The project will provide water filters and hygiene training for 20 day care centers in Cochabamba (Bolivia). Filters and portable hand-washing facilities will be installed in classrooms and educators will be trained on the proper usage of these filters and the implementation of improved hygiene practices. Propagation of these healthy habits into the households will be facilitated by involving the families of the children and the community at large.
One of the top three killers of children under five years of age in Bolivia is diarrhea. It is caused by unsafe drinking water and poor hygiene conditions. Young children are the most vulnerable groups of contracting diarrhea since their immune systems are not yet fully developed and their bodies dehydrate quickly. Whereas water is generally accessible in many day care centers in Bolivia, due to the lack of treatment systems, it often is not safe for drinking.
This project will provide water filters to 20 day care centers in several municipalities around Cochabamba. These filters are proven to reduce bacteria and other impurities. Each classroom will be granted filters so that the children and educators can drink safe water at all times. Additionally, educators will be trained on improved hygiene measures, which add additional health benefits. The project will directly improve the health status of children and educators of 20 day care centers.
Lowering diarrhea incidence rates decreases the mortality rate and improves physical and mental development of children. A healthier environment makes day care centers more conducive to learning and reduces medical expenses to families. The opportunity to attend classes without any ailment benefits these children in the long run, socially and economically, outweighing the costs of implementing a water and hygiene project. Funding permitting, the project can be scaled-up further.
Institutional Website of the SODIS Foundation
Water for Life Award 2012: SODIS Foundation