This is a short update from the field, keeping you informed about recent developments at the 40 schools in Tiquipaya, Bolivia. As all schools in Bolivia are closed for vacation in January, activities at schools started in February. After doing a lot of training and educational work in 2012, we are now going into the second year of the project, focusing more on behavior change and on involving the communities around the schools.
The evaluation at the end of 2012 showed that within the first year, the project achieved some significant changes in knowledge, attitude and practices related to water, sanitation and hygiene. For example, 92% of the kids had safe drinking water available within their classroom in November 2012 (up from 0% at the start of the project), and 89% of the children washed their hands before eating (up from 5% at the start of the project). These are simple interventions which do not require large investments in infrastructure, and research has shown that they are effective in reducing diseases like diarrhea and pneumonia, the two major killers of children in developing countries.
In December 2012, we decided to launch a micro-project within this project framework, which focused on improving drinking water quality at the day care centers of the same municipality (Tiquipaya). Working at day care centers enables us to reach out to pre-school children, which are the most vulnerable ones in respect to diarrhea and pneumonia. The project met with huge interest on behalf of donors, and for almost 2 weeks the project was ranked number one of all projects on the Global Giving platform (more than 10,000 projects). Within less than a month, more than 100 people donated to this micro-project, which already is completely funded by now. We are now working with 15 day care centers and identified additional 23, so within a short time we will launch another micro-project.
Apart from progress in the field, we also would like to inform you about a special donation opportunity: On March 13th, all donations will be matched by additional 30% by the Global Giving Foundation. That means that if you donate $100 that day, $130 will actually go to the project (any amount up to $1,000 will be matched). Matching will begin at 9:00 am EDT (this time in your city) and matching will last until funds run out or 11:59 pm EDT. If you consider making a donation to our project (or any other on www.globalgiving.org), please make use of this special opportunity - for no extra effort, you will get 30% more impact out of your donation.
Please let us know if this project report met your expectations. We are happy to provide additional information or answer specific questions – it is up to you to get involved. If you think this report was useful, please pass it on to your personal contacts – thank you.
Best regards from the whole project team
The first year of our project in 40 schools in Tiquipaya (Bolivia) has finished. Currently, school kids in Bolivia are on summer vacation (yes, this is summertime in the Southern part of the planet) and only will return to school in February 2013. As we reported earlier, our project has brought about sifnificant changes to the schools, mostly related to water and hygiene behaviour. Behaviour change is a slow and complex process, but within a short time, we achieved that most kids (and teachers as well) started drinking treated water and washing hands at critical moments. These changes seem simple but they make a big difference in the lives of people: children who drink safe water and wash hands is significantly better than the one of their peers who do not apply these simple solutions for saving lives.
The project will continue for another year and we are already preparing the materials and trainings for 2013. However, before we start with our activities at schools again, we wanted to share with you an official certificate we received from the Ministry of Education at District level – they are thanking the SODIS Foundation for its dedicated work (see picture). In this way, we would like to say thank you to all our supporters – thanks to people like you, this project has been possible and thousands of lives have been improved.
In the coming months, you will hear from us again, reporting from the experiences in the field, about successes, failures and challenges. We hope this project is as motivating and exciting as it is to us, and we will be looking forward to receiving some feedback from you – please let us know how we can continue to improve our reports and the way we keep you informed.
We hope you enjoy the holiday season and wish you all the best for 2013.
For the whole project team,
We are happy to announce that last two weeks, the project you supported in the past was visited and evaluated by an external advisor of the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag). He went to 7 of the 40 schools of the project, talked to the teachers and children, and interviewed local authorities: mayors, directors of health centers, etc.. His conclusions are very conclusive: The project is a success and led to substantial improvements in the targeted areas of water, sanitation and hygiene. The advisor also was impressed by the enthusiasm of the children – some of them made their own songs and poetry which help remembering the key messages of the project. Children, teachers, school administrators and health authorities are very convinced of positive impacto of the project, and the mayor of Tiquipaya even suggested to extend it to the secondary schools of the municipality.
This confirmed us in our decision to extend the project for an additional year, during which we will reinforce the work with the 40 primary schools already included in the project but also involve secondary schools and reach out more closely to the community in general. We also detected that in 15 day care centers of the municipality of Tiquipaya, drinking water provided is of poor qualilty. We therefore developed a micro-project which specifically will address this problem. You can support this micro-project directly following this link.
Sometimes, it is difficult to describe in a few words the profund changes which are brought about by our projects. That's why we decided to make a video of this showcase project – it is currently in elaboration and will be out by the end of the year - we will let you know.
Last but not least, we would like to point out to the recurring donation campaign: If you decide in December to donate on a regular basis to one of our projects on Global Giving (e.g., $10 per month), this amount will be matched by an anonymous donor by 100%. Thus, you can help us make financial planning easier and at the same time double the amount which goes to the project.
We wish you a happy holiday seasons and send you best greetings from the whole project team,
We are excited to announce that Wednesday, October 17 will be another Bonus Day - this means that every donation we receive that day will be matched by 30% by the Global Giving Foundation. This is a great opportunity to keep supporting our project and will make your donation have an even larger impact than usual.
Meanwhile, our project in 40 schools in Bolivia keeps pushing ahead. Our project team had to overcome many difficulties - for example, to get to one of the project schools, people have to walk for 2 days... in our interconnected world, it is hard to imagine living so remotely - and mobile phone coverage of course has not reached this hidden corner of Bolivia yet.
At this moment, the project team is preparing an extension of the project for an additional year. This was actually requested by the local authorities and teachers as they feel that even though progress has been great at schools, there now is a need to involve the communities more closely in order to make sure that the children drink treated water at all times, not only at school. The SODIS Foundation is taking on this challenge and is currently negotiating the terms for the project extension. We will keep you informed about this exciting development and the results we achieve on the way.
In the name of the whole project team, I want to thank you for your previous support and encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity of the Bonus Day on October 17.
We quickly wanted to inform you about exciting news related to our project for 40 schools in Bolivia, which you supported in the past:
Overall, we are very encouraged to see how fast the promoted new technologies and solutions to save lives have spread. However, our evaluation also showed that it is necessary to bring these innovations from the schools to the families and homes. Thus, we elaborated a plan for an additional project phase, which will start in November 2012 and will reach out to these families.
Please feel free to pass on the word about our projects and activities to friends and family members. We are looking forward to receiving feedback on the project and on this report - is this information useful for you?
Best regards from the whole project team,
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