32 girl-friendly schools in Bolivia

by SODIS Foundation

Through this final report we want to share with all of you, the main conclusions of the project.

-          The project managed to achieve most of the expected results for the benefit of the population of the municipality of Independencia

-          Promoting healthy practices in safe water consumption, hand washing and proper use of bathrooms in the educational unit and community, has considerable increased regarding data baseline.

-          The method of disinfecting water that was more welcome was the SODIS due to the advantages of other method like chlorate water. Because it’s easy to do,does not require much effort and the water has a better taste

-          Construction, renovation and maintenance of bathrooms in educational units, contributed to achieve better practices in their proper use.

-          Recreational and creative activities organized by the District Education Directorate enabled the positioning of the HASS theme in the Municipality and project visibility.

-          The systematic monitoring by teachers in schools contributed to the sustained quality of handwashing practices, use of safe water and proper use of the bathrooms.


These are some of the conclusion of the Project at the same time, to have a sustainable project it’s really important to received feedbacks of the community itself.  Meanwhile, we have listed some recommendation:


-          In 2016, The Sodis Fundación must provide some technical support, post project monitoring in order to support, strengthen and give continuity to the work done

-          Only building portable taps of disposable bottles for hand washing is not sustainable, it is important to think of a more stable and sustainable construction such as sinks according to the number of students per schools


Due this final report we want to thanks everyone who read us and helped us. We are happy that the project reached almost every objectives we planned. We are aware that only the time will tell us if our work, our implication has changed life.

Now the student, the teachers, the families of Indenpendencia have the knowledge and the capacity to improve their life style !

Many many thanks !!

With warm greetings from the whole project team, 

Students in the event "World Washing Hands Day"
Students in the event "World Washing Hands Day"

Dear supporter,

In this update, we want to tell you some goals about the project in Independencia-Bolivia.

Thanks to the help of the SODIS Foundation through many activities in schools and in the Municipality, such as workshops (with the teachers, students and the population), events (Global Hand Washing Day), the government of Independencia decided to increase the number of educational units involved in the municipality to 33 in 20 communities.

  • 87% of the students consume safe drinking water

  • 75% of the students wash their hands with soap at least in 2-key-moments (before eating and after going to the toilet)

  • 69% of the students use the toilet properly

  • 55% of the population between 13 and 49 years old consume safe drinking water.

  • 80% of the population between 13 and 49 years old wash their hands in 2-key-moments

The municipality of Independencia was able to reach those numbers thanks to the involvement of:

  • Teachers who promote educational activities on the topic of “Safe Water”, “Washing Hand in Key-Moments” and “the Properly Use of Toilets”

  • Community leaders: people identified by the community, trained to inform and empower people in their community and track the consumption practices of safe water and sanitation in homes.

  • Local Radio stations: The 2 mass communication entities involved in promoting educational messages about hygiene, safe water and sanitation through this medium.

We are very enthusiastic and positive about this project and we are sure that with the help of those people, it is possible to increase even more those numbers!

We thank you in advance for your support. Moreover, feel free to reach us if you have some questions and comments!

With warm greetings from the whole project team, 

Promoving safe drinking water
Promoving safe drinking water
Pride to drink SODIS water !
Pride to drink SODIS water !
Hand washing practice at Global Hand Washing Day
Hand washing practice at Global Hand Washing Day

As you may be aware, our project in Independencia-Bolivia is about promoting healthy habits at schools, with special attention to the needs of girls. One of these healthy habits is hand washing with soap - in fact; it is one of the most effective health prevention measures of all. Sometimes we tend to think that improving health is about technology and expensive treatments, but the truth is that we can achieve a large reduction in the number of cases of diarrhea and other diseases just by washing our hands with soap (by the way: hand washing also prevents the flu, so remember to wash your hands and remember others to wash their hands as flu season is arriving...).

In order to increase awareness of the importance of hand washing, many organizations around the world celebrate Global Hand Washing Day each october 15. In Bolivia, the main event this year was organized by the Ministry of Water and the Environment, and it took place last week in La Paz. The SODIS Foundation was part of the celebration: we taught children and adults how to wash hands and how to make a simple hand washing station with a used PET bottle. We also gave out information about soap making, we had children practice and improve their hand washing technique, and we engaged many adults in conversations about hand washing, health and water.

In the pictures you can see some of the activities - of course, it also involved laughs and a lot of fun. Thanks to everyone involved, especially our partner organizations Helvetas, Sumaj Huasi, Water for People, Plan Internation and SENASBA.

Best regards from the whole project team

Matthias Saladin

Hand washing can save many lives
Hand washing can save many lives


Pupils with bottles of safe drinking water
Pupils with bottles of safe drinking water

In this update, we want to tell you a story about a resourceful teacher. His name is Antonio Choque and he work for the school “Carhuani” in the municipality of Independencia in Bolivia. Like many other teachers in this area, he teaches kids of several grades at the same time. His 14 pupils are between 6 and 12 years of age.

Antonio is really committed to promote hygiene practices, safe water and sanitation to each of his students. Last year, he participated in several of the workshops organized by the SODIS Foundation for this project in order to train and motivate teachers to implement simple practices for improving water and hygiene conditions at schools. One of the simple measures is the establishment of “healthy corners”, which are tables where pupils store safe drinking water and clean cups. As the project did not provide such tables for all class rooms, Antonio decided to make one with locally available resources: plastic bottles and a pressboard (see picture). This table made of recycled materials at no cost now serves as the “health corner” in Antonio’s class room, and the kids are using it regularly. This simple story tells us how importance it is to train people and to enable their creativity for finding locally adapted solutions. After all, our project is not about “feeding the hungry”, but about “teaching them how to fish”.

Given the need and with his own creativity, he created a platform to organize his corner of safe drinking water. In the educational unit, they only have distributed five “tarimas” and have six classrooms. Antonio managed to create a small table for his barrel and glasses with only pressboard and plastic bottles.

Currently, we are also training teachers and students on how to produce soap for hand washing. Again, we are seeing how important it is to foster creativity and make use of existing materials and resources – we will tell you about this in our next report.

We hope this report was useful for you. If you liked it, please share it with other people who may be interested in supporting a project like this. Thank you in advance!

Best regards from the whole project team,

Matthias Saladin

A table for storing drinking water - at no cost
A table for storing drinking water - at no cost
School kids with safe drinking water
School kids with safe drinking water

In this update, we wanted to provide a short overview on what happened over the past 4 months in our project “32 girl-friendly schools in Bolivia”. 


Staff of the SODIS Foundation has been working hard with the local teachers. In total, 146 teachers were trained in important topics related to safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene. So far, we reached the equivalent to 64% of the target set for the project, and the trainings continue.

In three schools where the teachers already have been trained, they started to implement a series of workshops for the pupils, with the support of experts from the SODIS Foundation. During these workshops, we were able to speak about how to facilitate and support healthy habits like water disinfection, hand washing at key moments (before eating and after using the bathroom) and proper use of bathrooms.

Healthy habits:

In each classroom, the teachers and pupils jointly installed a corner with safe drinking water (SODIS water bottles and jerry cans of 20 liters with chlorinated water). In some schools, they started the production of handmade soap, which is a very interesting approach to make sure that soap will be available in the future, even after the official end of our project.


Project staff, in cooperation with school managers, set up a Safe Water Committee in each school. The committees are composed of student representatives and one or two teachers.  These committees are responsible for monitoring the healthy practices at school.


Meanwhile, we analyzed the conditions for the construction of ecological dry toilets in five educational units. In these schools, there is not enough water to run traditional flush-toilets, and ecological dry toilets have been identified as the best technological option. Currently, we are in the design phase of these unit, and construction will start in the next few weeks. Furthermore, we are in the process of identifying local leaders (men and women) who will help us in the next phase of the project, when we want to bring the healthy habits from the schools to the whole community.


In general the project is advancing well and according to the plans. If you think this report was useful to you, please share it with your friends and family. Please also let us know if you want more specific information, or if you have other suggestions on how to improve our work.


Best regards from the whole project team,

Matthias Saladin

Putting into practice the SODIS method: safe water
Putting into practice the SODIS method: safe water



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Organization Information

SODIS Foundation

Location: Cochabamba - Bolivia
Website: http:/​/​www.fundacionsodis.org
Project Leader:
Erik Sotomayor
Cochabamba, Cochabamba Bolivia

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