Founded by Singaporean Jack Sim, the World Toilet Organisation is an international NGO focused on improving toilet and sanitation conditions worldwide. Over 1 billion around the world currently practice open defecation and 2.5 billion only have access to limited sanitation.
Sim is renowned for using humour as a way of breaking taboos around the topic and is known as “Mr Toilet” within the media.
The organisation has had some notable success, including successfully lobbying the UN to introduce 19 November (the day the organisation was founded) as World Toilet Day in 2013. This raised sanitation issues to 375 million people on social media.
Two years later, the WTO helped to secure a commitment from Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, to eradicate open defecation in the country by 2019. They are currently working with local groups to help them achieve this target.
The organisation has also developed a social enterprise model to deliver sanitation to the developing world; SaniShop trains and employs locals to build and install toilets, and they partner with local micro-finance providers to makes them affordable to all. SaniShop currently operates in Cambodia, India and Mozambique.
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