We wanted to let you know about exciting developments regarding our project in 40 schools in Tiquipaya (Bolivia). As we reported earlier, the project has been going really well, with teachers, kids and parents learning many new ways on how to prevent diseases and improve quality of live at schools as well as at home. Over the past two years, we reached more than 10,000 kids and trained more than 500 teachers, thus significantly improving living and learning conditions of 40 schools in the municipality of Tiquipaya.
The project has been received well by beneficiaries, but also by authorities of the municipality and the Ministry of Education at district level. Given that this project directly improves health status of children, we are now talking to a major NGO in Bolivia to bring this intervention to larger scale. We currently can not give away names, but we are preparing an external evaluation for the project for spring 2014, and we are identifying additional areas where the next phase of the project can be implemented.
The positive impact of the project can be observed every day at the project schools and families. Safe drinking water is available to all kids, and hygiene practices such as hand washing have improved drastically. As Trifonia Ricaldi, a teacher in one of the schools said: "My kids no longer miss classes because of stomach problems or pains." Well, we think that this is significant, and we want to let more people benefit from these simple solutions for saving lives.
On behalf of the whole project team, I want to thank you very much for being part of this initiative. We are sure that in 2014, we can take this project to a next level, and hope that you want to join us in this journey.
PS: Starting December 20, a co-funding campaign starts to support recurring donations (recurring donations are donations which continue over a period of time, repeating the same amount for several times). For all recurring donations which start after December 20 and continue for at least 4 months, we will receive an additional monthly contribution from the GlobalGiving Foundation, so your donation will have even more impact. And don't forget, you can also donate in the name of someone, which makes for a great gift.
For the second half of November, our field staff has been busy with the evaluation of the project in Anzaldo. They interviewed dozens of children and adults, they organized group discussions, but also carried out in-depth conversations with authorities at schools and at the municipality in order to collect data on the outcomes and results of this project. In the next few weeks, we will work on the final report, which we then also will share with institutional partners and other organizations working in the sectors of education, water/sanitation, and health.
As you may remember, this project is part of a larger disaster risk-reduction program of the municipality. Therefore, several organizations working in the field of emergency aid and risk reduction are very much interested to learn more about the project, the results and the lessons learned. We will present the final report at the working group for disaster relief in Bolivia in 2014, and you will be able to download it from our website as well.
Most of our field activities have concluded by now. However, we will maintain contact with schools and the municipality in order to make sure the healthy habits learned throughout 2013 will continue in the new year, creating lasting benefits for children and their families. If we continue to receive donations for this project in the next few weeks, we will use the funds to spread the lessons learned to additional organizations – and we are considering the option of shooting a video – so please stay tuned.
In the meantime, we wish you a happy Christmas season, End-Of-the-Year, or whatever reasons there are to celebrate.
The whole project team at the SODIS Foundation
The quest for the development of a low-cost indicator for solar radiation continues. In this report, we would like to comment on some exciting developments we observed in the last few weeks:
- One organization we mentioned several times already, Helioz GmbH of Austria, are in the process of producing a first series of their electronic SODIS indicator. The SODIS Foundation is one of the organizations who will be able to try the indicator under real-life conditions.
- A group of investigators and designers from Italy are working on a novel approach for the SODIS indicator. The idea is to have a material which changes color after being exposed to sunlight, and which can be used several times. This would significantly lower costs of producing such indicators and transporting them to remote areas.
As you can see, several groups and institutions around the world are working on the same objective, independently from our work but often in a collaborative manner. We will stay in contact with these groups and discuss ways on how to implement the different approaches in the field. A key question we need to address is how the indicators are used: either by the users directly (which means we need a lot of indicators, but probably will create more trust and a richer experience for users) or by trainers of end users, who will use there devices as a teaching tool for the surrounding families (which means we need fewer devices, but people will not be able to obtain first-hand experience).
We will keep you informed about these and other developments in the coming weeks.
Best regards from the whole team,
PS: In order to avoid misunderstandings, we would like to make it clear that the activities of the groups mentioned in this report were not financially supported by the SODIS Foundation. The donations received for this project through Global Giving so far have been used for field testing in Bolivia and for coordination activities of the SODIS Foundation.