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.
Nov 4, 2013

Latest developments

The quest for the development of a low-cost indicator for solar radiation continues. In this report, we would like to comment on some exciting developments we observed in the last few weeks:

- One organization we mentioned several times already, Helioz GmbH of Austria, are in the process of producing a first series of their electronic SODIS indicator. The SODIS Foundation is one of the organizations who will be able to try the indicator under real-life conditions.

- A group of investigators and designers from Italy are working on a novel approach for the SODIS indicator. The idea is to have a material which changes color after being exposed to sunlight, and which can be used several times. This would significantly lower costs of producing such indicators and transporting them to remote areas.

As you can see, several groups and institutions around the world are working on the same objective, independently from our work but often in a collaborative manner. We will stay in contact with these groups and discuss ways on how to implement the different approaches in the field. A key question we need to address is how the indicators are used: either by the users directly (which means we need a lot of indicators, but probably will create more trust and a richer experience for users) or by trainers of end users, who will use there devices as a teaching tool for the surrounding families (which means we need fewer devices, but people will not be able to obtain first-hand experience).

We will keep you informed about these and other developments in the coming weeks.

Best regards from the whole team,

Matthias Saladin

PS: In order to avoid misunderstandings, we would like to make it clear that the activities of the groups mentioned in this report were not financially supported by the SODIS Foundation. The donations received for this project through Global Giving so far have been used for field testing in Bolivia and for coordination activities of the SODIS Foundation.

Sep 9, 2013

Finally - Safe Water at School

Teacher Roger Teran with one of the water filters
Teacher Roger Teran with one of the water filters

Dear supporters,

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,

Matthias Saladin

Sep 9, 2013

the importance of locally made products

Girl using the hand washing station at a school
Girl using the hand washing station at a school

Dear supporters,

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.

If you want to keep supporting this project, please consider making a donation. And please let us know what you think about this project and our way of reporting on it.

Thank you and best regards from the project team,

Matthias Saladin

Handwashing stations are easy to construct and use
Handwashing stations are easy to construct and use
 
   

donate now:

An anonymous donor will match all new monthly recurring donations, but only if 75% of donors upgrade to a recurring donation today.
Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $10
    give
  • $20
    give
  • $30
    give
  • $40
    give
  • $60
    give
  • $100
    give
  • $150
    give
  • $500
    give
  • $10
    each month
    give
  • $20
    each month
    give
  • $30
    each month
    give
  • $40
    each month
    give
  • $60
    each month
    give
  • $100
    each month
    give
  • $150
    each month
    give
  • $500
    each month
    give
  • $
    give
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.