Edmonds Daybreakers Rotary launches dignity and safety project for Cambodian women

A completed washroom toilet

The Rotary Club of Edmonds Daybreakers is driving change for women in Cambodia.

According to Bill Taylor, the club’s international service chair, the Edmonds Daybreakers has joined a group 14 Rotary Clubs from seven different Rotary Districts around the globe — including the U.S., Thailand, Ireland and Australia — to improve the lives of women in two Cambodian villages.

The project will involve construction of about 350 washroom toilets at a cost of about $220,000. A washroom toilet is an engineer-designed, septic-tank toilet but is built wider so there is extra space for women to bathe themselves and their children in a safe and dignified space. According to a Daybreakers Rotary press release, violence against women when bathing in the open or using the “bush toilet” is an issue.

“As a test run for this major project, we worked with a Rotary team led by Rotary Port Phillip (in Melbourne, Australia) and supported by the Rotary Foundation and a District 9800 World of Difference team to complete the restoration of over 40 standard toilets to become washroom toilets,” Taylor said.

As part of the new project, the Edmonds Daybreakers will work with a partner Rotary Club in Cambodia – Rotary Sangke Battambang. The two-phase project will also include the engagement of two Cambodian not-for-profit organizations — Cambodia Clean Water and Toilets Project and Build Your Future Today –as the prime links with the villages.

During phase 1, the project will use an existing trained team of Cambodian villagers to build washroom toilets in the village of Kok Benh. For phase 2, the project will create a new trained team of Cambodian villagers to build washroom toilets in the village of Tapour. The villagers will be trained by team members from phase 1.

The project has been approved for financial support from the Rotary Foundation, which “required a significant amount of detail, rigour and justification based on an assessment of what the villagers see as a priority,” Taylor said. “We are about to lodge our application for review by Rotary International.”


  1. Excellent! Our friend Atul Bhide and Rotary in Thane (near Mumbai) India have been doing much similar work.
    – Bruce Scholten

  2. Thank you, Dr Bruce Scholten. Appreciate your efforts in creating awareness about our Rural Sanitation project Right To Go.

    Kudos to Rotarians from Edmonds Daybreakers and various other districts for taking up this worthy initiative. The support of Rotary Foundation will go a long way in fulfilling fellow Rotarians’ dream to empower communities.

    We at India have adopted Green Toilet design that includes two pit system instead of septic tank. I invite my fellow Rotarians to look into possibility of similar Two-Pit design to manage fecal waste. It not only ensures human waste is treated naturally without polluting water bodies or soil but also does not require to clean the septic tank on a regular basis. The two pit system enables human excreta gets naturally convert into manure.

    Atul Bhide
    Primary Contact: Four Rural Sanitation Global Grant Project ‘Right To Go’ , Rotary International
    Rotary Club of Thane Hills, RID 3142, India

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