Let’s celebrate the International Day for Women and Girls in Science! We recognize and honor the achievements of women and girls in the field of science and their critical role in achieving and sustaining clean water and sanitation.
Miela De Gracia, an esteemed educator and former principal of the Sindangan Pilot Demonstration School in Sindangan, Zamboanga del Norte. Both Miela and her school were among the five awarded champions of the Department of Education’s Comprehensive Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Schools (WinS) Program last November 28 to 29, 2022.
To qualify as a WinS Champion, the school must sustain a three-star rating for three consecutive years. The rating will be based on the comprehensive criteria judged on hygiene, sanitation, water, deworming, and health education.
“It really takes shared leadership, shared governance, and shared responsibilities with the community to achieve something,”
With the continuous support of Action Against Hunger and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Philippines through the “National Roll-out of Philippine Approach to Sustainable Sanitation (PhATSS) and Integrated Program Modelling in Zamboanga del Norte” Project, Miela and her school are able to sustain ideal sanitation and hygiene standards.
Miela shares that this achievement was not due to her efforts alone, but rather it was the support of her community that made a difference. “It really takes shared leadership, shared governance, and shared responsibilities with the community to achieve something,” she adds.
Miela’s school, under her leadership, also led the Menstrual Health Management Campaign last September 29, 2022.
The involvement of women and girls in STEM is not just important to have clean water and sanitation for all, as underscored by Sustainable Development Goal 6, but to achieve all 17 sustainable development goals.
By promoting the participation of women and girls in this field, we are ensuring that the perspectives and experiences of half of the world’s population are represented in developing solutions to water and sanitation issues.
The National Roll-out of Philippine Approach to Sustainable Sanitation (PHATSS) and Integrated Program Modelling in Zamboanga del Norte Project is funded by the UNICEF, and implemented by Action Against Hunger Philippines, with the support of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) and in coordination with the Provincial Government of Zamboanga del Norte.