When I moved to El Salvador in 1996 at the age of 25, I was a few months married and had no children. By the time we moved to England and then on to the United States, I was a mother of three teens and turning 40.
Needless to say, as a growing family living in a variety of contexts, we experienced many milestones together. But I have to say, there is one milestone that stands out in my mind.
Since all my children were born within 15 months of each other (a set of twins made this scenario possible), it may come as no surprise that potty training was quite an experience. Indeed, the potty stories in our family (and in so many of our families) are abundant and uproariously funny... especially in retrospect.
However, the one thing that was and still is very clear to me within the context in which we lived in El Salvador, is how exceedingly blessed we were to have running water and a toilet in our home.
Whether "The Potty" was used with success or just a backdrop to a near miss during potty training, it was there, offering our family a safe and easily accessible way to address our waste management needs.
Indeed, toilets are much more than potty-training devices, as we all know. They keep our children and communities safe from harmful illnesses and our water sources clean.
Learn more about how a toilet transforms a family's quality of life.
Not only do toilets keep communities healthy, but they also impact education and graduation rates by keeping girls and boys in school.
And toilets increase safety for girls and women who often have to trek to remote public places, at all hours, if they lack a toilet at home.
Sadly, for many people around the world, having a bathroom at home is a luxury they have yet to know.
Run So Central American Families Can Thrive!
This is one of the reasons I am joining the Run for Central America campaign to raise money for toilets and so many other life-saving projects that help families thrive.