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Explained: What is ‘Toilet Twinning’?

There are lots of different ways to help people in poverty: donating, raising awareness, fundraising and volunteering – but have you considered twinning your toilet?

On their website, Toilet Twinning say they are “flushing away poverty, one toilet at a time.”

What does it mean to ‘twin your toilet’?

Toilet Twinning is a charity scheme designed to allow people to ‘twin’ their own toilet by donating/buying another toilet for a third-world country.  Once you buy a toilet, you will receive a certificate and photograph of your toilet with GPS coordinates so you can find where it was built on Google Maps.

Why do they do it?

2.3 billion people in the world do not have access to a clean toilet.  The lack of access leaves women and girls at risk of being targets for sexual attacks because they have to pee in the open, often late at night.

According to UN, 1,000 children die every day from preventable diseases linked to dirty water and unsafe toilets.

Toilet Twinning created the scheme to make sure everyone has a safe, private and hygienic space to go to the toilet.

Recently, the Tunbridge Wells branch of Soroptimists fundraised enough money to buy two toilets.

How much does it cost?

It costs £60 to buy one toilet but there are various other options available:

Twin your workplace: 

On their website, ‘Toilet Twinning’ have good ideas of how to raise money as a workplace:

  • Ask us for a ‘Toilet Toll’ box so your colleagues can give as they spend a penny
  • Hold a coffee break cake bake
  • Sell tickets to a lunchtime loo party and lay on silly games
  • Have a posh loo day: pamper your colleagues with flowers, clean towels, posh soap and hand cream and ask them to donate
  • Twin a loo in lieu of sending each other Christmas cards
  • Order a gift set (Toilet Twin, printed loo roll and soap bar in a presentation box) as a staff present for a birthday, a new baby, a retirement present, a leaving do etc

Twin your town:

When twinning your town, the main goals are to try and get your local council or MP involved, then try and ‘twin’ as many toilets as you possibly can across the town.  Ask local businesses, residents, churches etc.

Twin your university:

If you’re considering this option, you need to raise at least £1,500.  Don’t worry, if you’re motivated and have a good group of like-minded twinners getting involved, you can do it.  Here are a few ideas from the website:

  1. You could form a Toilet Twinning society, twin as part of a group that already exists, or just meet informally
  2. Contact the Students’ Union or RAG on campus to try to gain their support
  3. Drum up wider support on campus among staff and students
  4. Hold at least two fundraising events  – with one of them being around World Toilet Day (19 November) if at all possible
  5. Get an article about your efforts into a university magazine/newspaper or a local paper
  6. Twin toilets in a range of venues across the university, for example: the Students’ Union, a halls of residence, faculty block. You could present a toilet twin to the university leadership such as a member of the University Council or Vice-Chancellor.

Why should you get involved?

Toilet Twinning CEO Lorraine Kingsley said:  “Where we work, even the simplest of pit latrines can make a huge contribution to helping people stay healthy and protect themselves from diseases.  Toilets are something we tend to take for granted until we don’t have ready access to one, perhaps when we are out and about in town.  We find people are often moved or shocked to find so many people in the world – one in three people – still don’t have a basic, safe toilet.  Twinning their loo is a simple, practical way to help and it makes people appreciate their own toilet at home more too.”

Get involved here.