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,
We just received very good news - for you, for the SODIS Foundation and for the project you helped funding:
Thanks to a substantial corporate donation last week, we reached our fundraising target ahead of time. This means that the project is fully funded. Throughout the project, we provided training on safe drinking water, improved hygiene and sanitation to more than 85,000 school kids in 231 schools in Bolivia.
We actually exceeded our fundraising target by $3,410. This amount now will be used in our new project, which is already online and which you can support as well: www.globalgiving.org/9871. If you want to follow our activities, please subscribe to the updates of this project or make a donation. In this new project, we will be improving water and sanitation services of more than 9500 children in 40 schools in Tiquipaya (Bolivia).
Furthermore, we also would like to point out to a very special opportunity: thanks to support of the Rockefeller Foundation and InnoCentive.com, our project to develop a SODIS indicator will continue. Donations to our project will be matched by 200% - that's triplicating the amount you donate! This mechanism will only last until February 29 and is valid for donations of up to $1,000. For example, if you donate $50, the project will actually receive $150, which will cover the costs of a training workshop and focus group discussion in order to further improve the indicator design we are working with. Please make use of this unique opportunity and pass on the word to others. You can read more about this initiative on this blog or in this article.
Thank you again for your support throughout the project.
Best regards,Matthias Saladin