The field activities of our project have come to an end. Just to give you a few numbers:
- 1114 school kids and 60 teachers were trained on simple methods to improve water, sanitation and hygiene conditions at schools and at home
- 72 water filters were installed at schools
- 150 families were provided with an innovative water treatment device and provided feedback for its further development
Moreover, the numerous activities carried out by our staff led to substantial changes in the way people think, feel and act in relation to water, sanitation and hygiene:
- At the end of the project, 89% of the children had safe drinking water available at school class at the moment of the evaluation – this number was at 1% when the project started.
- 58% of school kids correctly washed their hands with soap (up from 23% at the project start).
- 59% of the schools had adequate and clean sanitary installations available at the end of the project, up from 4% at project start.
These numbers clearly show that the project has created a massive improvement in water, sanitation and hygiene conditions at the local schools. It also is clear that the results can be further improved, and that’s why we will continue to support these schools with technical advice and supply of materials (e.g., candles for the ceramic filters).
Now that the activities in the field have stopped is the moment when we start with the second phase of the project, which is at least as important as the first phase: We are documenting our experiences in order to share them with other people and organizations. In this case, our most important conversation partner is the Ministry of Education. Before and throughout the project we informed people at local and at district level about the project, and we now are in conversations on how to integrate some of the modules we implemented into the curricula of the Ministry and how we can improve in general the water, sanitation and hygiene conditions at schools, as these have a significant impact on absenteesm and on learning results.
We will keep working on the improvement on water-related issues at schools in Bolivia. If you want to continue supporting our work at schools, please check out our other projects on GlobalGiving.
For us, this project has been a very positive experience. We have implemented an innovative methodology and helped improving basic services at schools. We think this is a model which deserves further attention and will be working with our local partners to support additional schools in Bolivia and in the region.
At this point, we also would like to thank all our supporters and sponsors – without you, the project would not have come as far as it did.
For the second half of November, our field staff has been busy with the evaluation of the project in Anzaldo. They interviewed dozens of children and adults, they organized group discussions, but also carried out in-depth conversations with authorities at schools and at the municipality in order to collect data on the outcomes and results of this project. In the next few weeks, we will work on the final report, which we then also will share with institutional partners and other organizations working in the sectors of education, water/sanitation, and health.
As you may remember, this project is part of a larger disaster risk-reduction program of the municipality. Therefore, several organizations working in the field of emergency aid and risk reduction are very much interested to learn more about the project, the results and the lessons learned. We will present the final report at the working group for disaster relief in Bolivia in 2014, and you will be able to download it from our website as well.
Most of our field activities have concluded by now. However, we will maintain contact with schools and the municipality in order to make sure the healthy habits learned throughout 2013 will continue in the new year, creating lasting benefits for children and their families. If we continue to receive donations for this project in the next few weeks, we will use the funds to spread the lessons learned to additional organizations – and we are considering the option of shooting a video – so please stay tuned.
In the meantime, we wish you a happy Christmas season, End-Of-the-Year, or whatever reasons there are to celebrate.
The whole project team at the SODIS Foundation
As we reported in our previous messages from the field, the project to provide 1200 kids in Anzaldo (Bolivia) with safe drinking water is in full swing. After the initial information and discussion sessions with the local communities, we started with the training workshops - first for teachers and later for the school kids. At each school, there is now a group of kids who are in charge of making sure there is safe drinking water at all class rooms and all kids have a clean cup for drinking water during the breaks.
Complementary to improving the quality of drinking water, we also are working hard to improve hygiene conditions at schools. Specifically, we install simple hand washing stations and make sure these are used at critical moments: after using the toilet and before eating. Based on scientific evidence, the combination of improving water quality and hand washing is one of the most effective interventions in order to reduce diarrhea, cholera and other diseases.
The project is advancing well, and the reactions of the local people are overwhelmingly positive. For example, during a recent visit to a project school we talked to Roger Teran, one of the teachers of a project school in Anzaldo. He said that "it was time for some organization to come up with better solutions, because water is very important for our children. The water filter is so easy to use and a big advantage for the children.”
The water filter he mentioned (see picture) is just one of the solutions we provide in order to make schools healthier places for learning. They consist of a ceramic element (called "candle"), two plastic buckets and a tap, and they effectively remove bacteria and parasites which are commonly found in water sources at Anzaldo. Thanks to this simple technology, water now is safe for drinking, and children highly appreciate it.
Thanks to your support, we were able to make a difference. Please continue to support this project.
Best regards from the whole project team,
During my recent visit to the project in Bolivia, I confirmed what the local team had told me before: that the project is progressing well, and that the impact is ever more visible. Thanks to the great work done in the past few months, we immediately could start with the training activities, and the participation of the local population was overwhelming - the room where we started out training soon was so crowded that we had to move to a larger facility.
The project is starting to stirr up interest with the local people and authorities. The project is getting logistical support from the Municipality of Anzaldo, where the project is located. During out training sessions, we train people on how to obtain safe drinking water using two different methods:
Over the next few months, we want to collect data on the different methods and devices people are using in order to improve the products and to learn more about how such effective interventions can best be integrated into local traditions and habits.
On a different note, we wanted 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 our project - every donation makes a difference.
Best regards from the whole project team
This is just a quick update from the field to let you know about recent developments in our project. During December and January, we were busy producing the educational materials to be used at the schools and communities, defining our intervention plan and meeting with local authorities in order to coordinate activities. On Friday, February 22, the coordination workshop with the local population took place (see picture), which also was the official launch of the project. We explained the goals of the project and what kind of interventions we are planning to implement in order to strengthen local capacities to respond to emergency situations. Participants - representatives from the project communities - were very interested to find out more about these novel methods and technologies.
We witnessed how fast news spread, even in places where coverage with cellular phones is intermittent at best. Apart from the communities where our project will take place, representatives from five more communities came to the workshop and required to be part of the project. As our resources are limited and we want to implement a well-controlled pilot trial, we offered these communities a full-day training session and support to establish and train local Emergency Brigades (groups of volunteers who are in charge of developing emergency plans and coordinate activities in the case of an emergency). Three such trainings already took place (in Tijrasca, Mollini and Llallaguani) and were met with great interest on behalf of the local population. We are now discussing with local authorities how to respond to additional demand for trainings and information sessions.
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.
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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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