Through a global network and service platform, the World Toilet Organization is committed to improving toilet and sanitation conditions worldwide.
Focus: Health, Sanitation
Geographic Area of Impact: Global
Model: Leveraged Non-Profit
Annual Budget: US$ 550,000 (2011)
Percentage Earned Revenue: 30%
Recognition: Schwab Fellow of the World Economic Forum
The average person uses a toilet 2,200 times per year, approximately six times daily. In fact, three years of an individual's life are spent in the toilet. Toilet infrastructure accounts for about 7% of total construction costs and the maintenance market is even larger. The other side of this industry is that 2.6 billion people have no access to basic sanitation and 1.5 million children die from diarrhoea each year unnecessarily.
Innovation and Activities
Jack Sim created the World Toilet Organization (WTO) to promote sound sanitation and public health policies. The organization envisions itself as a de facto global body that champions better toilet environments. It is one of the few organizations to focus on toilets instead of water issues, which often receives more attention on the international development agenda.
WTO was created as a global network and service platform to address the world sanitation crisis. WTO currently has 235 member organizations in 58 countries, working to eliminate the toilet 'taboo' and deliver sustainable sanitation. WTO’s SaniShop franchise trains the poor to become entrepreneurs and sales agents, creating sustainable and scalable solutions to distribute proper sanitation.
WTO is the organizer of the World Toilet Summits and World Toilet Expo and Forums. Each summit addresses critical issues of toilet and sanitation, including technologies, development, funding, maintenance, social entrepreneurship, capacity building and research.
WTO declared 19 November as World Toilet Day, now being celebrated all over the world, thus increasing awareness and generating local action for better sanitation.
Jack Sim grew up in a slum in Singapore in the 1950s. Not having a university degree did not stop him from starting a series of 16 profitable businesses between the ages of 24 and 40. After seeing the futility of focusing only on financial gain, he left business and ventured into non-profit work, dedicating his time to humanitarian causes. As a result he established the Restroom Association of Singapore (RAS) in 1998. With a dream to unite various toilet associations, he founded the World Toilet Organization in 2001 and the World Toilet College in 2005. In 2004, he was awarded the Singapore Green Plan Award by Singapore's National Environment Agency, and was named a Time magazine Hero of the Environment in 2008.
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