SODIS Foundation

To develop and promote solutions for improving drinking water quality and health. For achieving this, we cooperate with the private, public and development sector in order to benefit people in Latin America.
Mar 8, 2011

March Update Micro-Credit Project

Rain water is stored in open barrels for washing
Rain water is stored in open barrels for washing

Dear supporters,

We are happy to send you a short up-date on our micro-credit project in Bolivia. In 2010, the project was in its pilot phase and we tested different strategies and partner organisations. This process was slow but well worth the effort: After one year of trying and learning, we now have a model which is working well and partners we can fully trust in – thus, we are ready to scale up our work.

Jointly with a local micro-finance institution and a construction micro-enterprise, the SODIS Foundation is now offering an attractive package to its clients in the peri-urban area of Cochabamba:

  • Small credits to improve water and sanitary conditions at household level (water tanks, ecological toilets, water-saving devices, etc.)
  • Attractive interest rates
  • Services of a certified and experienced local construction company
  • Independent advisory and supervision service
  • Training and know-how on water treatment, water saving, hygiene, etc.

The combination of these products and services receives a lot of interest on behalf of the families living in poor neighbourhood of Cochabamba. After some information events in several community centers, dozens of families wanted to receive more information on how to access this credit and the benefits that come with it. Thus, our partners from the micro-finance institution are busy screening potential clients and processing their credit information, while construction is already on-going with several families. The process of credit approval is shown in the flow chart (see below).

You may have noticed that that quality of our pictures improved recently. This has to do with the fact that we had visitors to our project: the photographer Matteo Bertolino (www.matteobertolino.com) spent several days with a team of the SODIS Foundation in the project area, and a group of young local professionals produced a short video on the project (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rqXuLw1UWA, in Spanish). Thanks to Matteo, Gaby and Fernando for this support!

In the next phase of the project, we will streamline the process of presenting technology options to the clients and improve the information on these systems so that families can easily compare them and chose the one which best fits their needs. We will keep you updated about progress on our side – please do not hesitate to write comments or send us your questions.

By the way: On March 16, all donations you make will be complemented by another 30% by matching funds from the Global Giving Foundation. Take advantage of this special offer and support our project with a donation early on that day (matching funds are limited and will be allocated to the first $75,000 received that day on www.globalgiving.org).

Thanks again for your support,

For the project team,

People want to obtain credit to improve housing
People want to obtain credit to improve housing
Explaining different options to improve housing
Explaining different options to improve housing
Housing conditions are precarious
Housing conditions are precarious
Project staff providing technical support
Project staff providing technical support
Flow chart of credit approval process
Flow chart of credit approval process

Links:

Feb 7, 2011

Safe Drinking Water Project: Looking back

A "healthy corner" with safe drinking water
A "healthy corner" with safe drinking water

Dear supporters,

We are already well into 2011, but we think that this is a good moment to look back for a moment. Not only to 2010, but also to the whole first phase of the project you supported.

Over the past three years, we have been working jointly with our local partner Save the Children Bolivia and the Ministry of Health to bring safe drinking water and improved hygiene to more than 220 schools in three Departments of Bolivia. In October 2010, project activities at these schools came to an end and the SODIS Foundation carried out a final evaluation. The report of this first phase is now available on our website – please feel free to download it:

http://www.fundacionsodis.org/web/attachments/final_report.pdf

As we informed before, this project is a real breakthrough, both in terms of the quality of the results achieved as well as of the scale: this is one of the largest projects worldwide of its kind and a proof that the methods we have been developing not only work in well controlled small trials. We are now in the process of further disseminating this experience and you can help us in passing on the final report to other people who may be interested. Some other highlights of the projects are the innovative portable hand washing units, the “healthy corners”, and the use of non-traditional communication like wall paintings (see pictures).

Over the past few months we also learned that the project is spurring a lot of interest with other local organizations. The SODIS Foundation is currently in talks with several potential partner organizations in order to evaluate the possibilities of a next project phase. We soon will inform you about the recent developments in this regard.

Furthermore, we are happy to announce that December 2010 was our best fund raising months on Global Giving ever. Donors like you supported the project with a total of more than US$3,400. This was a big boost to our motivation and helps us to prepare the next project phase, making sure that even more people can benefit from simple solutions like Solar Water Disinfection and hand washing.

Most of all, we want to thank you for your continuing support. We highly appreciate that several of you are long-time donors who keep coming back and generously support our work. On behalf of the project team and the beneficiary population, I once more want to express our gratitude.

Best regards,

A SODIS table at the Ceferino Namuncura school
A SODIS table at the Ceferino Namuncura school
Innovative: Portable hand washing units
Innovative: Portable hand washing units
Non-traditional communication: wall paintings
Non-traditional communication: wall paintings
Safe drinking water makes for many happy faces
Safe drinking water makes for many happy faces
Pupils taught their parents to obtain safe water
Pupils taught their parents to obtain safe water

Links:

Dec 29, 2010

New Initiatives

Dear supporters of the SODIS Foundation,

We would like to inform you about two new initiatives of the SODIS Foundation which just have gone on-line:

- "Microcredit for water and sanitation": This is a project to provide microcredit and technical advice to families in Cochabamba (Bolivia) in order to improve their water and sanitation services. This joint initiative of the SODIS Foundation and two experienced financial institutions will empower 100 suburban families to improve the existing (often poor quality) water and sanitation services. With small investments, savings can be created and productivity increased, which enables the families to pay back the loan within a short time.

- "Develop an indicator for Solar Water Disinfection (SODIS)": This project is based on a previously implemented open innovation challenge for developing the concept for a SODIS indicator (see https://gw.innocentive.com/ar/challenge/9093841). The SODIS Foundation now is teaming up with the winning team of this challenge, a group of PhD students from the University of Washington, in order to develop a prototype and test it in the field. The goal is to facilitate the process of teaching and promoting the method of Solar Water Disinfection, a low-cost method for obtaining safe drinking water. Once ready for mass production, the device will help to accelerate the diffusion of SODIS on a global scale.

These two new projects have been prepared over the past months and they now are ready to start. We invite you to support these new initiatives of the SODIS Foundation and to pass on the word to friends and colleagues - feel free to use your social networks or to pass on the news in other ways.

Best regards,

For the SODIS Foundation,

Links:

 

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