Maria (Oruro) is showing her SODIS bottle
Safe Drinking Water for 80,000 children in Bolivia
Project update June 2010
With great pleasure we inform you about the recent developments in the project „Safe Drinking Water for 80,000 children in Bolivia“. As we have reported previously, activities in the field are advancing well and the project already reached an impressive number of people. Just to mention a few numbers:
- Throughout the project, we trained 86,087 children on Solar Water Disinfection (SODIS) and on adequate hand washing. 6,921 of these children were designated as leaders; they are responsible for making sure the methods are applied correctly and consistently at class rooms.
- Some 22,300 parents and 583 school councils were trained on SODIS and improved hygiene measures.
- 793 teachers were trained on how to teach SODIS and hand washing, and how to include these topics in the curriculums. The teachers also learned how to integrate healthy habits into the daily procedures at school – this is an important step to make these habits last for a long time.
- At 50 schools, children painted large pictures explaining the simple SODIS method on outdoor walls. They serve as a promotion platform but also remind teachers and children to drink only treated water.
These are just a few of the outputs achieved by the project. They illustrate that great progress has been made at large scale. Apart from the numbers, there were also qualitative results. For example, an inter-institutional committee was created, including the local Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health, and the local water supply agencies, among others. In this committee, activities are coordinated in order to make sure the project will have an impact beyond the directly involved schools, and that the benefits will continue even after the project will be formally closed in September 2010.
Even though it still is early to judge the impact created by the project, we can already confirm that the project was carried out as planned and that massive output at scale was generated. This project is one of the first of its kind at this large scale and it will be important to document the impressive series of benefits created with limited funds available. We will continue to inform about this project and will also indentify other communication channels in order to spread the word further. We think that this is an important step to demonstrate that significant change can be achieved through behaviour change, through simple measures and through working at large scale. With the support of our supporters (you!), it was possible to make a difference in the lives of thousands of people. You can help this cause further: pass on this report, place a widget of the project on your Facebook site, or talk to a friend about the project. We are looking forward to hear back from you.
Furthermore, we would like to inform you about interesting recent developments within the SODIS Foundation. We have been invited by the Rockefeller Foundation to set up an open innovation challenge. This challenge, implemented by the leading open innovation platform InnoCentive (http://www.innocentive.com/landing/global-giveback.php), finished in April 2010 and yielded more than 70 high-quality ideas on how to develop a SODIS-indicator. The SODIS Foundation - with the support of experts - is currently in the process of evaluating these proposals and will identify a winner by the end of June. This idea then will be further developed and tested with the aim of producing low-cost SODIS-indicators. We expect such indicators to simplify the application and promotion of the SODIS method, which can benefit millions of people. We will inform you on our website about further developments on this issue (www.fundacionsodis.org).
Finally, we would like to point out to a special opportunity: all online (credit card or paypal) donations to the project made on Wednesday, June 16, will be complemented by ANOTHER 50% by the Global Giving Foundation. This is a great opportunity to make your donation go even further, saving more lives for less money. As an example: if you donate 50 dollars to the project, the effective donation actually will be 75 dollars, thanks to the matching funds generously provided by Global Giving. Simply visit our project on June 16 and follow the steps indicated – amounts up to 1,000 dollars will be matched: www.globalgiving.org/1905.
We would like to thank you for your continuing support – we are overwhelmed by the large number of people who show us their support day by day. Every donation makes a difference to us, to the project and to the children in Bolivia who benefit from safe drinking water. With additional support, we can go even further.
For the project team,
Mobile hand washing unit in action