The last few weeks have been very busy for us: assembling filters, training staff of 15 day care centers on how to use them, and then making sure they are being used properly. The response from our partners at the day care centers was very positive and we continue to receive requests for additional filters and trainings.
Previous to our intervention, in some day care centers kitchen staff had been boiling large amounts of water every day, consuming a lot of time and energy, while at the same time being a complicated process with some risks involved (burning). Now, it is a matter of pouring the raw water into the filter and enjoying the safe drinking water which comes out at the bottom.
As you can see from the pictures, these filters - and the accompanying training and education activities - had a major impact at the day care centers. 50 filters have been distributed, improving the drinking water of more than 1,000 children. On average, this micro-project will avoid about 2,000 cases of diarrhea per year, and if we take into consideration the improved hygiene conditions achieved, the numbers are even more impressive.
At the SODIS Foundation, we are very satisfied about this project. With a very focused approach, we can reach out to the population group which is most at risk to contract diarrhea and other waterborne diseases (children under five), and we can do this in a very cost-effective way (the whole intervention costs less than 5 dollars per child). And the best about it: we are creating a healthy habit with children and their caretakers, which also impacts the community at large and leads to healthier lives, less expenses on medical treatments, and improved quality of live. What else can we hope for?
Best regards from the whole project team,
This is a short update from the field, keeping you informed about recent developments at the 40 schools in Tiquipaya, Bolivia. As all schools in Bolivia are closed for vacation in January, activities at schools started in February. After doing a lot of training and educational work in 2012, we are now going into the second year of the project, focusing more on behavior change and on involving the communities around the schools.
The evaluation at the end of 2012 showed that within the first year, the project achieved some significant changes in knowledge, attitude and practices related to water, sanitation and hygiene. For example, 92% of the kids had safe drinking water available within their classroom in November 2012 (up from 0% at the start of the project), and 89% of the children washed their hands before eating (up from 5% at the start of the project). These are simple interventions which do not require large investments in infrastructure, and research has shown that they are effective in reducing diseases like diarrhea and pneumonia, the two major killers of children in developing countries.
In December 2012, we decided to launch a micro-project within this project framework, which focused on improving drinking water quality at the day care centers of the same municipality (Tiquipaya). Working at day care centers enables us to reach out to pre-school children, which are the most vulnerable ones in respect to diarrhea and pneumonia. The project met with huge interest on behalf of donors, and for almost 2 weeks the project was ranked number one of all projects on the Global Giving platform (more than 10,000 projects). Within less than a month, more than 100 people donated to this micro-project, which already is completely funded by now. We are now working with 15 day care centers and identified additional 23, so within a short time we will launch another micro-project.
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.
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.