Group presentation of SODIS during a health fair
This is a short message with some updates from the field and an announcement of an upcoming opportunity to increase the impact of your donations.
During a recent field trip, two volunteers of the SODIS Foundation, Valerie Grosscup and Jonathan Spear, visited several project schools. They went to schools in El Alto and Oruro, talked to teachers, school directors and students and came back with a lot of impressions and ideas. One thing they learned is that in the schools in El Alto, where project activities had started much earlier than in Oruro, there is much more practice of SODIS and hand washing at the classrooms. This confirms our experience that change does not come over night, neither by a single workshop or training. Whereas these learning moments are important, the key of behavior change consists of repetition and motivation, which takes a lot of time and effort (those of you who have experience in teaching children to brush their teeth or wash their hands may know this…).
The visit of Valerie and Jonathan, along with other monitoring activities of the SODIS Foundation, confirmed that the project is progressing well. Over the past months, the training activities in the field have reached all 231 schools involved in the project. More than 800 students were trained as peer trainers, as well as more than 800 teachers and school directors. In more than 100 schools, some simple structures were installed for exposing the bottles to sunlight. Furthermore, “healthy corners” were installed in over 100 schools, where the treated water is kept and where students can wash their hands.
You may be aware that on a global scale, hand washing is being recognized as an effective prevention not only for waterborne diseases, but also for influenza (including the “swine flu”). This situation highlights the importance of this project, providing over 200 schools with simple yet effective shields against public health threats. The next time you wash your hands, you may want to think about the luxury of safe dinking water coming out of the tap – it saves thousands of lives, day after day.
We also would like to announce an important opportunity: During November, all donations we receive through the website www.globalgiving.com will be matched by at least 30% by the Global Giving Foundation. This means that for example a donation of 10$ will actually generate 13$ of benefits, and the more funds we raise, the more matching money we receive (up to 50% if we raise at least 7,500$ during this challenge). We therefore would like to encourage you considering a donation to the project – every donation makes a difference!
Please let us know if this project update was useful for you by leaving a comment on the website. We continuously strive to improve our services and are grateful for any feedback.
Thanking you for your support,
By the way, you can also find us – and many pictures of from the project – on Facebook. Simply type “Safe Drinking WAter for Children in Latin America” in the search bar of Facebook.
Teachers during a training workshop
SODIS support at a local school