Safe Drinking Water for 40 schools in Bolivia

 
$46,764 $3,236
Raised Remaining
Tiquipaya schools students
Tiquipaya schools students

In Bolivia, one must have patience...

Tiquipaya is an eminently ecological village and for more than three years has been implemented a productive partner project called "productive unit with committed families”.

In the vision of this productive unit, the school wants to implement its soap factory with a small chemistry laboratory, in order to develop their own production protocol, based on laboratory experiments.

To this purpose, the school needs about 200 USD to have its own laboratory. You may think it's not a lot of money, but for a school in a rural area, it is.

Why a laboratory?:

-          To increase the quality of the soap

-          In order to have natural fragrances

-          To be able to produce more

-          To no longer pay analysis to other laboratorios

As written in the last report it was expected that the Municipality of Tiquipaya would be responsible in providing the other schools in the Municipality. This idea follows as the goal of the schools, but everything takes time and one must have patience... Recently we came out of an election season that means it’s necessary to come back to the leaders and that takes time and one must have patience...

We are also looking at the possibility of doing some workshops on the development of shampoo and / or artisanal creams. Always in the focus of: hand washing and personal hygiene.

We are happy because the school has since May a volunteer (supported by the SODIS Foundation), working on the sustainability of the project and the corners of hand washing.

We thank you in advance for your support. And feel free to reach us if you have some questions and comments!

With warm greetings from the whole project team,

The "bicimaquina"
The "bicimaquina"
soap drying process
soap drying process
different shape of soap
different shape of soap
Bicimaquina - the bike machine
Bicimaquina - the bike machine

Dear supporter,

Last year have been training teachers and some older students in the production of an ecological soap, helping decrease disease by washing hands in key moments.

“Washing hands with soap and water has been and remains one of the most effective cost interventions against disease transmission in public health. The promotion of proper hand washing with soap and water, can save many lives.

Each year, about 3.5 million children, die without celebrate its fifth birthday from preventable diseases, mainly diarrhea and acute respiratory diseases. Adopting the habit of washing hands with soap and water before eating and after using the toilet, can avoid almost half the number of deaths due to diarrhea, and nearly a quarter of deaths from acute respiratory diseases.”

With the help of two volunteers from USA (Aaron and Hannah), we were able to build a “bicimáquina” a bike-machine. 

This machine is manufactured with recycled materials (old bycicle, iron pipes ...) and assembled by a local artisan. Thanks to this machine, it is possible to increase the quantity and quality of soap, and have more financial input.

This soap is called "el Grillito" - the cricket - and is manufactured 100% ecologically.

Its slogan: "Purchasing this soap it can save many children from infection or estomacles disease"

Some older students have created a micro enterprise within the school, thanks to the support and suppervision of the SODIS Foundation, now they are able to sell soap to students and parents.

The next step would be to sell the soap to the municipality of Tiquipaya who would be responsible in providing the other schools in the comunity!

We are very enthusiastic and positive about this project carried out by these older students with great success 

We thank you in advance for your support. And feel free to reach us if you have some questions and comments !

With warm greetings from the whole project team,

Jeremy Maes

El Grillito - soap box
El Grillito - soap box
Students of a local school producing soap
Students of a local school producing soap

During our last visit to the schools in Tiquipaya, we focused our attention on the issue of handwashing. In fact, the project this year established "proper hand washing by all students at key moments" as a goal for all our target schools. "Key moments" are after visiting the bathroom and before eating – several research studies have shown that washing hands at these key moments can reduce diarrhea rates by up to 50%.

One of the challenges we encountered previously was the lack of soap at schools. Therefore, the SODIS Foundation decided to train teachers and some of the older students in soap making, which turned out to be feasible but not as easy as expected. In fact, making soap is not difficult at all, but making a soap of high quality is - especially in an artisanal setting and without professional emplloyees. Furthermore, it also involves handling strong acids, which is why we decided to implement this activity only with the older students.

After some difficulties and a lot of learning, the students managed to produce their own soap, which now is being used at several schools. The SODIS Foundation is now looking into the option of setting up a student-run micro-enterprise which would be dedicated to produce soap for all 40 schools of the municipality. And we are preparing some special promotion and awareness-raising activities for October 15, which is global hand washing day.

Given all these developments, we decided to extend the project further in order to keep supporting the schools in Tiquipaya in improving their water, sanitation and hygiene conditions. We will keep informing you about lessons learned and challenges ahead.

We hope this report has been useful to you. Please let us know if you have specific question are feedback, and share this report with people who may be interested in supporting out project. Improving water and hygiene conditions at schools is a very direct and cost-effective way of improving conditions and combating disease. We thank you in advance for your support.

With warm greetings from the whole project team,

Matthias Saladin

Training session on proper hand washing
Training session on proper hand washing
School kids posing in their "healthy corner"
School kids posing in their "healthy corner"

Dear supporter,

In this report, we want to briefly inform you about the latest advances and achievements of the project "Safe Drinking Water for 40 Schools in Bolivia":

Donation of 50 water filters to day care centers

In the beginning of 2014, we supported a local organization which is running more than 40 day care centers with a donation of 50 water filters, which was made possible thanks to a micro-project we launched on Global Giving during December 2013. The goal was to extend our work from the schools to other members of the communities, in this case the most vulnerable group in terms of infectious diseases: children between 6 months and 5 years. By working with a trusted partner, we were able to reach dozens of at-risk children with an efficient intervention which is proven to lower diarrhea rates, one of the leading causes of death of young children in Bolivia.

Experts of the SODIS Foundation trained the employees of our partner organization so that they can use the filters adequately. Thanks to this micro-project children and families are now drinking safe water, thus improving health and well-being. In the coming months, we will keep working with these day care centers so that they use the filters instead of consuming unsafe drinking water.

Safe Water Schools Manual: 

Over the past months, we adapted a manual which has been developed by the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag), with the title “for “Safe Water Schools”. The adaptation of the manual to the Bolivian context was conducted by the technical team of the SODIS Foundation and underwent a series of revisions and corrections based on the experiences with local teachers. In addition, we managed to obtain the support of the Ministry of Education at District level in Tiquipaya, who validated the material and now support its use in local schools. The manual provides guidance on how to improve water, sanitation and hygiene aspects at schools in low-income settings.

Water disinfection and hand washing:

From previous projects, we know that when promoting new habits, it is very important to remind people to practice these habits regularly. In the current project, we are using specially designed materials for this purpose:

  • Two Calendars for inform and remind people about different ways of disinfecting drinking water.
  • One poster to promote hand washing, which was approved by the Ministry of Environment and Water (MMAyA).

Project extension

As you can see, the project is making good progress and we are happy to have found positive response by our local partners - most importantly the teachers and pupils, but also by the school administrators, the local representatives of the Ministry of Education, of the Municipality, and the population in general. We therefore decided to extend this project for one more year in order to keep improving water, sanitation and hygiene conditions at local schools.

Bonus Day ahead: increase your impact!

We also wanted to inform you that this July 16, the 2nd Bonus Day of 2014 will take place. Any donation of up to $1000 will be matched by an additional 30%. Shortly before this date, we will provide further details about this special opportunity to make your donations go further.

Conclusion

The project is making good progress, and the response by local people and stakeholders is very positive. We decided to extend this project in order to keep improving positive health impact, further reducing diarrhea rates and school absenteeism.

If you found this report useful, please share it with other people who may be interested in this project. For questions and suggestions, please write to us directly: info@fundacionsodis.org.

Best regards from the whole project team,

Matthias Saladin

Poster promoting hand washing at critical times
Poster promoting hand washing at critical times
Calendar promoting 4 water disinfection methods
Calendar promoting 4 water disinfection methods
Participants of a workshop to promote hand washing
Participants of a workshop to promote hand washing

Links:

Maribel shows how to obtain clean drinking water
Maribel shows how to obtain clean drinking water

Inspirational story from the field

On this occasion, we would like to share with you a truly inspirational story about our project “Safe Drinking Water for 40 Schools in Bolivia”:

Last week, we visited some families and schools in the field and went to Encanta Pampa. Encanta Pampa is a district located in the northeastern part of the town of Tiquipaya, where 300 migrant families from different mining areas of Bolivia live. In this neighborhood resides 8-year old Maribel (see picture) with her parents and two younger brothers. She attends the afternoon shift at the local school where, for the last two years, one of the teachers has been committed to teaching his students the importance of disinfecting water before drinking.

Maribel listened to her teacher’s advice and applied the SODIS (Solar Water Disinfection) method for disinfecting water at her home, teaching her family how to do it.

“In my house, I’m the one who makes SODIS water for my family in order to take care of my brothers so they don’t get sick.” These were the words of Maribel while proudly showing her bottles and the place where she exposes them to sunlight. Her mother is happy that her daughter cares about their health saying, “She is always with water bottles, and she also made portable faucets for washing hands with her brothers.”

Maribel is just one example of the great results we are achieving through this project. We find examples like this very inspirational for our work and wanted to make use of this opportunity to say "Thank you", because only with your help stories like the one of Maribel are possible.

 Bonus Day ahead: increase your impact!

We also wanted to inform you that this February 12, we are having the 1st Bonus Day of 2014. Any donation up to $1000 will be matched by an additional 30%! We think this is a great opportuniy for you to help us even more with our cause, since your donation will create an additional 30% impact, completely for free to you. For example, if you decided to donate 100$, the project actually receives 130$! (Donations only will be matched on February 12, starting at 9 AM EST, and matching funds are limited - so please make sure to make your donation as soon as possible after 9 AM).

 

We hope that we continue to be both inspired and inspirational. Best regards from the whole project team.

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Organization

Project Leader

Matthias Saladin

Executive Co-Director
Cochabamba, Cochabamba Bolivia

Where is this project located?

Map of Safe Drinking Water for 40 schools in Bolivia