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World Toilet Day observed at Geneva Ecumenical Centre

World Toilet Day observed at Geneva Ecumenical Centre

Participants of the worship service in commemoration of World Toilet Day, Ecumenical Center, Geneva © Dinesh Suna, EWN

18 November 2014

19 November is World Toilet Day. This international day of action aims to break the taboo around toilets and draw attention to the global sanitation challenge.

Can you imagine not having a toilet? Can you imagine not having privacy when you need to relieve yourself? Although unthinkable for those living in wealthy parts of the world, this is a harsh reality for many - in fact, one in three people on this globe does not have access to a toilet!

World Toilet Day was created to pose exactly this kind of questions and to raise global awareness of the daily struggle for proper sanitation that a staggering 2.5 billion people face. World Toilet Day brings together different groups, such as media, the private sector, development organizations and civil society in a global movement to advocate for safe toilets. Since its inception in 2001 (though officially recognized by the United Nations only in 2013), World Toilet Day has become an important platform to demand action from governments and to reach out to wider audiences by showing that toilets can no longer be treated as a taboo topic but are essential to life with dignity.

On 17 November 2014, the Ecumenical Water Network (EWN) of the World Council of Churches led a prayer service to commemorate World Toilet Day at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, where the EWN secretariat is located. The theme of the prayer service was “Human Right to a Dignified Sanitation”. Many participants found it interesting to see a prayer service around the theme of sanitation. The EWN coordinator Dinesh Suna gave a reflection during the service. Please feel free to use the liturgy and / or the reflection in observing World Toilet Day.

As a token of solidarity, Ecumenical Centre staff members contributed toiletries which will be given to an organization which works for the homeless people in Geneva.

The EWN wishes all a meaningful commemoration of the UN World Toilet Day on 19 November!

The order of service on the theme “Human Right to a dignified sanitation”

Reflection by Dinesh Suna, coordinator, Ecumenical Water Network of WCC

Previous years' World Toilet Day celebrations by EWN

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