Frequently Asked Questions

How did Sanitation First begin?

Sanitation First was founded in 1998 by David Crosweller and Andy Barrs, who are both still involved in the day to day running of the charity. Over the past twenty years, Sanitation First has evolved from being a responsive charity that supported global causes and crises, to an organisation that focuses on sanitation and hygiene in India.

Why toilets?

Good question! While working in crisis zones and disadvantaged areas all over the world, it soon became clear that providing people with clean, hygienic sanitation facilities has a wide-reaching impact on people’s lives. The benefits of sanitation are not as simple as the mere existence of a toilet. Sanitation facilities and education provides people the foundations from which to achieve a full education and to improve their health and wellbeing, which enables them to escape the cycle of poverty and lead a healthy, fulfilling life. This is why we have chosen to put sanitation at the heart of what we do. We truly believe that the eradication of poverty cannot be achieved until everybody has access to the basic human right of clean, safe sanitation.

For a more detailed explanation of information about why we build toilets, read our blog post.

Why ecosan?

Ecological sanitation, or ecosan, is an approach to sanitation that sees human excreta as a valuable resource rather than a waste product. All of our toilets are Urine Diverting Dry Toilets (UDDTs), which means that they separate solids and liquids at source. This model has many benefits, particularly the fact that our UDDT model enables us to recycle human waste and transform it into a safe compost and fertiliser.

The type of toilet we build is integral to our work and ethos, and our fully sustainable toilets have a minimum life span of thirty years. If you want to learn a little bit more about ecosan, and find out more about the 17 reasons why we think ecosan should be changing the world of sanitation, read our blog post.

Why India?

This is one question that we get asked a lot, and it is a subject that we feel very passionate about! There isn’t enough space on this page to adequately explain all of the reasons, but our blog post should answer some of your questions about why we currently focus our philanthropic work in India. If we have not answered all of your questions, or if you would like to ask us more about this subject, do get in touch using our connect with us page.

How does poor sanitation disproportionately affect women?

Through our work in schools, we are aware that schools not having toilet facilities, or not having toilet facilities that are separate from the boys, leads to a significant amount of girls dropping out of their education. The reasons for this are mainly tied to the feelings of shame and embarrassment that are so intrinsically linked to menstruation. Furthermore, women and girls are vulnerable to attack and harassment when they walk alone into fields and open spaces to find somewhere to go to the toilet; such horrific attacks are not uncommon in India today. To find out a little bit more about how violence against women is interwoven with a lack of sanitation, read our guest blog.

How do you work closely with India?

It’s very important that we work closely with our partners and beneficiaries in India. We work in close connection with an NGO called Wherever the Need India Services, and we are in regular communication with their Indian office.

What is the best way to donate to Sanitation First?

Sanitation First has a page on Total Giving, which is a totally free fundraising platform. On this page, you can quickly and easily make a donation to Sanitation First. You will also have the option to find out more about our specific appeals, and to become involved in our fundraising appeals.

Can I add Gift Aid when I donate to Sanitation First?

Of course you can! Through Gift Aid, any donation you give will be worth 25% more, at no extra cost to you. Gift aid will be used to fund Sanitation First’s general work.

How can I stay updated with your work?

Sanitation First post regularly on our social media channels, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. We like to create discussions about the work we do, our ethos and ideas, and how our work is impacting individual lives. You call also follow us on LinkedIn and sign up to our regular newsletter updates.

How can I get involved with your work?

If you are interested in becoming involved in Sanitation First’s work in some way, do get in touch with us on our connect with us page. Volunteers are an integral part of our work, and we are always keen to hear from people who are interested in getting involved with what we do.

Do we work in cooperation with any other companies?

We work in very close cooperation with many corporations, who help us with the all-important fundraising for our programme. For more detailed information about our corporate partners and a look at Sanitation First’s recent corporate news, visit our partnerships page.

What is your Privacy Policy?

We will only hold your data for the purpose of updating you on our work through our periodic newsletters and campaigns.  We will not pass your data to a third party in any way or at any time. Because we use MailChimp as our email facilitator, you will be covered by its processes, which govern GDPR.

Each newsletter or campaign email will have an unsubscribe facility and you can unsubscribe at any time.  Once you have unsubscribed we will no longer contact you or hold any personal details.

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