It has been a while since you last heard from the project team in Bolivia. In December 2008, we were invited to join a special fund-raising campaign, which received much attention and feedback. In spite of the fact that we did not reach our fundraising target (5,000 USD in one month), there have been many contributions, and we were the most successful project (out of 42) from Latin America. Even after the campaign, funds kept coming in steadily, in spite of an ever worsening economic outlook worldwide. We would like to thank all our supporters for their help in hard times – it is very motivating for us to see so many people contributing to the project.
In Bolivia, the project has made considerable progress over the past few months. In November 2008, staff of the SODIS Foundation trained dozens of facilitators of “Save the Children” on the specific methodology. They in turned started with the training workshops for teachers. So far, more than 700 teachers have been trained in 2008. After holiday season (December and January traditionally are “summer vacation” in Bolivia), the project team went back to work as soon as classes started in February 2009. Local authorities and the parents of the school kids were informed about the project, in order to facilitate the spreading of healthy habits from school to homes.
At the classrooms and schools, the transition is already visible. Not only are there many bottles placed on the roofs or ready for consumption in the classrooms, but also a large number of the innovative “mobile hand washing units” can be seen (see pictures). These units are made of used PET bottles and enable kids to wash their hand at any time, using only very little water.
The project is now in full swing. Within the next few months, SODIS and hand washing will be promoted at all 231 schools of the project as well as in their surroundings. In some schools, poetry and drawing competitions will be held and health fairs will be organized. The SODIS Foundation will keep visiting the project in the field and keep you informed about the latest developments.
Once more, we would like thank all our project supporters. In the words of a child from the project region: “Thanks to SODIS we now have good drinking water, and my headache has gone away…”
P.S. Please let us know what you think of this update by providing feedback in the comments section.
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