At Katuuso Primary School in Uganda—the site where the 2011 GWWI East Africa Grassroots Training built and handed over two water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) technologies—the students, especially the girls, were shocked to see women constructing rainwater harvesting (RWH) tanks and ventilated improved pits (VIP) latrines to serve the campus’ 600 students. The girls at the school never thought that women could build these technologies. Why would they, when they had been socialized to believe that this was a man’s job?
During the two weeks spent in Katuuso Primary School, training participants learned practical skills to construct water technologies, and in the process began to transform into role models for the female students. Working alongside our young sisters and under the guidance of two African women facilitating the technology trainings, these students learned that women could be community change-makers and still be mothers and caretakers. As we stood in lines passing bricks to each other for construction, we began to hear the students say, I want to be an engineer when I grow up!