Kohler partners with organizations around the world to help bring bathrooms to rural communities where open defecation is still practiced and schools where kids are learning hygienic practices.
The 447-resident Randeri village in India had only five toilets, while the neighboring village Navagam had 900 people and only two toilets. Thanks to Kohler and a government initiative, each and every person in those villages now has access to a toilet. India’s Swachh Bharat Mission, also called Clean India Mission, aims to clean up the cities and rural areas of the country, and this mission includes the elimination of open defecation. Organizers of the rural-focused subprogram called Swachh Bharat Abhiyan chose two villages, Randeri and Navagam, both within five kilometers of Kohler's Jhagadia plants, to receive 200 public toilets. The government funded half the cost of each toilet, which includes the fixtures, structure and plumbing work, while Kohler donated the other half. Construction began in October 2017 with Kohler associates closely involved to monitor installation.
In Gurgaon, India, Kohler associates put on a series of interactive workshops to create healthy behaviors in children and help them understand the connections between sanitation, hygiene and health. More than 1,300 students took part in the first series of workshops. The Kohler team will return to test those 1,300 students on what they learned, and what they retained, in the next workshop series.
Ton Tarn, Thailand
In the small village of Ton Tarn, in the Saraburi province of Thailand, sits a 95-year-old school that teaches not only basic curriculum but helps students develop cultural pride by teaching Thai history, as well as traditional dress and song. Wat Ton Tarn School is supported by a limited government budget and was in danger of being closed if several improvements weren’t made. As part of Kohler Thailand's ”One Year, One Restroom for One School ” stewardship initiative, associates donated time, energy and funds to keep Wat Ton Tarn School operating. The team repaired the school’s restrooms and installed sinks for handwashing before teaching the students about the benefits of good hygiene.