STORY HIGHLIGHTS


No more taboo or embarrassment-Mr. Toilet and his toilet revolution

CNC
Added On October 26, 2016

WTO is commonly understood as the World Trade Organization, but to a group of people, it has another definition --- the World Toilet Organization.
 
Founded in 2001, the organization is dedicated to educate people the importance of toilets.
 
Its founder Jack Sim is proud to be called Mr. Toilet.
 
Born in 1957, Jack was not a typical good student. To the contrary, he left school early and became a salesman.
 
With efforts, he achieved financial success in his 40s.
 
SOUNDBITE(ENG): JACK SIM, Founder, World Toilet Organization
"So I made some money, but I realized that at 40 I only have 40 years to go before I die. Because people die around 80 years all, so I thought actually I am not spending money but spending time."
 
SOUNDBITE(ENG): JACK SIM, Founder, World Toilet Organization
"Time is the only thing that life is and it is very precious. So how do we exchange time for highest value, then it becomes service. So how can we make the world a little bit better? So I thought what is the thing that neglected and nobody wants to do, but it is very important."
 
The answer came out as the toilet, a topic used to be a taboo and shrouded in embarrassment. Jack felt necessary to do something about it.
 
SOUNDBITE(ENG): JACK SIM, Founder, World Toilet Organization
"Every year almost one million children die of diarrhea, because not having toilets. The flies goes to their poop, and goes to their food. Sometime they do not wash their hand, they touch their backside in the eat with their hand. So all these problem can be prevented, people do not die unnecessarily. In India, a woman going to a toilet in the open, can be rape, can be (?), or at least can lost their privacy when people peek at them. So having a toilet is so important."
 
However, the important work is not easy to be implemented. But Jack is still optimistic despite all difficulties.
 
SOUNDBITE(ENG): JACK SIM, Founder, World Toilet Organization
"One person can not do much. But if you create a revolution that everybody is doing it. And these effort is done by all the people rather than myself. But I start to find it, then it start to spread. So I think movement among interesting, then doing NGO yourself help a small number of people. But if you give the ownership of the mission to everyone, then it belongs to them and not to you any more."
 
At 'Toilet Talk' in Beijing, Jack shared his experience and feelings on the toilet movement worldwide. 
 
He says 19 years after the establishment of his WTO and the hard working, the situation has changed a lot.
 
SOUNDBITE(ENG): JACK SIM, Founder, World Toilet Organization
"The situation is getting very much better. Because the population is growing in the world. We have to continue our work to make sure toilet is chasing our population growth. (1649-01 01:55)Right now in India, Prime Minister Mudi is building one hundred and ten million toilets. This is a lot and every family will have toilet. 
 
Jack realized WTO can be more than just a charitable organization. His sense of business told him that toilets have great potential in making money. He decided to use them to help the poor.
 
SOUNDBITE(ENG): JACK SIM, Founder, World Toilet Organization
"So when we think about charity, giving people free thing is not sustainable. You have to train people to set their business. So they make money they will more devote to sell more and produce more. So this is a model we did in Cambodia, in India, in Indonesia and so in Mozambique."
 
He believes the toilet industry has also linked to the economic growth.
 
SOUNDBITE(ENG): JACK SIM, Founder, World Toilet Organization
"When you have better toilet, you have more tourists. So right now China GDP growth is 6.7% this year. But if you have a vibrate tourist market, the domestic tourism will grow so fast, and the foreign tourism will also grow. Maybe you can have 7 or 8 % growth in GDP. So toilet is actually making money, it is not just an expenditure. It's also saving money, because when people have hygiene, they are more healthy. And then you do not pay for doctors, medicinal fee. It's also protecting the river, because if all the shit going to the river,then the water becomes unclean, then you have to spend so much money to filtering water. So prevention is better than cure. Having good toilet is just so sensible and it is the cheapest medicine in the world."
 
In Jack's mind, toilets are so close with everyone. He joked they are even more intimate than one's spouse.
 
SOUNDBITE(ENG): JACK SIM, Founder, World Toilet Organization
"The toilet is the only thing that every time you see it, you take off your pants. You don’t do that with your wife, so I think the toilet is more intimate to you than your spouse."