Dunwoody native Jasmine Burton likes to keep busy. Not only does she have a degree from Georgia Tech, she also heads her own business and works in Zambia for the Society for Family Health as a design specialist.
Burton founded Wish for WASH (Water, Sanitation, Hygiene) while she was still an undergrad, and in the few years since, the company has become a globally based organization. After attending a women’s leadership conference during her freshman year of college, Burton was outraged to learn that nearly half of the world doesn’t have access to a toilet.
“I learned the pubescent girls in the developing world frequently drop out of school as a result of their schools lacking toilets,” siad Burton, who felt so moved that she left the conference early, called her family and declared that her life’s work would be to improve the lives of women and girls via sustainable, easy-to-manufacture toilets. Three years later, Burton designed a toilet for the Kakuma refugee camp for an interdisciplinary senior design capstone project, which led to Wish for WASH’s first toilet, SafiChoo.
“The original SafiChoo toilet design included a sit/squat toilet seat, which enabled people of all abilities to use the toilet, and a three-part drawer system that separated the different consistencies of waste so that it could be repurposed in the community,” Burton explained. The design was intended to be an affordable, mobile way to reduce oral-fecal contamination as well as the spread of waterborne diseases. Burton’s design team won first place at the Georgia Tech 2014 InVenture Prize Competition and traveled to the Kakuma refugee camp last summer to pilot the design first-hand.
Burton has big plans for the future. Wish for WASH is developing the second wave of SafiChoo toilets and distributes them throughout Zambia. She is also dedicated to improving policy and public health infrastructure and developing health education systems in developing countries around the world.
“Ultimately, I seek to use my creativity to make the world smile,” Burton said. Here’s to a Dunwoody resident who is taking an active part in making the world a better place.