right to a toilet, no matter where from, or any cultural background.
After a press conference at the German Institute of Human Rights, the pupils marched through the streets of Berlin, passing checkpoint Charlie, to the Brandenburg Gate.
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