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.
Sep 13, 2012

Project update: September 2012

Edgar and Felicia, two of our micro-credit clients
Edgar and Felicia, two of our micro-credit clients

Dear supporters,

This is a short up-date from the field from the project to provide families in Bolivia with micro-credits for water and sanitation improvements.

Both in numbers and in processes, the project is now getting to speed - after a long phase of institutional negotiations and trials of different models, we can now focus on the promotion of the micro-credits. Since May, $6,000 in credits have been disbursed to nine families, and further $18,000 are in the process of technical and financial evaluation (by the way: the donations we receive through GlobalGiving are not used for the credits but for the promotional and educational activities of the SODIS Foundation). And here is another important number: 0% of credit defaults...

However, the project is not only about numbers, it is also - and most importantly - about people. For example Edgar Anagua and Felicia Crespo, a young couple who lives in the peri-urban zone of Cochabamba. For many years, they lived without a bathroom or toilet, which is quite a common situation in this area where the water distributions network (or the sewer, for that matter) does not exist yet. Edgar and Felicia were aware of the importance of basic sanitary installations and previously had inquired with local banks, but their requirements for micro-credit were all to stringent. Thus, when they heard of our project they immediately contacted us, and within a few days the credit was approved. For $1,500, they were able to buy a big water tank and construct the bathroom including a toilet and a shower (see pictures).

Today, they have their own toilet and they can even take a shower - which is not only a luxury in this area but really increases quality of live. Among other things, they noted that their children are much healthier, which also brings about savings and productivity gains for the parents. As Edgar Anagua points out: "This micro-credits are a great opportunity to improve our lives. This experience also taught me to be more responsible, to work hard and to be serious about my dreams".

For us, this is just one of many examples where we witness how the project is making a big difference in lives of families. And like Edgar and Felicia, there are thousands of people who need an opportunity to improve their living conditions - not by free give-aways but by their own work. Because micro-credit and sanitation are not only about survival, but also about something we sometimes forget: dignity.

Best regards from the whole project team,

Matthias Saladin

Basic works for the bathroom/shower are finished
Basic works for the bathroom/shower are finished

Links:

Aug 7, 2012

August up-date and photo contest

Safe drinking water - 1 of our 2 finalist photos
Safe drinking water - 1 of our 2 finalist photos

Dear Supporters,

As you probably know, development is not a steady process. This is especially true if development concerns a completely novel device and if your setting is in low-income countries – as is the case with our indicator for Solar Water Disinfection. While at times, there were laps ahead and exciting connections to people from unexpected areas, there also are times when things move very slowly. Our project is just in such a phase – for example, it took more than two months to ship some of our newly developed prototypes to Bolivia. The hard part was not actually shipping them, but getting them through customs – like many low-income countries, Bolivia has rather strict import policies and not the most cooperative officers… In any case, the new prototypes are now where they should be (in Bolivia) and this means that testing can start within a few days.

In order to protect the intellectual property of our partner organizations, we currently cannot provide pictures of the prototypes we are testing – several of them have patents pending. However, once these processes are completed, you will see the ground-breaking changes the devices went through, becoming ever smarter and sleeker, and at the same time more affordable.

At the same time, we would like to point out to an international photo contest on the Global Giving website. The SODIS Foundation has two photos among the finalists – check them out and vote for the ones you like best. It takes less than a minute (don’t forget to confirm your vote by answering the e-mail you will receive instantly), and the winning organization will receive 1,000 USD extra for their project.

We hope this project up-date is useful for you. Please let us know what you think about it or what other information you want us to provide.

Thank you for your support and best regards from the whole project team,

Links:

Jun 12, 2012

June 13th: Bonus Day

Sanitary conditions before...
Sanitary conditions before...

Dear supporters,

We just quickly wanted to let you know that June 13th is a Bonus Day - this means that donations to our project will be matched by additional 50% on this day. This makes your donation even more effective and helps us to reach out to even more families every day.

Meanwhile, our project keeps going ahead, changing the project area one family at the time. For example the family of Pastora Perez, who is dedicated to pig breeding. Pastora Perez approached our micro-finance partner because her water and sanitary installation were in a dire state and she wanted to change this. After forming a group with four more neighbours, she was able to access a credit of 1,000 dollars in order to install a water tank and to improve her toilet. Within a short time, her living conditions have changed completely: not only can the whole family now take a shower and drink clean water, but having an improved toilet also means that they have recovered some dignity. Sometimes, this is just as important as the services provided by the project. Pastora Perez is very satisfied with her investment, because the water tanks allows her to save a lot of time which she now can dedicate to more productive activities than carrying water.

Please feel free to give us feedback about the project and this report. What kind of information would you like to receive? If you think this is an important project, please pass on the word to friends and family. And why not make a small donation on June 13th and take advantage of the unique opportunity that someone else will add 50% of your donation? We are thankful for every donation, no matter the amount.

Best regards from the whole project team,

... and after the micro-credit project
... and after the micro-credit project
One of the pigs of Pastora Perez
One of the pigs of Pastora Perez
 
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