SODIS Foundation, Cochabamba, Boliviahttp://www.fundacionsodis.org
Raised so far: £20,635.00
Great news - this project has reached its funding target. Thank you to everyone who donated. Search for another cause to support
80,000 school children in Bolivia will be trained in simple, affordable techniques to sustainably improve their health. Techniques include hand washing and solar water purification (SODIS).
Every 15 seconds, a child dies from an easily avoidable case of diarrhea. Simple diarrhea is one of the biggest killers of kids under 5 in Bolivia. 100s of schools in Bolivia lack access to clean water, making them perfect places to teach and apply simple solutions to this problem. The SODIS Foundation believes that simple solutions like hand washing and improved access to safe water can empower people to improve their own health. These improvements can happen quickly and economically.
800 teachers will be trained on how to teach & put in practice solar water disinfection & hand washing. Training and support will be provided to the teachers. "Healthy corners," containing health information & handwashing stations, will be installed.
The project will provide safe drinking water for 80,000 children, leading to fewer cases of diarrhea. Less diarrhea means better school attendance, better physical and mental development, fewer medical expenses by the families and improved wellbeing.
We just received very good news - for you, for the SODIS Foundation and for the project you helped funding:
Thanks to a substantial corporate donation last week, we reached our fundraising target ahead of time. This means that the project is fully funded. Throughout the project, we provided training on safe drinking water, improved hygiene and sanitation to more than 85,000 school kids in 231 schools in Bolivia.
We actually exceeded our fundraising target by $3,410. This amount now will be used in our new project, which is already online and which you can support as well: www.globalgiving.org/9871. If you want to follow our activities, please subscribe to the updates of this project or make a donation. In this new project, we will be improving water and sanitation services of more than 9500 children in 40 schools in Tiquipaya (Bolivia).
Furthermore, we also would like to point out to a very special opportunity: thanks to support of the Rockefeller Foundation and InnoCentive.com, our project to develop a SODIS indicator will continue. Donations to our project will be matched by 200% - that's triplicating the amount you donate! This mechanism will only last until February 29 and is valid for donations of up to $1,000. For example, if you donate $50, the project will actually receive $150, which will cover the costs of a training workshop and focus group discussion in order to further improve the indicator design we are working with. Please make use of this unique opportunity and pass on the word to others. You can read more about this initiative on this blog or in this article.
Thank you again for your support throughout the project.
Dear friends and supporters,
As a previous donor to projects of the SODIS Foundation, you may be interested in an exciting initiative we are involved: The Rockefeller Foundation, GlobalGiving and InnoCentive are continuing their Global Giveback Challenge to find solutions to water-related problems in developing countries. A project of the SODIS Foundation, related to the development of a low-cost radiation indicator ("SODIS indicator"), is one of only four projects which have been selected at global level, and we are truly excited about this opportunity.
Between now and February 29, all donations received through www.globalgiving.org/7089 to our project will be matched by 200%! That is, for each dollar donated, our sponsors will add two more, thus tripling the amount you donate. We think this is a great opportunity to achieve a great impact and support this important initiative further. Please be aware that matching funds are limited, so act quickly (availability of matching funds can be checked here).
Please share this information with friends and families who may be interested in making a donation or just in spreading the word.
P.S: You can also support our projects by mobile phone (Only works for US mobile phones):
Text GIVE 7089 to 80088 to donate $10 to Develop an indicator for Solar Water Disinfection.
Text GIVE 1905 to 80088 to donate $10 to provide safe water for a child.
Message and data rates may apply. Full Terms: www.mGive.org/T
As we announced earlier, we are now in the third phase of our project for schools in Bolivia. During this phase, the project will be implemented in 40 schools in Tiquipaya, a municipality close to the city of Cochabamba. Training of teachers started in October and continued until the middle of December. Currently, the schools are closed (for summer vacation!) in Bolivia, and classes will start again in early February with the next phase of the project.
Today, we want to tell you the story of the school named “Floresta Collpapampa”. It’s the first school in Tiquipaya where not only the teachers have been trained in methods to obtain safe drinking water, but also these methods are practiced on a daily basis. Floresta Callpapampa is a school in the Eastern part of the municipality where 250 children go to class of the primary level. The teachers were enthusiastic about the novel methodology which is being implemented by the SODIS Foundation, and the director of the school proudly accepted the challenge to be the first school of the project which can offer SAFE DRINKING WATER to its pupils and teachers. Thus, Christmas was an ideal opportunity to celebrate and to finish the year with many smiling faces.
From the SODIS Foundation, we also would like to announce more GOOD NEWS: User’s of mobile phones in the US can now donate to our project with a text message:
Text GIVE 1905 to 80088 to donate 10$ to our project. Messege and data rates may apply. Read full terms: www.mGive.org/t.
Wishing you all a happy Holiday Season and all the best for 2012,
With best regards from the whole project team,
We are excited to inform you that we entered the third phase of the initiative to bring safe water to schools in Bolivia. The long-time supporters among you may remember that during the first phase of the initiative (2008-2009) we implemented our previously tested methodology in more than 230 schools. During that phase, we reached more than 80,000 school kids in three Departments of Bolivia.
Throughout the second phase (2010) we worked together with UNICEF in schools in several communities in the Andean region of Bolivia in order to develop our methodology further. In the third phase (2011-2012), we include novel technologies (like on-site generation of chlorine solution for water disinfection) and test them for their acceptance and adequacy in rural and peri-urban schools.
Over the past few months, we have been setting up the institutional framework for this new project phase. On September 1st, the new phase was officially launched at a ceremony during which the District Director of the Ministry of Education, along with Representatives of the Municipality of Tiquipaya and of the SODIS Foundation signed the project agreement (see pictures). The project will be implemented in 40 rural and peri-urban schools of Tiquipaya, a municipality in the Department of Cochabamba. The initiative also received the formal support of the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the local water and sanitation service provider (SENASBA). Involving so many institutions slows the project down in the beginning. However, we consider that this is more than compensated for in later phases of the process when we want to disseminate the lessons learned and eventually integrate the successful elements of this project into other initiatives. We strongly believe that working in an isolated, project-based manner is a thing of the past - today’s complex challenges require mixed networks of organizations cooperating and complementing each other.
On a separate note, we would like to announce that Wednesday, October 19 is a Bonus Day on Global Giving. This means that all donations we receive that day through www.globalgiving.org/1905 (credit card donations of up to 1,000 dollars) will be complemented by another 30% by the Global Giving Foundation. This is a great opportunity (and the last one this calendar year) to make your donation go even further – we can reach 30% more children if you donate that specific day, with no extra cost for you.
For your continuing support and interest we want to thank you very much. We will keep you informed about the further development of this exciting initiative and look forward to receiving feedback from you.
Best regards from the whole project team,
Last week, children in most schools in Bolivia went back to classes after winter break. Yes, this is winter time in the Southern part of the planet, and this winter has been rather cold. In fact, in the Bolivian Departments of Oruro and Potosí, start of classes had to be delayed by a week because of the cold – and due to the fact that most schools do not have heating. While in other parts of the world people worry about the quality of the teaching staff and indicators like the student-teacher ratio, in Bolivia the core challenges are related to rather basic issues like these ones:
- Is there heating?
- Is there water?
- Are there toilets (or at least latrines)?
- Are there tables and chairs?
- Is there a teacher?
Only if these basic things are in place, teaching and learning can take place. This is why our project focuses on improving water and sanitation services at schools. In the first phase, we involved some 230 schools in the Departments of La Paz, Oruro and Cochabamba. In 2011, we included additional 20 schools in the Department of Cochabamba, where we also are working with women’s groups in the same communities. Improving water and sanitation at schools not only reduces diarrhea and other diseases but also absenteeism, which is a very common problem in countries like Bolivia.
As we communicated previously, June 16 was a special fundraising opportunity. Our on-line campaign was very successful, generating donations for more than 2,000 US$ in a single day, which was complemented by additional 30% by the Global Giving Foundation. We would like to thank all of our donors who supported our project on that specific date. As promised, all the people making a contribution that day entered a lottery for a special prize: a large print of a picture from our project, taken by professional photographer Matteo Bertolini (see picture). Congratulations to the lucky winner on behalf of the project team.
Currently, we are preparing a next phase of the project for 40 schools in the Municipality of Tiquipaya and currently are negotiating with the Ministry of Education and some potential donors to strengthen the project further. The goal of the next project phase will be to pilot additional innovative interventions for improving water quality and sanitary conditions at schools, whereas we keep developing our educational methodology.
We are looking forward to start the next project phase soon and will keep you informed about further developments on our side. We also would like to express our gratitude for your continued support to the project – donations of any amount are welcome to keep the project going.
Best regards from the whole project team,
P.S. Please mark October 19th on your agenda – this will be this year’s last chance to have your donation complemented. Each donation you make that day (up to the amount of 1,000 US$) will be increased by 30%, making your contribution have even more impact and helping more children to obtain safe drinking water.
A few weeks ago, Global Giving visited our project in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Clarissa Driban is a volunteer who took on the huge challenge to visit more than 40 projects all over South America within 6 months. This involved a good deal of traveling, many hours of sitting in buses riding a bumpy road or waiting at the bus station. We are glad she came all the way to Cochabamba and was able to visit a school of our project. She witnessed firsthand how small improvements in hygiene and water quality can make a big difference in these institutions. Here is what she wrote to us afterwards:
"Water. Who knew its absence could have such devasting effects; its presence, the ability to transform communities, health, and socio-economic status. The tireless efforts of SODIS are testament to the power and necesitity for investment in quality infrastructure to provide basic services, such as water, to communities in need. But it doesn't stop at connecting people with this crucial lifesource. From water springs the power to educate children and their parents about how to better care for themselves and the environment, the opportunity to improve one's quality of life, the chance to mobilize people by empowering them to create the changes they wish to see in their homes and their communities. Best of all, the solutions SODIS implements are low-cost, yet highly effective.
Take for example their solar water disinfection program, now currently present in schools throughout Bolivia. Through this program kids are not only provided clean drinking water, but they learn the process behind purification, healthy life skills such as washing your hands and brushing your teeth, the importance of caring for their environment, and how potable water can make a world of difference in daily tasks like growing your own garden. Perhaps most impressive, is these new habits are then incorporated into the homes, changing the health and well-being of entire families and even communities.
I was honored to see the payoffs of programs like this firsthand and to meet the countless people benefiting from implementation. I can attest to the effectiveness and widespread local impact. Ongoing support of SODIS projects is not only necessary, it's a fantasic return on a minimal investment."
Well, there is not much we can add to that. We thank Clarissa for her visit and her advice and wish her the very best on the rest of her journey and for future travels to come – and of course we hope to see her around again soon. By the way, Clarissa is helping the projects she visited to raise funds: she established a fundraiser page and already raised more than $ 5000 in a month - which is very impressive. You can support her and the projects she visited (including the projects of the SODIS Foundation) on the link provided below.
Thank you for your continuing support
For the project team,
You receive this mail because you supported our project in the past. We received 192 donations so far for this project and we would like to thank all of you for these contributions – they helped us to improve water and hygiene conditions of more than 80,000 children in Bolivia so far.
We also want to inform you about a special opportunity: June 15 is Bonus Day! This means that all donations to projects on www.globalgiving.org will be matched at 30% (up to $1000 per donor per project). For example, if you donate $100 to our project, another $30 will be contributed by the Global Giving Foundation. We would like to invite all our friends and supporters to make use of this special opportunity to make your donation have an even greater impact on local communities.
Within the ongoing project, safe drinking water and improved hygiene conditions can be provided for as little as $5 per child. Plus, we help local schools saving water: with our innovative mobile hand washing unit (see picture), a person can wash his/her hands with less than 0.2 liters of water. Most people on the planet use about 2 liters for this simple task: ten times more…
Among the people who donate to our project on June 15, a lucky winner will receive a special prize: A print of one of the picture of professional photographer Matteo Bertolino, who recently visited our project in Bolivia. We will keep you informed on this issue and on our project activities.
Thank you in advance and best regards from the whole team,
This is a short update on our project to provide 80,000 children in Bolivia with safe drinking water, which you generously supported in the past.
In spite of the fact that we already reached more than 80,000 children in our first project phase, we want to further expand the project. Currently, the SODIS Foundation is working on a project with UNICEF in several rural communities of the Cochabamba Department, where we have been training women’s groups over the past few months on how to obtain safe drinking water and how to improve hygiene conditions with simple measures.
In the current project phase, we will be working in schools in Sacabamba and surrounding communities in order to improve water, sanitation and hygiene conditions. Often, with simple measures a significant change can be achieved in these schools. For example, the mobile hand washing units cost only a few cents to install but make a large difference in improving hygiene conditions. Another of our favourite inventions is the “healthy corner” (“rincón de aseo” in Spanish), where children store their drinking water, clean cups and other utensils to improve hygiene (see picture).
We also would like to point out to the “recurring donation campaign” on the Global Giving website. With this new feature, you can now donate over a certain period of time (e.g., $10 per month). Such donations help us to improve project planning and we would like to encourage you to make use of this function.
Again, we would to thank you for all the support to our project. Thanks to hundreds of supporters like you, we are getting close to our next fundraising goal of $20,000: as of today (May 12, 2011), we raised $19,575. With a little help, we can make a big difference.
For the project team,
These are turbulent times around the globe. You probably have been watching the tragic and moving images coming in from Japan, but also from Northern Africa. Meanwhile, largely unnoticed by the global public, Bolivia also has seen some moments of social and political instability, mainly caused by a price hike of fuel and subsequently basic food supplies. In Cochabamba, actors of the transport sector (mostly micro-bus drivers) decided to block the whole city for several days in order to express their dissatisfaction with the current situation. In La Paz, torrential rains caused a hilltop to collapse in a poor neighbourhood, destroying at least 400 homes and burying people's belongings under mud and debris. Luckily, there were no fatalities from the landslide.
This situation also brought our project with schools in Bolivia to an temporary halt. For the moment, we are talking to several institutions who are interested in introducing our package of simple solutions to improve water and hygiene conditions at schools. As soon as the cities in Bolivia return to a more normal state (activities related to Carnival further aggravated the situation), we will take up these talks again and start with the planning of the next project phase.
At the same time, we keep implementing two other projects, which are also posted on Global Giving and which we would like to invite you to support. One project helps to improve water and sanitation services through micro-credit (http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/micro-credit-for-improved-water-and-sanitation/), whereas the other will develop an indicator for Solar Water Disinfection (http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/solar-water-disinfection-indicator/).
For all these projects, there is a special opportunity on March 16: All donations received on www.globalgiving.org on that day (up to an amount of $ 1,000) will be topped up by an additional 30% by the Global Giving Foundation. Make use of this special offer and make your donation 30% more effective by making a donation that day - and please tell others to do the same. Every donation makes a difference.
Thanking you for all your support,
We are already well into 2011, but we think that this is a good moment to look back for a moment. Not only to 2010, but also to the whole first phase of the project you supported.
Over the past three years, we have been working jointly with our local partner Save the Children Bolivia and the Ministry of Health to bring safe drinking water and improved hygiene to more than 220 schools in three Departments of Bolivia. In October 2010, project activities at these schools came to an end and the SODIS Foundation carried out a final evaluation. The report of this first phase is now available on our website – please feel free to download it:
As we informed before, this project is a real breakthrough, both in terms of the quality of the results achieved as well as of the scale: this is one of the largest projects worldwide of its kind and a proof that the methods we have been developing not only work in well controlled small trials. We are now in the process of further disseminating this experience and you can help us in passing on the final report to other people who may be interested. Some other highlights of the projects are the innovative portable hand washing units, the “healthy corners”, and the use of non-traditional communication like wall paintings (see pictures).
Over the past few months we also learned that the project is spurring a lot of interest with other local organizations. The SODIS Foundation is currently in talks with several potential partner organizations in order to evaluate the possibilities of a next project phase. We soon will inform you about the recent developments in this regard.
Furthermore, we are happy to announce that December 2010 was our best fund raising months on Global Giving ever. Donors like you supported the project with a total of more than US$3,400. This was a big boost to our motivation and helps us to prepare the next project phase, making sure that even more people can benefit from simple solutions like Solar Water Disinfection and hand washing.
Most of all, we want to thank you for your continuing support. We highly appreciate that several of you are long-time donors who keep coming back and generously support our work. On behalf of the project team and the beneficiary population, I once more want to express our gratitude.
Dear supporters of the SODIS Foundation,
We would like to inform you about two new initiatives of the SODIS Foundation which just have gone on-line:
- "Microcredit for water and sanitation": This is a project to provide microcredit and technical advice to families in Cochabamba (Bolivia) in order to improve their water and sanitation services. This joint initiative of the SODIS Foundation and two experienced financial institutions will empower 100 suburban families to improve the existing (often poor quality) water and sanitation services. With small investments, savings can be created and productivity increased, which enables the families to pay back the loan within a short time.
- "Develop an indicator for Solar Water Disinfection (SODIS)": This project is based on a previously implemented open innovation challenge for developing the concept for a SODIS indicator (see https://gw.innocentive.com/ar/challenge/9093841). The SODIS Foundation now is teaming up with the winning team of this challenge, a group of PhD students from the University of Washington, in order to develop a prototype and test it in the field. The goal is to facilitate the process of teaching and promoting the method of Solar Water Disinfection, a low-cost method for obtaining safe drinking water. Once ready for mass production, the device will help to accelerate the diffusion of SODIS on a global scale.
These two new projects have been prepared over the past months and they now are ready to start. We invite you to support these new initiatives of the SODIS Foundation and to pass on the word to friends and colleagues - feel free to use your social networks or to pass on the news in other ways.
For the SODIS Foundation,
Dear friends of the SODIS Foundation,
Probably most of you are looking forward for a cold and snowy holiday season. In the meantime, summer vacations started in Bolivian schools, and children will start the new classes only at the end of January. At the SODIS Foundation, we are busy documenting the project with more than 200 schools, which you supported in the past. Our goal is to share this successful and innovative experience with other organizations and schools. We will keep you update on this activity over the next few months.
If you are still looking for a meaningful present, you may want to consider making a dedicated donation to our project in the name of someone. Giving such a Tribute Card is fast and easy, just proceed like with a normal donation (www.globalgiving.org/1905) and check the box "Make this Donation in Honor of Someone?" at checkout. You will be prompted to indicate how you would like the card sent (e-mail or postal mail), the card design, and all recipient details. You also can enter a personal message to the recipient.
We hope you enjoy a relaxing holiday season.
Best regards from the whole project team in Bolivia,
Dear friends of the SODIS Foundation,
The year 2010 is coming close to its end, and so is our project to bring safe drinking water to more than 80,000 children in Bolivia, which you generously supported in the past. This is probably a good moment for you to relax for a moment and think of all the smiles that can be seen when children drink a glass of safe water. That’s more than 80,000 smiles, and more than 80,000 lives protected. We send you the picture of just of one of the kids reached by our project – you will have to imagine the rest of the smiles. In this way, we would like to thank you for your continuing support.
However, it’s not all smiles these days. Water is in the headlines again, but in a negative context. Almost one year after an earthquake devastated large parts of the capital of Haiti, the effects of lacking adequate water and sanitation services caused an outbreak of cholera. This tragic event spiked fears of a regional epidemic and called the Ministries of Health of several countries on the plan. In Bolivia, in a first step the SODIS Foundation is providing and translating the scientific evidence available to date that the SODIS method is a very effective protection against the disease (88% risk reduction documented). Additional steps are being discussed at the moment with Ministries of Health in other countries as well, indicating an increased awareness of the importance of the quality of our drinking water.
The field activities of the project in Bolivia are now closed. Throughout the year, the SODIS Foundation and its project partner Save the Children worked hard to bring safe water and improved hygiene to schools. Just to mention a few facts:
The final report is available in Spanish and soon will be ready for download in English on our website (www.fundacionsodis.org). We are now in the very important phase where we inform others about this project and make the experience available to a wider audience. For this task, we continue to receive donations throughout the rest of the year – please consider the project in your personal plans to contribute to those most in need.
Finally, the whole team of the SODIS Foundation wishes you all the best for the holiday season. If you are still looking for a meaningful present, why not make a dedicated donation to the project in the name of someone? In order to give such a Tribute Card, just proceed like with a normal donation (www.globalgiving.org/1905) and check the box "Make this Donation in Honor of Someone?" at checkout. You will be prompted to indicate how you would like the card sent (e-mail or postal mail), the card design, and all recipient details. You also can enter a personal message to the recipient.
We thank you for your continuing support and wish you a happy holidays season.
For the SODIS Foundation,
October 15 was global hand washing day. The ones of you who have heard or read about this global initiative are aware of how big an impact can be achieved by something as simple as washing your hands (see www.globalhandwashingday.org). Of course, hand washing is also part of our project in Bolivia, which you supported in the past and many of you keep generously supporting. A recent visit to some of the schools showed that hand washing not only is a well-established habit at these institutions but actually a lot of fun. For example, Miriam (12, picture below) from a small village in the department of Oruro showed us how old plastic bottles can be used for washing your hands if you do not have a tap with running water – it all is a matter of know-how and creativity.
The field activities of our project are now coming to an end. In September, the SODIS Foundation participated in official closing ceremonies at several schools, all of which demonstrated the great success the project achieved in a short time. Safe drinking water is now available at these institutions, and both teachers and pupils can tell that this makes a big difference. Moreover, the project also inspired parents to re-consider the way they consume water – they now know that water always needs to be disinfected before drinking, either by boiling, by adding chlorine products, by using ceramic filters or by applying the innovative SODIS method (www.sodis.ch).
In spite of the fact that activities in the field are coming to an end, the project has not finished yet. In fact, a really important part just about started: telling other people and organizations about this positive experience and showing them how they can do the same. The project already sparked a lot of interest, and among other things the SODIS Foundation was invited by UNICEF to present this experience at an international workshop in Nicaragua. We want to continue to spread the message and thus kindly ask all our supporters to consider a donation to the project – any amount is welcome. Even with a small donation of 20 dollars we can hand out an information package to a partner organization and thus help more schools and children to get access to safe drinking water and to implement healthy habits.
Donations received between October 12 and 20 are completed by at least 30% by matching grants from the Global Giving Foundation, so please consider donating as soon as possible as matching grants are limited.
We also would like to encourage you to send us your feedback or questions you may have regarding the project. We are always on the search for improving the way we work and communicate – and also feel free to check out the new design of our website (www.fundacionsodis.org).
Looking forward to hearing back from you,
Best regards from the whole project team,
August update: Freezing South, Project News and Open Innovation
You probably have been complaining about high temperatures lately. Whereas in the Northern hemisphere people sweat and suffer from heat, in the South the opposite is the case: frost and hail in Peru, snow and low temperatures in large parts of Brazil, and torrential rains in China, Pakistan, India, and Guatemala. Meanwhile, in Bolivia, schools had to postpone the start of classes after winter holidays because of freezing temperatures - most buildings do not have heating or adequate insulation to keep them warm. This situation has a lot to do with our project, which you supported in the past - and many of you keep supporting. Schools should be places where children can grow and learn, not only about mathematics and language, but also about healthy lifestyles. That is why the project is focusing on teaching and practicing water disinfection and hygiene. With these simple interventions a significant improvement can be generated in the lives of thousands of children, and these will last as long as they practise the healthy habits. Without the need for massive spending in infrastructure, such projects can reach large numbers of schools at very low costs per child. It is our hope that we contribute to form a new generation who knows about the dangers of drinking untreated water and the benefits of washing hands. We also want to thank again all of you who have contributed to the project with ideas, with moral support or with donations. As the project will be finishing in September, we will use the donations we receive from now on for documenting this successful experience. Specialists at the SODIS Foundation are elaborating a document with the main results and some of the lessons learned during the project, and if funds allow, we also will make a short documentary. In this way, we can share our experiences with other organisations, other schools, and even teachers from other countries. On a different issue, we wanted to inform you about some exciting news from the SODIS Foundation. Thanks to our presence on the Global Giving marketplace, we have been invited by the Rockefeller Foundation to launch an open innovation challenge for developing a SODIS indicator. Such a device would enable users to see when water has been in the sun for enough time and therefore is safe to drink. This is very important because the microorganisms causing diarrhea or cholera are so small you can not see them without microscopes – therefore, water before and after disinfection looks the same to the human eye. The challenge for the SODIS indicator was implemented on the open innovation platform of InnoCentive, a world leader in open innovation. We received more than 70 high quality proposals and are currently in the process of evaluating them with the support of experts. We look forward to field test the winning solution soon, which will facilitate future promotion of this simple method for treating drinking water and saving lives. Maybe one day you will take such an indicator with you when you travel to a place where the drinking water is not trustworthy, or when you go hiking in the mountains. We look forward to keep you informed about these developments and about our project. Please help us spreading the word about the project and how simple it is to save a life.
Best regards from the whole project team
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,
Project update and matching day: April 29, 2010
Dear supporters of the project “Safe Drinking Water for 80,000 children in Bolivia”:
From Haiti to Bolivia and around the world, water is in the headlines again, and we would like to point out to a few events and news related to our project:
The April issue of National Geographic (special edition on water) features an article on a project to promote Solar Water Disinfection (SODIS) in the slums of Nairobi (Kenya). You can read the article (titled “High Marks for Clean Water”) online on the blog of National Geographic: http://blogs.ngm.com/blog_central/2010/04/high-marks-for-clean-water.html
Since the beginning of the year, rains continue to fall in the Andes, with floods affecting thousands of families in the region. Due to increased temperatures, the glaciers of the region are releasing more water and causing many rivers reach record levels. Among others, the BBC is reporting on this phenomenon and documents the story of Alivio Aruquipa who went to the Climate Summit in Copenhagen in search of support to claim compensations for the damages caused by the melting glaciers. Read the story here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8629379.stm. With large cities like La Paz and Lima relying heavily on glacier melt for their water supply, this will be an issue coming back to the headlines for the years to come.
In Cochabamba (Bolivia), where the SODIS Foundation is headquartered, water has an especially tragic story to tell. Ten years ago, a civil movement was formed to protest against the tariff hikes of the recently privatized municipal water supply agency. The violent clashes between protesters and the police, also known as “water war”, led to a state of emergency, the death of at least five protesters and finally the cancellation of the contract with the private company. One recent article on this story and the following developments can be found here: http://www.alternet.org/water/146521/water_wars_continue:_how_one_city
Water often is a matter of live and death. Contaminated water continues to kill a child every 20 seconds worldwide. The good news is that the rate is dropping – but it is dropping slow, putting at risk millions of people. Today more than 800 million people drink water from unimproved sources – that is, from rivers, dug wells or irrigation channels. At the SODIS Foundation, we are working hard to change this and bring safe drinking water to those who need it most. With your support, we can go reach out to additional people. Thank you for your continuing support.
Best wishes from the SODIS Foundation,
For the project team: Matthias Saladin
Dear supporters, This is a short update from the project “Safe Drinking Water for 80,000 children in Bolivia”, including an announcement of a special donation opportunity on March 16, 2010.
Whereas the world was observing anxiously the emergencies in Haiti and in Chile, it has gone unnoticed that massive rainfalls in January triggered the Bolivian Government to declare a national state of emergency. In La Paz alone, 22,000 families lost all their belongings due to the heavy rainfalls and subsequent floods.
Nevertheless, many of you did not forget about the project. In spite of global attention being caught by the large-scale disasters in Haiti and Chile, generous donations keep coming in. We would like to thank all of our supporters for their continuing support - your help is a great motivation for us, and even with a small amount we can change the lives of many people for the better. Meanwhile, Bolivian children want back to school in February 2010. Staff of the SODIS Foundation, together with our partner institution Save the Children, participated in planning workshops with many schools in Oruro, El Alto and Cochabamba. The installation of more SODIS support structures (see pictures) was planned and will be completed in the next few weeks as the project is entering its final year. During a recent visit to the project, we witnessed that the activities are not only having an impact at schools, but also at homes. For example, Pamela Flores, a mother of a six year old girl who goes to one of the project schools, told us that her daughter requires her to prepare SODIS water every day. Pamela heard from the SODIS method before, but only after seeing it being implemented by the school she started practicing it at home – with support and instructions of her daughter. “We no longer drink untreated water. SODIS is so simple and my daughter also drinks SODIS water at the school” Pamela commented proudly. This is exactly what the project is about: creating awareness, enabling people to change behavior and learn healthy habits. These will last for years to come, providing protection to the families. Protection and behavior change is also important when disasters strike – not only in Haiti or Chile. The SODIS Foundation is therefore preparing plans to include simple instructions on how to obtain safe drinking water for emergency preparedness plans. In this way, people can be trained before a disaster strikes, and act accordingly in such situations. By now, one thing is clear for the people in Bolivia: after the dry season, the rains will come back every year, and with the rains the floods... A short notice at last: March 16 (Tuesday) is “Matching Day” at the Global Giving website (only www.globalgiving.org/1905, not www.globalgiving.co.uk). All donations received on that day will be completed by an additional 30% by the Global Giving Foundation. If you donate on that specific day, your contributions will go even further, providing safe drinking water for even more children. Thank you and best regards, For the project team: Matthias Saladin
2009 is coming to its end and it’s time to wish everyone a joyful holiday season and all the best for 2010. At the same time, we also want to with you some thoughts about an actual issue:
As many of you have witnessed over the past few days, the climate conference in Copenhagen did not bring about the step ahead which many people were hoping for. This means that more time will be lost for mankind to find better ways of living in dignity without damaging the fundaments of future wellbeing. Nevertheless, at the SODIS Foundation we think that it’s not too late to contribute with our own first steps. Surprisingly, climate change is closely connected to the issues of drinking water (and thus survival) of people in Bolivia (and elsewhere).
As a highly recommendable article in the New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/14/science/earth/14bolivia.html) points out, glaciers are a low-maintenance form to store fresh water. Conveniently, they retain the water in the rainy season and slowly release it during the dry period. For countries like Bolivia, this is a blessing, thus facilitating agriculture, power generation and development in the valleys and lowlands. However, the glaciers are disappearing quickly: what was known as the “world’s highest ski resort” on Mount Chacaltaya just a few years ago today is a rocky landscape, unable to retain the snow falling on it. Worse, the snow now quickly turns into water, leading to devastating flash floods downstream, a scenario Bolivia is witnessing with increasing frequency. Cities like El Alto are already facing critical water shortages, threatening livelihoods of millions of people.
That is why it is important to do something about climate change, and something about the millions of people who do not have access to safe drinking water. Our project “Safe drinking water for 80,000 children in Bolivia” is just a humble attempt to take a first step. We would like to thank all our supporters for taking this step with us in 2009, and we will keep you informed about the continuing advances and developments. Without your support, this project would not be where it is today.
Thank you again. We wish you happy holidays and all the best for 2010!
Best regards from the SODIS Foundation,
Dear supporters of the SODIS Foundation,
Thank for your continued support and interest in our work.
We are glad to inform you that the project in Bolivia is continuing to progress. Activities in the field finished in November as the schools entered summer holidays, and they will start again in February. It has been a busy year for the SODIS Foundation and its project partner Save the Children Bolivia. In a few months, more than 80,000 children have been trained on simple methods about how to obtain safe drinking water and improve hygiene. Through the parents committees at the schools, more than 20,000 parents were reached as well, and many of them are adopting the healthy habits taught at schools. These results make this initiative one of the biggest of its kind in the world, and the SODIS Foundation is glad to announce that the activities will continue in 2010.
One of the highlights was the participation of many project schools at the international hand washing day on October 15. At public events, children presented street theatres and poetry contests. The innovative mobile hand washing units, which had been developed during this project, also received considerable attention from the public and the media. As you can see from the pictures, it also is a moment of great pride for the children and gives them the opportunity to display their creativity.
We just received news that the in November, the project received donations over the amount of $ 1,131 through the Global Giving website. Thanks to everyone who contributed. We also wanted to let you know that the project is participating in GlobalGiving.co.uk's Christmas Giving Challenge, a fundraising opportunity for non-profit organizations working with communities around the world. Every donation helps, and no donation is too small. You can show your support for the SODIS Foundation for as little as £5 and make a big impact to our project. Just click on this link (www.globalgiving.co.uk/1905) and follow the instructions.
Please spread the spirit of giving and share this email with your friends and family and ask them to help us too. Donations can also be made in dedication to someone (e-gift cards), which makes an excellent present. Giving a perfume to your loved ones is nice, but how much nicer is it to facilitate someone access to safe drinking water?
The whole team from the SODIS Foundation wishes you a happy giving season.
Thank you for your support, Matthias Saladin
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.
Dear supporters of the Safe Drinking Water Project in Bolivia,
We are overwhelmed by the surge in support and donations we received over the past two months. As a highlight, we achieved the goal of raising 2,000 £ through donations of the Global Giving UK website, as a result of our participation in the “Alive and Learning Challenge”. Thanks to this great achievement, our project was included in the winner’s page (which can be found here: http://www.globalgiving.co.uk/top5-a-and-l/), as one of only five projects (out of over 60 participants) which achieved this goal.
We therefore want to thank everybody who helped us reach this goal: the project team, the fundraising team, and especially you, the donors. Thanksk to you, every day more schools are enrolled in the project, and every day more children obtain access to the healthiest of all drinks: safe water.
In this sense, a happy “cheers” to you from the SODIS Foundation. We will soon update you on project progress on the ground.
Best regards, Matthias Saladin
NB: As another highlight, we just received donation number 100 and quickly are approaching the 10,000-dollar-limit of total project donations. Thank you!
Dear Supporters of the Safe Drinking Water Project in Bolivia,
We wanted to quickly update you on important developments within the project „Safe Drinking Water for 80,000 Children in Bolivia“, and also let you know about a special fundraising challenge.
During a recent visit to the project we confirmed that the activities are advancing well. As we have previously informed, it was possible to significantly improve the number of beneficiaries of the project, thanks to negotiations with our partner institution Save the Children (www.savethechildren.org). The project will now reach more than 80,000 children in about 230 schools, rather than the initially planned 10,000 children. This massive increase is possible thanks to the great interest of teachers and school directors, who are aware of the importance of safe drinking water and hygiene at their schools.
Up to now, more than 860 teachers have been trained on how to obtain safe drinking water by using the simple SODIS method. Similarly, 767 pupils received training on SODIS and hygiene; they now will be responsible for training their peers and supervise the proper application of the SODIS method at school.
Over the past few months, the focus of the promotion efforts was on hand washing, which complements the safe drinking water component. The simple habit of hand washing with soap can not only prevent many cases of diarrhoea but also any type of flu. By the end of May, the H1N1 virus had arrived in Bolivia, and by the beginning of July, more than 400 cases have been reported, so the hand washing campaign was launched just in time to prepare schools and families for this new threat. After some initial difficulties with handling common hand washing basins, the special “mobile hand washing units” were designed and promoted – a big success with teachers and pupils alike. These units use less water and are safer to use than common water basins. They can be made from PET bottles – for example the ones that are too scratched to be used for SODIS.
On July 13, staff of the SODIS Foundation invited local media to visit some of the project schools in Cochabamba. In the neighbourhood called “Uspha Uspha”, they discovered a small restaurant, which offered all its home-made fruit juices based on SODIS water. Veronica Alanes, the owner of the restaurant, mentioned that her innovative drinks were well received by children, but also by adults. SODIS water now comes with taste of lemon, passion fruit or “tumbo”, the popular fruit of a local cactus. Of course, the restaurant also is equipped with a mobile hand washing unit for the clients. In this way, they will enjoy safe drinks and good hygiene – at no additional cost.
Furthermore, we also would like to inform you that our project has been invited by the Global Giving Foundation in the United Kingdom (www.globalgiving.co.uk) to participate in the “Alive and Learning” fundraising challenge. A number of projects from around the world dealing with children and education have been selected to participate in this challenge. Between July 15 and August 14, they will be promoted through the website of the Global Giving UK Foundation, and the most successful projects will be eligible for prizes and additional promotions.
We therefore kindly invite you to support our project once more – either by a donation through www.globalgiving.co.uk/1905 , or by forwarding this message to friends and colleagues who may be interested. Remember that any amount is welcome, no matter how small; it only costs £ 12 to train a teacher to produce and promote safe drinking water.
We thank all our donors for their continuing support, which serves as a great motivation to the whole team.
Kind regards, Matthias Saladin
PS: June was our most successful fundraising month this year – so let’s make July even better!
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.
Dear friends of the SODIS Foundation,
The new phase of the SODIS promotion project is taking shape. Over the past few months since the last update, the new project phase has been defined in detail, and we already started with the training workshops. This project update provides you with some additional information on how the project is advancing.
Project up-date November 2008
After completing the pilot phase of the project, it was decided to make some changes to the project, the most important ones being its scale (about 88,000 children will now benefit instead of 10,000) and its partner (one large NGO rather than several small ones). In July and August 2008, the SODIS Foundation and its partner “Safe the Children Bolivia” then set out to define the details of this joint project. Among the main features are the following:
- The project will benefit 231 schools in three Departments of Bolivia: La Paz, Oruro and Cochabamba. - A newly developed methodology will be applied, focusing on the active participation of the schools as well as the parents. - The project will be implemented in close cooperation with the Ministry of Education and the municipalities, whose staff will be actively involved in project activities. - The project will be launched in all 231 schools at the beginning of the educational year 2009 (starting in February 2009) and will last 2 years.
Save the Children Bolivia and the SODIS Foundation want to focus this project on two key healthy behaviors: Consumption of safe water (through the method of Solar Water Disinfection) and hand washing. For this purpose, the teachers first will demonstrate the methods, and then, a “healthy corner” will be installed in each class room. Additionally, there will be three pupils in every class responsible for SODIS and hand washing. The parents will be informed and involved as well, so that the healthy habits not only will remain at the schools, but also be put into practice at home.
In October 2008, the new project phase was planned in detail. In early November, the technicians of Save the Children were trained on the specific methodology and the parent’s committees of the schools involved were informed about the project. Over the next couple of months, all the teachers of the 231 schools will be trained on how to teach these simple methods at class and on how to motivate children to actually practice the healthy habits.
The SODIS Foundation will keep informing about this project. Over the next few weeks, we will participate with this project in the "Everybody can Win Challenge" of GlobalGiving. If successful, this will generate additional funds so that even more kids in Bolivia can benefit from this simple intervention. So if you can, please support the project. In the name of the beneficiaries, I would like to thank you in advance for any kind of support.
And the best about all this: With this project, it costs less than 3 dollars to allow a child to drink safe water for a year – that’s less than your coffee this morning. Safe drinking water reduces risks of waterborne diseases and improves school attendance – the basics for a brighter future.
Dear friends of the SODIS Foundation,
We are happy to announce that the project “Safe drinking water for 10,000 school kids in Bolivia” experienced some exciting changes and a significant extension – it will now benefit more than 100,000 school kids in several regions of Bolivia, thanks to an alliance with a new partner organization. Read about progress made so far and about the new dimension of the project in our project update (see below).
Project Update July 2008
Project activities started in November 2007. The goal of the first project phase was to test and evaluate the education materials, which the SODIS Foundation previously had produced and promoted. In order to test these materials, partner organizations working in schools were identified. The partner organizations involved in this project phase were two local NGOs (PDA Soracachi, PDA Wiñaypaj, local offices of the international NGO World Vision) and three Municipalities in the Bolivian highlands (Uncía, Pocoata and Colquechaca). All these institutions successfully have been implementing projects for the promotion of SODIS in previous years with the support of the SODIS Foundation.
They key piece of the education materials is a guide for teachers which facilitates teaching and application of the SODIS method in schools (you can download the manual at http://www.aguasegura.org/es/biblioteca/metodologicos/Escuelas%20para%20la%20Salud.pdf). With this methodology, schools can be changed from high-risk environments into a “escuela para la vida” (“school for life”) - a school where healthy habits are taught as well as practiced.
During this first project phase, the methodology was implemented in 20 schools. In February 2008, in each school, at least 5 teachers were trained on implementation methodology. In the following weeks, technicians of the SODIS Foundation visited the schools in order to support the teachers. Between April and May, the activities and results were evaluated, with the following main insights: - The methodology and materials were well accepted by teachers. - In some projects, changes within the staff of teaching personnel led to discontinuities, which affected the activities negatively. - The material was not as well received by teachers of secondary classes as by the primary school teachers. Therefore, the target audience of the education material (teachers of primary school classes) needs to be better defined. - Some teachers showed lack of motivation for implementing the methodology as it implies an additional work load and is not directly linked to their regular activities.
Based on the experiences of this first project phase, the SODIS Foundation decided to change the strategy of the initiative. Instead of implementing several small projects, it was decided to look for a partner institution for carrying out a large-scale initiative, which will last at least a full school-year cycle. Working with all the schools of a region also allows to involve the Ministry of Education more formally and to include the project in regular training and supervision processes of the Ministry. This guarantees a continuous improvement of the methodology as well as the involvement of large numbers of teachers, and working in many schools will create an impact at regional level, creating a positive attitude towards the SODIS method.
In June 2008, the SODIS Foundation managed to identify an ideal partner for the large-scale initiative at the schools: Save the Children Bolivia. The international NGO has many years of experience of working in Bolivia and working with schools (see also http://www.savethechildren.org/countries/latin-america-caribbean/bolivia.html). The new project phase will benefit at least 100,000 school kids. Currently, the SODIS Foundation and Save the Children are raising additional funds for this new project phase, while details of the project implementation are being defined. In our next project report, we will write more about these exciting new developments and about further progress. In the meantime, we keep receiving donations, which will benefit this new project phase. We would like to send all our donors a big THANK YOU – thanks to our support, we can make a difference in the lives of thousands of children. An remember: With as little as 20 US$, we can train a teacher; and with 100 US$, we can bring safe drinking water to a whole class of kids.