Celebrating our ONE HUNDRETH rain catchment system for indigenous schools without safe water.
schools report their abenteeism rates from sickness drop from as high as 70% to less than 10%
School principals in the Bocas del Toro region of Panama often report that up to 70% of their students are chronically sick from bad water. Diarrhea, dysentery and skin diseases cause many indigenous students to miss classes, fall behind and get discouraged. Many then drop out, perpetuating the "cycle of poverty" among indigenous people from one generation to another.
OSDW installs rain catchment systems that provide safe, disease-free water from the abundant tropical rains. The water is used for drinking and cooking school lunches.
Principals report their absenteeism rate dramatically drops to less than 10% within 3 months of having clean, safe water.
Our rain catchment systems are simple, low-maintenance and last for years, with only one moving part -- the faucet. Each system provides safe water for an average of 120 students and 250 villagers living nearby.
Our more than one hundred rain catchment systems now bring safe, disease-free waterto 35,000 indigenous students and villagers.
$25 will provide safe water to fifty indigenous students $50 will provide disease-free drinking water to 125 students. $100 will provide safe drinking water for 300 students. $975 will provide a rain-catchment system for an entire school.
(We put your name or that of a loved one on the tank and sendyou photos, name of school and a "thank you" scroll signed bythe principal, teachers and all the students.)
OSDW is an all-volunteer 501 c 3 charity. No one receives a salary or compensation.
Support Operation Safe Drinking Water Make a difference in people’s lives you can see with your own eyes.
That’s how many indigenous children and villagers now have safe, disease-free water from ONE HUNDRED rain-catchment systems we’ve installed in remote indigenous areas where many have died from bad water.
Thousands are in villages in the remote islands of the Bocas del Toro archipelago -- a major indigenous area of Panama. Other thousands are in remote, hard-to-reach hill villages where death rates for infants and children ages 1-4 are tragically high.
Michelle, a Peace Corps volunteer leaving after two years of service, said “I’ve been to too many infant funerals.”
If you drank bad water and got sick, you could go to the doctor. But what can indigenous children in remote villages do? They suffer prolonged, chronic sickness.
The same rain that creates polluted puddles thirsty kids drink from, can bring life and health if caught in one of ourrain catchment tanks. (See photos below)
The rainy season down here starts soon. We’re in a race against time to get rain catchment tanks installed for schools and villages whose only water is from puddles or polluted holes in the ground
You can help win this race against time.
About us:We’re all volunteers. No one receives a salary or compensation. Your donations go to provide safe water for indigenous children.
- Joe Bass
April 30th, 2012
Where the gift of life is given again – every time it rains.
Our 100th rain catchment tank will be installed next week.We approach this milestone with thanks to all our donors.
Each tank supplies safe, disease-free water for up to 350 indigenous students and villagers. 35,000 indigenous people now have safe water for years to come.
News -- School sickness rate drops from 75% to 10%
Senorita Belkis Quoroz, principal of the school at Bahia Grande on San Cristobal island reports the sickness absentee rate among her students dropped from 75% to 10% two months after the rain catchment tank was installed.
What a difference!
The list of indigenous schools reporting huge drops in sickness rates is long. But this list of good news is matched by another list – a list of17 other schoolswith a total of 4,000 students still waiting for a rain catchment tank.
Their sickness rates are soaring. Some of their best students are chronically sick and have dropped out. "What a terrible waste," one principal said.
Some schools have had to stop providing nourishing school lunches for lack of clean cooking water.
The main rainy season has just started. There’s plenty of safe water falling.
3 things you should know about us:
We’re a 501 c 3 charity. No one receives a salary or compensation. We’re all volunteers and donors ourselves.
SEVENTEEN schools need rain catchment systems now. Each system costs $975 installed and lasts for years. They’re simple, low-maintenance with only one moving part – the faucet.
Thank you for making a difference!
Maribel, the principal of the indigenous school at Cauchero, Bocas del Toro Province of Panama was not a happy lady when we met her. Half of her students were absent with stomach problems, diarrhea, dysentery, skin disease and anemia from bad water.
"Some of my brightest kids have dropped out of school from chronic sickness.They fall behind, get discouraged, and give up." she said.
"They lose not only their health, but their futures, too -- all because of bad water."
Maribel met our boat with a scowl and thrust two bowls at us. One was full of polluted brown water. "Pour some of your bottled water in the other bowl," she asked.
We did, and she held them both up in front of me. Their water was heavily polluted.You couldn't see the bottom of the bowl. The bowl with our bottled water was crystal clear.
"See this. Don't my kids deserve water as good as yours?" she asked.
"That's why we're here," I said, pointing to the water tank our volunteers carried in a sling from our boat.(See photos below) .
"I know you should be welcomed with a smile," she said apologetically, then smiled."But it's hard to smile when your best students stay home sick, then drop out."
Our volunteer team got busy and within two hours Maribel had her new rain catchment tank in place.Our tanks are simple, easy to maintain, have only one moving part -- the faucet --and last for years. Rains refill the tank with safe, disease-free water in the tropical downpours common in this area.
Maribel looked at the dark afternoon rain clouds that were gathering and said with an impish smile, "I'm too old, but when it pours I'm going home and dance in the rain."
Maribel and dedicated school principals like her is why I came out of retiremen at age 71 tolaunch Operation Safe Drinking Water, trading my golf shoes for muddy boots.
With financial support from friends like you we'll install our 100th rain catchment tank next month.
Maribel's question sticks with me, "don't my kids deserve water as good as yours?"
Yes, Maribel, they do.
Twenty-two more remote indigenous schools are waiting for rain catchment tanks now. We're an all - volunteer charity. No one receives a salary or compensation. We live among the people we serve.
Thank you for helping us help these twenty-two schools.
Iindigenous school principals report back:
"Our absentee rate due to sickness fell from 70% to 15% afteryou installed the rain catchment tank. Thank you. " Velkis Quiroz - principal, Bahia Grande, Cristobal island.
"Half our students were out sick at any one time.Our absenteeism rate is now downto less than 10%."
-- Delia Vergora - Pfrincipal Nance Risco school
92 rain catchment tanks are now producing safe, disease-freewater for indigenous schools and villages. The tanks also providesafe water for school lunches.
The school kitcneh at Nance Risco was closed for fourmonths due to lack of clean water. Packages of rice and lentils werestocked high but were unused --and unusable -- without safe water.
Principal Delia says, " the kids get nourishing food every day now,thanks to the two rain catchment tanks you installed for us."
35,000 indigenous villagers and children now get safe, dissease-freewater from our 92 rain catchment tanks. The tanks refill in the regulartropical rainstorms common to the indigenous communities.
The rain catchment systems are simple, with only one moving part - the faucet.Surrounding villages use the safe water when school is not in session.
3 things you should know about us
1 ) We're a 501 c 3 charity.
2 ) No one receives a salary or compensation
2 ) We live among the people we serve.
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