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:
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.
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.
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Best regards from the whole project team,
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.
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.
As we have been reporting, the project to provide 40 schools in Tiquipaya (Bolivia) with safe drinking water and improved hygiene conditions is advancing well. Apart from the dozens of trainings and support workshops to teachers and school kids, we also are receiving support from local autorities - most importantly, the Municipal Government and the Ministry of Education at district level. The support of the these institutions makes sure that the project will be continued, even after formal activities in the field will finish by the end of 2013.
One lesson learnt during the first phase of the project was to consider the importance of locally available materials. For example, water can be made safe for drinking by using common plastic bottles. This method, called SODIS (for Solar Water Disinfection) is very effective and we reported on this in previous reports. After several months of intensive use, these bottles are too scratched to be fully effective - but they still can be put to good use: as a water container in our hand washing stations (see picture).
Another example of locally available products is soap. Soap, even though available in most communities in Bolivia, is hardly ever present at schools because this type of small cash expenses is not considered in the municipal budget and schools do not have funds available for this. Therefore, our idea was to train a group of teachers and kids on how to produce soap with locally available materials. The idea was well received, and two schools arleady started making their own soap. The excess production is sold to surrounding families and the income generated by these sales can be used to keep buying the ingredients needed for soap production. In this way, soap will be available at all times in the future, independently from external support. This is the level we want to achieve with all our interventions, and we hope to continue progressing in this direction. For at some point in the future, all schools in Bolivia (and elsewhere) will have the basic services available which are needed for learning and growing in a healthy environment.
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Thank you and best regards from the project team,
During our recent visit to the field, we confirmed what the locally based team members told us before: that the project is progressing well, and that the impact is ever more visible. Whereas the project in the first year focussed on teaching kids and educational staff the importance of safe drinking water and how to obtain it, this year we want to get these messages to the whole community. As a starting point, we trained kids how to measure the quality of the locally available water - seeing that they actually were drinking water of non-potable quality got many people interested in our project and started to kick-start activities.
Just to mention a few of the activities carried out in 2013:
As you can see, we have been busy, and we are now starting the activities to involve the whole community...
On a different note, wewanted to let you know that June 12 is a Bonus Day. This means that all donations received that day will be topped up by another 50%. Starting at 9:00 am EDT, GlobalGiving will match donations of up to $1,000 made through www.globalgiving.org. For example, if you make a donation of $50, actually $75 will go to the project. So please take advantage of this great opportunity and make a donation to one of our projects - every donation makes a difference.
Best regards from the whole project team
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