Improving water and sanitation conditions in Africa is Sari's life mission
I am Sari Laurila, Project Manager of Global Dry Toilet Association of Finland (GDTF). I work as a sanitation expert in the WASH&Grow! - a joint project between Mifuko Trust, GDTF and Ukumbi in Kenya. I am also a board member of Mifuko Trust. I am an environmental engineer by training and have a Master's degree in Environmental Science. I was drawn to water and sanitation issues as early as the last millennium when I did an internship in Zambia as part of my studies. The internship sparked my current work and I have been working at GDTF for 17 years now. Since 2006, GDTF has been working on development projects in Africa.
The field trip to Kenya deepened the understanding of Mifuko's work
Kenya is the fifth and newest target country and it is really great to be able to improve the sanitation situation in Kenya as well. At the same time, I am getting to know the living conditions and culture of the country and meeting new people. During my first field trip to Kenya in June 2022, the unique work of Mifuko and the Mifuko Trust in supporting the livelihoods of women's groups and improving living conditions in the region opened up to me in a new and practical way.
The immediate feedback motivates
What motivates me most in this job is the feeling of actually doing work that has a purpose: all the joy and gratitude in people's eyes and hearts when we have given them an important education. The fact that community members have the opportunity for a healthier future and livelihood through things like the dry toilets and water points we've built and the fertilization of toilet outputs.
The immediate feedback from community members is what keeps me going year after year. Sometimes the work is hard and you see unpleasant things that you don't see in Finland. I am really happy to be able to share the expertise I have accumulated over the years with WASH and Grow! and I am delighted that our project cooperation will continue in the coming years.