Residents of the Elder House – a local organization that began as a Red Crescent project in 2007 – are impoverished elderly people who have no family to take care of them and no ability to take care of themselves. Their physical conditions – exacerbated by a prolonged inability to pay for basic medical care – are poor to say the least. Most residents are disabled and need to walk with the assistance of a cane or another person. This, coupled with the fact that the outhouses are located 20 meters away from the main building, poses quite a health risk for residents. They are forced to frequently go outdoors – at night as well as during the day – to use the outhouse where they are often physically unable to squat and therefore fall and hurt themselves, particularly in the winter months when heavy snow and ice are present. The incidences of injuries such as broken bones, sprains and severe bruises increase and it is not uncommon for residents to require assistance when using the outhouse, further removing the individual’s sense of self-reliance and independence.
Consequently, there is a great need for an indoor restroom. The costs versus the benefits of this project are small. Red Crescent requires financial support only for the materials necessary for project implementation. Red Crescent itself will provide all manual labor. The benefits include the overall improvement of the residents’ quality of life and health as well as the general hygiene and sanitation of the Elder House itself.