We are excited to share several good news with you:
During our visit to 15 of the 40 schools this week, we confirmed how the project is transforming daily routines at the project schools. A typical example is the school “Encanto Pampa” in Tiquipaya: all the water used at this school is delivered by a tanker truck because there is no connection to the public water distribution network. This water then is stored in barrels. Previous to the project, this water was used for cooking, drinking and washing without further treatment. Now, the schools has two options to treat the water: either by adding a locally produced chlorine solution or by exposing the water to sunlight (SODIS method). Both methods have been proven to work satisfactorily, and it’s now up to the teachers and kids to decide which method they prefer. The project also supported the installation of “Safe Water Corners” at each classroom, where safe drinking water and clean cups are readily available.
Apart from the project update, we also wanted to share with you the good news that the SODIS Foundation won the "Water for Life Best Practices Award" of the United Nations. This important award promotes particularly effective initiatives in the field of water management and awareness issues. The first prize in the category “best participatory, communication, awareness-raising and education practices” went to the SODIS Foundation for a previous project which was implemented with the support of UNICEF. On World Water Day (March 22), during a ceremony held at the headquarters of the Food and Agricultural Organization in Rome, the award was handed over to Elsa Sánchez, executive director of the SODIS Foundation. The organizing institutions also will help disseminating the results of the project; currently, a short video is in preparation and we will be sharing with you its release in the coming weeks. We want you to feel part of this success - because of supporters like you, we can keep developing such innovative projects and reach out to the people who most need them.
As you can see, improving living conditions in schools and households in Bolivia keeps us busy – that is one of the reasons why you have not heard from us in a while. Please let us know if this information is helpful or what kind of information you want. Please also feel free to share this information with friends and family through your social networks or by passing on the word.
Thank you again for your support and best regards from the whole project team,
First of all, we wanted to inform you that the fundraising campaign in February was a huge sucess: We raised $2,487 from supporters like you, and the Rockefeller Foundation increased this amount with additional $5,780.06 in matching funds! This is great news and we would like to thank all of you who made this possible.
Thanks to these donations, we can now prepare the next project phase. Currently, we are waiting for several groups - from universities as well as from companies - around the world to send us their next generation prototypes for the SODIS indicator. The SODIS Foundation then will run a series of tests in order to check the accuracy of the devices but also the acceptance by potential users, which is at least as important as the technical part.
We also wanted to share with you the good news that the "Water for Life Award" this year went to a project of the SODIS Foundation. This imporant award is organized by agencies of the United Nations in order to promote particularly effective projects in the field of water management and awareness of water issues. The first prize in the category 'best participatory, communication, awareness-raising and education practices' went to the SODIS Foundation. On World Water Day (March 22), during a special ceremony at the Headquarters of the Food and Agrictultural Organization in Rome, the award was handed over to Elsa Sánchez, executive director of the SODIS Foundation. The organizing institutions also will help disseminating the results of this project; currently, a short video is in preparation and we will be sharing with you its release in the coming weeks. We want you to feel part of this success - because of supporters like you, we can keep developing such innovative projects and reach out to the people who most need it.
Thank you again and best regards from the whole project team,
P.S. May 13 is Mother's Day - why not make a donation to one of your favourite projects in the name of someone? The Mother's Day Tribute Card Campaign is active now: Make a donation to one of our projects and select the third option, "gift or in honor of,” under the orange donate button on the project page. GlobalGiving will send the gift recipient an email, print-at-home, or physical card. Several fun card designs are on offer and you can choose a customized design.
This is a short update from the SODIS Foundation and from the project to provide micro-credit to families in Cochabamba (Bolivia), which you supported in the past.
The big news is that the SODIS Foundation managed to sign an institutional agreement with two strong partners: KIVA is a world-leading non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty (www.kiva.org), and EMPRENDER is a Bolivian micro-finance institution focusing its work on supporting micro-entrepreneurs in the peri-urban an rural areas. Together with the SODIS Foundation, these two organizations now are launching a new phase of the project in order to help people and families to improve their water and sanitation conditions. The promotional phase is in full swing, with posters and fliers being handed out to potential customers at the offices of EMPRENDER. We are truly excited about this recent development, which shows that carefully testing and developing the mechanisms and tools for this project over the past two years were worth the effort.
On the technical side, important innovations were pushed ahead as well. As toilets are an important component of our project, we joined forces with a local company who produces pre-fabricated construction modules. With the use of these modules, it now is possible to construct a new toilet in 4 instead of 20 days - that's an important step ahead which also will help us reducing costs. The design is an Eco-Toilet, meaning that it will allow users to produce their own compost and fertilizers, rather than having to pay to dispose of a stinking cesspit. It also includes a shower, which will add additional value to the product and was a clearly expressed need of our pilot customers.
We hope that with these recent developments, we are not in a position to really bring to scale the projects. In only one week of full promotion, already five customers have gone through the whole process of credit application and approval, and dozens are still in the process.
Please feel free to let us know if this report was useful to you and what kind of additional information you would like to receive. We are always trying to learn and improve, and reporting to you is an important part of our work.
Looking forward to hearing back from you,
Best regards from the whole project team,