Project #9871

Safe Drinking Water for 40 schools in Bolivia

by SODIS Foundation
One of the schools in the Cordillera
One of the schools in the Cordillera

Dear supporter,

There is a lot to do in Bolivian schools…

Education, infrastructure, gender equality, sanitation, food, training, sports, materials …

The SODIS Foundation is expert in working in WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene), it’s why we focus our work on:

  • Water treatment through SODIS or chlorine
  • Safe drinking water corner
  • Hand washing
  • Toilet
  • Menstrual hygiene
  • Soap production

Our work always involves not only the schools but also the family and the municipality’s leaders. Working through workshops we empower the population giving them the tools they need to improve the quality life of their children.

Like you know we always have the support of volunteers. We are really grateful!! Because there is so much to do that we wouldn’t be able to reach every objective and to carry out every activities.

We were supposed to count on 2 volunteers but we have 6!!!

  • 1 volunteer is visiting all schools in order to strength knowledge. Taylor has coordinated the work with the education district. The teachers treat the water through chlorine method. To be able to do that, they need reagents for testing the concentration of chlorine in the water. A workshop has been conducted to remind them how to treat (step-by-step)
  • 3 French volunteers are working in the soap fabric (with the “bicimaquina”). They are going to improve the soap quality, the security conditions. They are also working with the next by University to make the soap less “homemade” so it will be more attractive to other people to buy
  • 2 volunteers is running the second phase of the menstrual hygiene project. Almost during one year we were working in a school (Modelo Tiquipaya II) now we are scaling up the project to another school. Julia and Ophelia are not only working with girls but also with the boys, because we know that they do not know much about menstrual hygiene and they “have fun teasing the girls”. Julia and Ophelia will also encourage the girls to create a self-help group for other girls, and also the creation of a microenterprise building safe natural menstrual pads.

As you can see, we aim to improve some of the school’s needs.

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

With warm greetings from the whole project team

Do you want safe drinking water ?
Do you want safe drinking water ?
Chlorine method and safe drinking corner
Chlorine method and safe drinking corner
Making pads
Making pads

Dear supporter,

Always in the SODIS Foundation we have been lucky and have opportunities to work with volunteers.

The Foundation greatly appreciates volunteering, because it always gives us a different vision of the work we do with new eyes. Bringing new strategies and knowledge.

This beginning of the year after annual holidays, classes began again in February, with the first national event, carnival !

Now is the time to star the main key activities of the project:

  • Handwashing
  • Corner of safe water
  • SODIS method
  • Training

You may ask, why do we have to redo these activities who have to be already an integral part of everyday life ?

For some very important reasons:

  • Many times at the beginning of the school year there is a direction change
  • There are also new teachers who have not assimilated the concepts of safe water consumption.
  • And because it's always good to refresh knowledge, and start the year in the best possible way.

And this year we start with the help of 2 volunteers who are going to supported us in various scheduled activities:

  • 1 volunteer is planning to visit all schools in order to strength knowledge but also to give a manual made for teachers -  training in safe water. He will also conduct workshops to train teachers and students and especially new students of the importance of drinking safe water and hand washing. He will also check that the solar disinfection method "SODIS" with PET bottles continues and they are doing it the correct way.
  • 1 volunteer is running a pilot project on menstrual hygiene for girls between 9 and 17 years. We really hope that this pilot project would be successful in order to spread it in other schools. She will spoke about menstruation itself and methods of hygiene and making homemade sanitary pads.

As you can see it is a season start of activities, coordination with different schools. planning, due to the holidays. These activities actually willn begin in April. 

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

With warm greetings from the whole project team,

Throughout each months of December, the Fundación SODIS proceeded to an evaluation of the WASH project (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, HASS in Spanish) in the Educational Units (E.U.) of Tiquipaya. The outcomes of this evaluation will here be reported.

In order for the Educational Units to practice WASH throughout the entire scholar year, it is necessary that they have the appropriate infrastructures for the supply of drinkable water, personal hygiene and sanitation.

Overall, it has been observed that the E.U. of Tiquipaya have proven that they can use and maintain the infrastructures necessary for the practice of WASH, which were introduced during the project. 

Water quality

Water quality analysis performed while visiting the E.U. in the diagnostic phase of the project, showed fecal contaminations in the principal source of drinking water in almost three quarters of the schools (26 out of 36).

These results demonstrated the urgent necessity of treating water at all time. A strategy was thus developed with on one side two methods of water treatment:

- Sun-rays based disinfection, SODIS (Solar Disinfection) Method,
- Chlorine-based disinfection (Mini Wata)

and on the other side the creation of a "Safe Water Corner" in all class rooms. This strategy was a complete success.

The Fundación SODIS observed in December that a large majority of the infrastructures used in the treatment and storage of water were in a good condition and found in strategically placed areas of the Educational Units. SODIS method, for example, was mostly applied on the SODIS platforms which were installed during the project.
Those E.U. having to treat bigger volumes of water with the SODIS method, built extra platform with calamine, otherwise, they used their roof and outer walls. With the exception of two cases, the Mini-Wata showed good functioning in the Educational Units. 


Almost half of the Educational Units (17/36) have, as required by the OMS standards, at least one bathroom for every 25 female students and one bathroom for every 50 male students. In 25 of the E.U. all bathrooms were functioning while in 4 E.U. one was damaged and in 7 E.U. two or more had undergone degradations.

WASH management

WASH management involves the organization of WASH practices, the maintenance of WASH infrastructures, the formation of the teachers and students to WASH practice, monitoring of WASH practices and activities WASH with the parents and the community.

In Tiquipaya, a "Safe Water" committee was formed in each Educational Units to organize WASH practices, their monitoring and the formation of the people involved. The committee is made of 1 to 2 teaches and 5 to 20 student. In some of the E.U. a member of the direction or administration was also part of the committee. When the Fundación SODIS visited the E.U., over 80% of the committees were still in place, assuming the responsibility for most WASH activities. However, none of the committees organized them all, only a fraction of these activities. Most of the committees focused on the application of the WASH practices, for example, preparing the concentrated chlorine for water purification. Moreover, the training to the WASH was mainly accomplished by the teachers and not by the committees. Almost 60% of the Educational Units (21/37) said they used the text book "Escuelas con Agua Segura" (Schools with Safe Water) for the formation to WASH. 

The Safe Water committees are key elements to a successful WASH management. It is possible that these committees may come to disappear if they do not receive help. The use of WASH textbooks and of forms was unsatisfactory. Shorter and clearer documents are required. 

It is why in 2016 we will focused in the lower results to be able to reach even more the E.U. and the students themselves.

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

With warm greetings from the whole project team.

We got soap !
We got soap !

Dear supporter,

In this report we want to share with you some experiences and activities that had a volunteer working in the school on the soap Project.

-- My first soap production experience --

"As I’m neither a chemist nor an economist, I proposed that I could help looking for solutions together and discussing possible problems. I went the next day and met de teachers responsible for the manufacture of soaps.

The teachers listed the ingredients and steps of production and the problems they have when the result is not good. They said the consistency of the soaps sometimes is very dry and sometimes is too wet.

Ok so let’s start!

We put pots and a kitchen, the bicimáquina, buckets, kitchen utensils and some goggles and gloves for protection in the playground of the school.

Some students helped lay the butter in pots, and the teachers did the rest of the works. They heated butter, mixed it with caustic soda, dyes and aroma put on mass and mixed all of it with the bicimáquina for about an hour.

And Tada!

In the end they poured the soap in small buckets and on a tray. So the soap can dry few days.

Then I went back but the soaps were still very wet and we decided to leave them in the buckets

Finally it took more than 3 weeks … It was clear they were not satisfied with the production as it was at this time … but we got soap!! “


Thanks to the volunteer’s help, we are now working to improve some steps of the soap production:

  • Involving more student in the process of making soap
  • Improving safety in the manufacture of soap, four gloves and goggles are not enough and caustic soda is very toxic
  • The recipe: the teachers produce as they have in mind. That's fine, but when would like to improve something, they do not know how it should be.


But at the same time we have to keep in mind that, this is a rural school with not a lot of financial resources but they use what they have. Also providing hand washing a key moment and hygiene.

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

With warm greetings from the whole project team,

Mixing everything
Mixing everything
Tiquipaya schools students
Tiquipaya schools students

In Bolivia, one must have patience...

Tiquipaya is an eminently ecological village and for more than three years has been implemented a productive partner project called "productive unit with committed families”.

In the vision of this productive unit, the school wants to implement its soap factory with a small chemistry laboratory, in order to develop their own production protocol, based on laboratory experiments.

To this purpose, the school needs about 200 USD to have its own laboratory. You may think it's not a lot of money, but for a school in a rural area, it is.

Why a laboratory?:

-          To increase the quality of the soap

-          In order to have natural fragrances

-          To be able to produce more

-          To no longer pay analysis to other laboratorios

As written in the last report it was expected that the Municipality of Tiquipaya would be responsible in providing the other schools in the Municipality. This idea follows as the goal of the schools, but everything takes time and one must have patience... Recently we came out of an election season that means it’s necessary to come back to the leaders and that takes time and one must have patience...

We are also looking at the possibility of doing some workshops on the development of shampoo and / or artisanal creams. Always in the focus of: hand washing and personal hygiene.

We are happy because the school has since May a volunteer (supported by the SODIS Foundation), working on the sustainability of the project and the corners of hand washing.

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

With warm greetings from the whole project team,

The "bicimaquina"
The "bicimaquina"
soap drying process
soap drying process
different shape of soap
different shape of soap

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Organization Information

SODIS Foundation

Location: Cochabamba - Bolivia
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Matthias Saladin
Executive Co-Director
Cochabamba, Cochabamba Bolivia
$50,845 raised of $60,000 goal
236 donations
$9,155 to go
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