RPCV

Water Charity Meets with Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet

Carrie Hessler-Radelet & Averill Strasser

Water Charity’s co-founder and COO Averill Strasser, and Executive Director, Beverly Rouse, had the opportunity to meet with Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet when she was in Long Beach this week.

At a presentation at Cal State University Long Beach (CSULB), Director Hessler-Radelet, along with CSULB President Jane Close Conoley and Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, unveiled a new program that will allow students to serve in the Peace Corps and earn a master’s degree in geography or linguistics.

Since the Peace Corps was established, 777 alumni from CSULB have traveled abroad to serve as volunteers, with 31 alumni currently serving.

Peace Corps Volunteer Danica Campos appeared remotely from Costa Rica and addressed the audience. Danica previously directed a Water Charity project, María Agüero Water System Project - Costa Rica.

In her remarks, Director Hessler-Radelet also referred former CSULB student, Socorro Leandro, who is serving in Senegal. Socorro is currently working on a Water Charity project, Sinthian Medina Cherif Latrine Project - Senegal.

Carrie Hessler-Radelet and Averill StrasserIn a recent trip to Senegal, Averill and Beverly had the opportunity to meet with Socorro at her village and consult with her on the work being done.

After the presentation, the Director met informally with members of the Board of Directors of the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Los Angeles (RPCVLA) and several other Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) to discuss the plans the Director has for the future of Peace Corps, and how local RPCV groups can better assist Peace Corps in its mission.

Averill Strasser is an RPCV, having served in Bolivia from ’66 to ’68. He serves on the Board of RPCVLA as Liaison to the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA).

Director Hessler-Radelet acknowledged the role that Water Charity is playing in helping serving PCVs around the world to do water and sanitation projects.

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Sololá Water Filter Project, Phase 2 - Guatemala

Sololá Water Filter Project, Phase 2 - Guatemala

Location
Sololá, Guatemala

Community Description
Sololá, in the western highlands of Guatemala, is the second poorest of Guatemala’s 22 departments, where 94% of people live on less than $3.00 per day. 98% of the population of Sololá is indigenous Maya.

Mil Milagros (MM) is a U.S.-based charity with a local presence. Its mission is to ensure that all children in Guatemala graduate from sixth grade healthy, literate and prepared to continue their education.

Problem Addressed
It is estimated that over 90% of the water supply in Guatemala is contaminated.

In the Sololá School Filter Project – Guatemala, filters were installed in 6 schools to provide the children with access to clean water for drinking, hygiene, and sanitation. The families of these children now need a way to provide for uncontaminated water in their homes.

Sololá Water Filter Project, Phase 2 - GuatemalaProject Description
This project consists of 3 individual projects with 5 separate locations, community descriptions and problem descriptions.

41 Sawyer filters will be installed in three partner communities, to be given to the mother leaders who volunteer to prepare meals each school day.

MM will train the mothers on the installation, proper use and maintenance of the filters.

Locations of Projects
1. Paraje Nuevo Progreso, Canton Pahaj, Santa Lucía Utatlan, Sololá Guatemala 2. Aldea Chutinamit Pacaman, San Andrés Semetabaj, Sololá, Guatemala 3. Canton Pahaj, Santa Lucía Utatlan, Sololá, Guatemala

Descriptions of Communities, Problem Descriptions and Filters to Install

Paraje Nuevo Progreso, Canton Pahaj, Santa Lucía Utatlan, Sololá Guatemala

  1. Nuevo Progreso is a small, rural community in Santa Lucía Utatlan.  Families in this community saw the danger of sending their children to the closest school, where they would have to cross a busy highway, and asked each family in the community to put a small amount of money toward renting a two-room schoolhouse.  The school has 26 children, 2 teachers and 19 mother volunteers.
  2. Problem Description:  Nuevo Progreso is a community with a serious water problem.  There is currently no water in the school or the majority of the homes so water is carried in jugs from a nearby river. (A pump is being installed in a new school well under a separate project to rectify this.)
  3. Filters to Install:  7 water filters will be installed in Nuevo Progreso, one for each mother leader.

Aldea Chutinamit Pacaman, San Andrés Semetabaj, Sololá, Guatemala

  1. Chutinamit Pacaman is a small community that was displaced during a tropical storm in 2010.  Since then, the 22 families have been living in tents and tin shacks on a soccer field while they push government leaders to purchase the land needed to rebuild.  MM feeds all children year-round in this community due to their preciarious circumstances.  The community has 34 children, 2 teachers and 19 mother volunteers.
  2. Problem Description:  The community has water from the local town government and when there is no water, they use rain water catchment systems to ensure they have enough water.  However, the water is contaminated.  The children in this community have really latched on to drinking water regularly as they have had access to water filters that now need to be replaced.
  3. Filters to Install:  22 water filters will be installed in Chutinamit, one for each family in the community.

Canton Pahaj, Santa Lucía Utatlan, Sololá, Guatemala

  1. Pahaj is a larger community outside of the main town of Santa Lucía, with a large population of men who are in the United States.  Many are unable to send money to their families.  The school has 400 children, 19 teachers, and 220 mother volunteers.
  2. Problem Description:  Pahaj has very little water and the water sources are unreliable.  They have been lobbying to receive another water source.
  3. Filters to Install:  12 water filters will be installed in Pahaj, one for each mother leader and her family.

Sololá Water Filter Project, Phase 2 - GuatemalaProject Impact
About 240 people, comprised of volunteer mothers and their families, will benefit from the project.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Carolyn Daly is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, living in Sololá, serving as In-Country Director for Mil Milagros.

Carolyn previously completed the Sololá School Filter Project – Guatemala, and is working on the Nuevo Progreso Pump Project – Guatemala.

Comments
This project expands the concept to include filters in the homes of the students so that the students can share the benefits of clean water with their families and continue to engage in healthful practices. In building on the success of the first phase of this project, the effectiveness, sustainability, scalability, and ease of implementation and evaluation are demonstrated.

This project falls under our ongoing Filters For Life Program - Worldwide, in which we are trying to make sure these high quality Sawyer filters make their way into as many hands as humanly possible.  While not as flashy as drilling wells, water filters are probably the single most effective way to prevent death and unnecessary suffereing due to unpotable drinking water (the leading cause of preventable death worldwide).

This project has been fully funded by Aztech Labs.

If you like this concept and would like to sponsor a similar project, just let us know. There is a tremendous need for clean water in Guatemala, and we would love to continue our work there.

 

This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.

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Nuevo Progreso Pump Project - Guatemala

Nuevo Progreso Pump Project - Guatemala

Location
Paraje Nuevo Progreso, Canton Pahaj, Santa Lucía Utatlan, Sololá, Guatemala

Community Description
Sololá is located in the western highlands of Guatemala. It is the second poorest state, with 94% of people living on less than $3.00 per day. According to the Guatemalan government, 98% of the state of Sololá is indigenous Maya.

Nuevo Progreso is a small, rural community in Santa Lucía Utatlan. Families in this community saw the danger of sending their children to the closest school, where they would have to cross a busy highway, and asked each family in the community to put a small amount of money toward renting a two-room schoolhouse.

They have recently received land to build their new school and have begun the process to construct the building. The school currently has 30 children, 2 teachers and 17 mother volunteers.

Nuevo Progreso Pump Project - GuatemalaProblem Addressed
Nuevo Progreso is a community with a serious water problem. There is no water in the school or the majority of the homes, so mothers have to get water from other sources and carry large jugs on their heads to provide water for the school and their homes.

The community has recently dug an 18-meter deep well on the new school land to provide water for the school for the hygiene program, nutrition program, and general usage.

Project Description
This project is to purchase and install a pump, piping, fixtures, and fittings to provide for the water needs of the school.

The project will be implemented under the direction of the school and town council of Nuevo Progreso, and directly managed by the school principal and the president of the town council.

The work of assembling and installing the system will be performed by local well experts.

Nuevo Progreso Pump Project - GuatemalaWater Charity funds will be used to pay for the skilled labor as well as the equipment and materials, including a submersible electric pump and motor of suitable capacity, a control panel, tubing, pipes, adapters, cables, and a small water storage unit.

Project Impact
49 people will immediately benefit from the project, with many more to be served in the future as the school population continues to increase.

Project Director
Carolyn Daly is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, living in Sololá, currently working for Mil Milagros. She previously completed the Sololá School Filter Project – Guatemala.

Monitoring and Maintenance
The school will create and implement a plan for continued maintenance. Mil Milagros staff will monitor the pump to ensure it is properly used and maintained.

Comments
This project will improve the health and wellbeing of students and their families, as well as the school staff. It will add to the educational experience by relieving all of the beneficiaries of the daily responsibility of bringing water to the classroom for ready use during the school day.

Dollar Amount of Project
$1,280.80

Donations Collected to Date
$1,280.80

Dollar Amount Needed
$0.00 - This project has been fully funded through the generosity of Michael and Carla Boyle of Nelsonville, OH, USA.

This project has been completed.  To see the results, CLICK HERE.

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Water Charity WHOLE WORLD Water Program – Cambodia

Water Charity WHOLE WORLD Water Program – Cambodia

We are pleased to announce the implementation of the Water Charity WHOLE WORLD Water Program – Cambodia.

In partnership with WHOLE WORLD Water, the program will be carried out by Water Charity, in coordination with the United States Peace Corps, to provide running water for people in rural areas of Cambodia.

Kids benefittingThe program is a concentrated effort to build new water projects in areas of great need. In its initial phase, 6 new projects will be implemented in various locations in Cambodia, and will directly benefit at least 1,800 people.

The program will focus on all aspects of supplying drinking water, with the allied objective of also providing water for sanitation, hygiene, and agriculture. Benefits will be sought in reducing morbidity and mortality, improving quality of life, improving food security, and providing economic benefits for direct participants and the community at large.

Typical projects will be wells, pumps, rainwater catchment systems, aqueducts, water storage systems, and irrigation systems.

Each project will utilize the appropriate technology to achieve the maximum reduction in illness and death caused by lack of water and/or the consumption of contaminated water. The design of each project will incorporate measures to maintain the improvements after completion.

All of the projects will be implemented under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) living and working in the locations where the projects are implemented, with the assistance of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) who bring a wealth of background and experience to bear.

The overall program is being implemented under the direction of Stewart Mills and Christin Spoolstra, with the technical assistance of Bruce Kelsey. Stewart, an RPCV who served in Cambodia from 2011 to 2013, will spearhead the program.

Christin is a PCV currently serving her third year in Cambodia. She will coordinate the work of PCVs who are developing and implementing projects. She previously completed the Kandieng Reay Health Center Bathroom Project - Cambodia and the Hun Sen Prosaut High School Water Project - Cambodia.

Bruce is an RPCV who served in Cambodia from 2011 to 2013. During his service, he completed 10 projects in partnership with Water Charity. He developed several new technologies that will be incorporated into the new projects being started under this program. He also was extremely successful in raising funds for Water Charity projects, and will continue to assist us in soliciting outside funds to augment the work started by WWW under this program.

The program has been fully completed, and as an example of how succesful it has been, we added a 7th project, and were able to complete all 7 on the budget of the original 6. 

Links to the individual projects:

This list links to the individual project pages for all 7, now finished, projects.  Conclusion reports for each project can be reached through their project pages or by following meta links at the bottom of each page in the program.
happy studentsCambodia Water
You may donate to this program by clicking on the DONATE button below. All contributions will be used to continue to implement similar projects in Cambodia.


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Whole World Water
Whole World Water (WWW) is a program whereby participating members in the hospitality industry worldwide work to eliminate the environmental problems caused by bottled water by filtering and bottling drinking water on site and selling the water to their patrons.

Funds from the sale of WHOLE WORLD Water from hotel, resort, spa and restaurant members are contributed to the WHOLE WORLD Water Fund, a registered UK charity. 100% of these funds are invested in approved clean and safe water projects around the world.

Water Charity
Water Charity is a California 501(c)(3) nonprofit that does water and sanitation projects around the world. In the past 6 years, it has implemented 1,600 projects in 60 countries.

Water Charity has helped Peace Corps Volunteers in Cambodia to implement 61 projects to date.

Peace Corps
The Peace Corps is a United States international service organization that sends Americans abroad to tackle the most pressing needs of people around the world. Peace Corps Volunteers work at the grassroots level toward sustainable change in the communities in which they live and serve.

The Peace Corps program in Cambodia began in 2007, and there are now 300 PCVs who have served. At present, there are 100 PCVs living and working in Cambodia available to implement projects under this program.

Water for kidsThank you!

Cambodian Students

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Hope For Happiness School and the Cambodian Weaving Village Angtasom Water Project - Cambodia

Hope For Happiness School and the Cambodian Weaving Village Angtasom Water Project - Cambodia

Location
Angtasom, Tram Kak District, Takeo Province, Cambodia

Community Description
Hope For Happiness School and the Cambodian Weaving Village Angtasom Water Project - CambodiaAngtasom is a town in Cambodia along National Road 3, halfway between the popular tourist destinations of Phnom Penh and Kampot. Because of the town’s location and relative ease of transportation, it has become a destination for visitors who are looking to experience Cambodia in its true sense.

Siphen Meas has been running a homestay and private English class out of her house for many years with the support of various NGOs. She and her partners have recently built a new classroom as well as a work space for another project, the Cambodian Weaving Village (CWV).

CWV started with 8 women, training them on traditional Khmer weaving. The objective of the weaving center is to empower unemployed women to generate income for themselves and their families.

Problem Addressed
During the dry season, the school and work space do not have sufficient water for drinking, watering the gardens, and keeping the bathrooms sanitary.

Project Description
This project is to expand the water storage capacity at the Hope for Happiness School and Cambodian Weaving Village by installing a 5,000- liter water storage tank and the necessary piping, collection system, and hardware.

The implementation was planned with, and will be managed by, Siphen Meas and her husband.

Project funds will be used to purchase materials, including the plastic storage tank, piping, and hardware, and to pay for skilled labor to do the construction.

Unskilled labor, including transportation and preparing the site, will be provided by the school staff and a few community members who have agreed to donate their time to the project.

On site there is already a concrete ring built upon which the storage tank will be placed.

CWV will provide additional labor costs for the construction.

Project Impact
45 students, 3 teachers, 10 families, and all the visitors to the school and weaving village will benefit from the project.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
This project will be implemented under the direction of Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV) Stewart Mills, who served in Cambodia from 2011 to 2013, and Stacy Biggs, a presently serving Volunteer.

Monitoring and Maintenance
Siphen Meas and CWV will maintain the project in collaboration with the then-serving PCVs in the community.

Comments
Water collected during the rainy season will be available for use during the dry season. This will improve the health and wellbeing of the participants and their families and improve the potential for economic gain from the products they produce.

It is anticipated that the project will lead to future needed improvements to support the work of the school.

This project has been funded by WHOLE WORLD Water as part of the Water Charity WHOLE WORLD Water Program – Cambodia.

The project is being implemented as part of the Water Charity WHOLE WORLD Water Program – Cambodia. Donations to continue the overall program are being accepted on the program page.

 

Hope For Happiness School and the Cambodian Weaving Village Angtasom Water Project - CambodiaHope For Happiness School and the Cambodian Weaving Village Angtasom Water Project - Cambodia
Hope For Happiness School and the Cambodian Weaving Village Angtasom Water Project - CambodiaHope For Happiness School and the Cambodian Weaving Village Angtasom Water Project - Cambodia

This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.

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Central River Region Handpump and WASH Improvement Program – Phase 2 - The Gambia

Central River Region Handpump and WASH Improvement Program – Phase 2 - The Gambia

Location
5 villages in Niamina Dankunku and Niamina West Districts, Central River Region-South, The Gambia. The villages are Choya, Madina Wallom, Dankunku Fula Kunda, Sare Gynalko, and Brikama Lefaya.

Community Description
These 5 villages are smaller ethnic Fula communities that are largely under-served by government and NGO agencies. These poor, pastoral and farming villages enjoy few basic services, and as a result, health outcomes are fairly low. For the most part, their subsistence livelihoods are tied to the growing season and cattle herding.

Central River Region Handpump and WASH Improvement Program – Phase 2 - The Gambia

Problem Addressed
Water access is a main issue throughout the area, mostly due to breaking and broken water pumps. This adds a huge burden to local communities, especially women and girls, as they are traditionally responsible for collecting water for household use.

When pumps break and cannot be fixed, women and girls must walk farther to find other working water points. As pumps are breaking, the remaining operational water taps are increasingly stressed by rising water needs.

Lower access to water also means less water to drink, bathe, and water animals and crops. For these farmers, it simply means less opportunity to raise income and provide for their families.

In addition, general health, sanitation, and hygiene standards remain low, due to poor levels of awareness and bad practices.

Project Description
This program is to improve water access and sanitation conditions across five villages.

Firstly, 3 German Mark II handpumps (2 in Dankunku Fula Kunda and 1 in Mt. Carmel, an elementary school in Sare Gynalko) will be repaired.

A previous Water Charity project fixed the two 22-year old pumps in Fula Kunda last year. However, both are now experiencing problems. One no longer draws water, and the other one has a leak in the cylinder, requiring locals to prime the pump every time water is drawn (the water seals no longer work).

This decrease in water access has forced local women and girls to walk to neighboring Dankunku to fetch water there. The distance and physical burden adds greater hardship to their lives and takes time and energy away from other productive pursuits.

This project will also fix the 17-year-old handpump in Mt. Carmel's garden. The housing, handle, axle, and bearings have broken completely, and the pump no longer draws water. It broke 4 years ago, leaving schoolchildren without a water source in their garden. The school's other pump and borehole tap are too far away to supply water to grow short-term vegetables.

This project will carry out comprehensive inspection, maintenance, spare parts, and repairs on all 3 pumps so that they are in working order.

Secondly, this program will fund scheduled maintenance for the 3 Bluepumps installed by Water Charity in 2012 in the Choya, Si Kunda, and Kalikajara Pump Project. A dedicated crew from local Bluepump distributor SWE-GAM will travel upcountry in the next month to Choya, Madina Wallom, Brikama Lefaya villages to pull out the rods and cylinder of these pumps to inspect parts for preventative and precautionary servicing.

The Bluepumps are much more durable that the Mark IIs and deliver much more water, and it is a priority to insure their continued operation. Surrounding villages are also heavily relying on these pumps for drinking and watering their animals.

Thirdly, this program will conduct a modest soap distribution in Choya and Brikama Lefaya villages. A mix of regular and antibacterial soap will help assist beneficiaries who chronically experience soap shortages (due to lack of money to buy adequate amounts for growing families) to fight lingering skin infections.

Central River Region Handpump and WASH Improvement Program – Phase 2 - The GambiaFourthly, this program will carry out some activities originally envisaged under the Brikama Lefaya Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) Improvement Project. It will construct a new toilet in Brikama Lefaya village to replace an old toilet that was filling up, caving in, and whose slab breaking. It will also construct up to 5 showering slabs in the same village to provide improved areas for bathing (rather than perching on top of a single block or a discarded piece of metal corrugate, villagers now have a safe place to comfortably bathe).

Currently, the villagers bathe themselves in reed-screened areas behind mud houses. These areas have no flooring, so the used water pools, creating an unsafe environment for algae and bacteria. Creating concrete floors with rebar supports and soak-away drains will give villagers more comfortable and hygienic places to shower.

Lastly, this program will purchase a kit and parts to build rocker micro-irrigation pumps for gardens on a future trip. Rather than painstaking watering plants one at a time by a bucket or container, the construction of irrigation kits and water reservoirs will help locals more quickly and efficiently distribute water for their short-term crops. 3 to 5 of these pumps will be built for gardens in different villages.

Project Impact
1,300+ people will benefit from the project, including those from the following villages:

Choya - 450
Madina Wallom - 150
Dankunku Fula Kunda - 400
Sare Gynalko - 250
Brikama Lefaya - 50

In addition, villagers from Sambang, Dankunku, and Buniadu who use Brikama Lefaya's Bluepump, and those from Jamara, who use Madina Wallom's Bluepump, will benefit.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Jeremy Mak, Returned Peace Corps Volunteer

Comments
This is Phase 2 of a large-scale program to undertake a series of projects to (1) repair and install handpumps and (2) to improve water, sanitation, and hygiene conditions in the region.

To read about Phase 1 of this project, and its successful conclusion, CLICK HERE, where you can also read about the other projects completed under Jeremy’s direction. Links on that page will take you to the individual projects in that phase of the program, and you can navigate through the entire Gambia Lifewater Program to date via the links below this post.

Dollar Amount of Project
$1,500.00

Donations Collected to Date
$100.00

ADOPT THIS PROJECT BY CONTRIBUTING THE DOLLAR AMOUNT OF PROJECT

Donations of any amount will be appreciated. The full amount will give you "naming rights", if that is something you would like.

Any contributions in excess of the Dollar Amount of Project will be allocated to other projects directed by this PCV and/or projects of other PCVs in this country.

Dollar Amount Needed
$1,400.00


This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.

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Pigtown Food for Thought Water Project – United States

Pigtown Food for Thought Water Project – United States

Location
Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Community Description
Pigtown is a historically poor, diverse neighborhood in Southwest Baltimore that until recently was a food desert.

Pigtown Food for Thought is a neighborhood food justice group that was started by people in Pigtown to address food insecurity.

Pigtown Food for Thought has hosted many community meals, created pop-up grocery stores, hosted community cooking exchanges for kids, and started both a community garden and home gardening program where neighbors can grow food and learn about urban gardening.

Pigtown Food for Thought Water Project – United StatesProblem Addressed
The broader problem is lack of available food options in the city, and a generation of kids who are growing up without even basic knowledge of how food grows and where their food comes from. Pigtown Food for Thought addresses this by getting kids gardening and sharing the joy and produce from the garden with everyone who walks by!

The more specific problem is that as with many urban gardens, finding clean water nearby is difficult. Until recently, there was access to a city water source, but that is no longer available.

Project Description
This project is to install a rainwater catchment system to provide water for the water needs of the community garden.

The system will consist of two rainwater catchment barrels to capture and store the water needed for the small community garden through the summer period.

The garden consists of six raised beds, arranged 2 x 3. The barrels will be placed in the middle so that they can be easily accessed. The plants will be watered by the participants with watering cans filled from the spouts attached to the barrels.

Pigtown Food for Thought Water Project – United StatesSince the nearby houses have asphalt roofing, in addition to lead paint issues, it was determined that large funnels on top of the barrels will be used to capture the needed rainwater, rather than using a gutter system.

The two 55-gallon plastic barrels will be purchased, delivered to the site, and placed on 8 cinder blocks. They will be fitted with funnels, made of food-grade, UV-resistant plastic to capture the maximum amount of water.

Project Impact
This project will directly benefit the 45 participants in the program. In addition, the entire neighborhood of Pigtown will get a deep sense of pride and pleasure from the community garden.

Project Director
The project is being led by Charlotte Keniston, Returned Peace Corps Volunteer

Charlotte served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala from 2008 to 2010. Her participation in the Shriver Peaceworker Fellows Program and the details of her involvement with Pigtown Food for Thought are reviewed on the National Peace Corps Association site in an article entitled Returned Volunteer Takes on Food Deserts of Baltimore.

Comments
After implementing 1,300 projects in 60 countries, Water Charity is thrilled to be able to introduce this project as our first in the continental United States. It brings to the forefront a number of issues of importance.

First and foremost it addresses an immediate need, is cost-effective, and uses the appropriate technology.

Secondly, it brings together two of the most important issues facing the world today: food security and access to water.

Thirdly, it highlights the Third Goal of the Peace Corps, for Volunteers to bring their overseas experience back to the United States.

Finally, it focuses attention on the work being done by one of the schools that has a program to provide benefits to Returned Peace Corps Volunteers under the Peace Corps Fellows Program.

Dollar Amount of Project
$400.00

Donations Collected to Date
$350.00

Dollar Amount Needed
$0.00 - This project has been funded through the generosity of the Elmo Foundation, in the amount of $350.00, and Sarah Albright, a longtime supporter of the work of Water Charity, in the amount of $50.00.

We encourage others to continue to donate using the Donate button below, and we will notify the Peace Corps Volunteer of your donation. Additional funds will be used to fund the next project by the PCV and/or those of other PCVs in the country of service.

This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.

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Sololá School Filter Project - Guatemala

Sololá School Filter Project - Guatemala

Location
Sololá, Guatemala

Community Description
Sololá, in the western highlands of Guatemala, is the second poorest of Guatemala’s 22 departments, where 94% of people live on less than $3.00 per day. 98% of the population of Sololá is indigenous Maya.

Mil Milagros (MM) is a U.S.-based charity with a local presence. Its mission is to ensure that all children in Guatemala graduate from sixth grade healthy, literate and prepared to continue their education. To achieve this goal, MM implements three programs in six communities serving over 1,100 children:

  1. Nutrition which consists of an early childhood nutrition program and a school-based feeding program;
  2. Education which includes the provision of textbooks, school supplies for all children and teacher supplies for all teachers, since the Guatemalan government gives very little funding to educational supports;
  3. A robust health and hygiene program to ensure that the children remain healthy and learn important hygiene habits such as washing hands, brushing teeth, using toilet paper, and consuming filtered water

The strategies of MM have succeeded in nearly eliminating the drop-out rate and improving school graduation rates. USAID states that only 40% of children in Guatemala graduate from sixth grade. Over the last three years, 96% of MM sixth graders have graduated.

Sololá School Filter Project - GuatemalaOverall Problem Addressed
It is estimated that over 90% of the water supply in Guatemala is contaminated. The children in the partner schools need access to clean water to be able to brush their teeth and to drink water, rather than sugary drinks prepared by their mothers.

In 2013, MM challenged its partner schools to include water in their lunch menus and to stop serving sugary drinks to the children. The schools are now seeing the value of drinking water but do not have filters to make it practical in their communities.

Project Description
The project consists of six individual projects with separate locations, community descriptions and problem descriptions. However, the overall project within the five communities is similar. In order to be able to be healthy and able to participate in a successful health and hygiene program, the children need access to clean water.

50 Sawyer filters will be installed in six partner schools, to be used in the classrooms and kitchens by the children, teachers and mother volunteers.

MM will organize child, mother and teacher leaders into hygiene commissions at each school to ensure regular and proper use of the filters. Also, MM will track attendance in each school, to measure the impact of the filters on water borne illnesses.

Descriptions of Communities, Problem Descriptions and Filters to Install

Canton Chichimuch, Santa Lucía Utatlan, Sololá, Guatemala

  • a.    Chichimuch is a small, rural community in Santa Lucía Utatlan where over 90% of the inhabitants are Quiché Maya.  Most are day laborers working in the fields to support their families.  The school has 135 children, nine teachers and 80 mother volunteers.
  • b.    Problem Description:  In Chichimuch, the school is the last along the pipeline for water, which only arrives on Tuesdays for two hours.  Many weeks, there is little to no water by the time the rest of the community has used its water and the children are unable to brush their teeth and wash their hands.  The water that does arrive is not clean and needs to be filtered to be consumed.
  • c.    Filters to Install:  Chichimuch will receive eight water filters, one for each classroom and one for the kitchen.

Paraje Nuevo Progreso, Canton Pahaj, Santa Lucía Utatlan, Sololá Guatemala

  • a.    Nuevo Progreso is a small, rural community in Santa Lucía Utatlan.  Families in this community saw the danger of sending their children to the closest school, where they would have to cross a busy highway, and asked each family in the community to put a small amount of money toward renting a two-room schoolhouse.  The school has 26 children, two teachers and 19 mother volunteers.
  • b.    Problem Description:  Nuevo Progreso is a community with a serious water problem.  There is no water in the school or the majority of the homes, so mothers have to get water from other sources and carry large jugs on their heads to provide water for the school and their homes.  Nuevo Progreso joined Mil Milagros in 2013, so it has not yet received any filters from MM and would need new filters.
  • c.    Filters to Install:  Nuevo Progreso will receive eight four water filters, one for each classroom and two for the kitchen.

San Juan la Laguna, Sololá, Guatemala

  • a.    San Juan la Laguna is a beautiful town with an unmatched spirit of collaboration.  Many of the families work on local coffee farms and many of the children have to help their parents pick coffee during harvest.  This is a Maya community where the predominant language is Tzutujil.  The school has 300 children, 21 teachers and over 100 mother volunteers.
  • b.    Problem Description:  San Juan la Laguna has several sources of water.  It is the only partner community that rarely has issues with water supply.  The water, however, is contaminated, so in order to drink it, it must be filtered.  The school in San Juan will be entering into a partnership with Mil Milagros in 2014 and will need water filters as it currently has none.
  • c.    Filters to Install:  San Juan la Laguna will receive eight 18 water filters, one for each classroom and two for the kitchen.

Aldea Chutinamit Pacaman, San Andrés Semetabaj, Sololá, Guatemala

  • a.    Chutinamit Pacaman is a small community that was displaced during a tropical storm in 2010.  Since then, the 22 families have been living in tents and tin shacks on a soccer field while they push government leaders to purchase the land needed to rebuild.  MM feeds all children year-round in this community due to their precarious circumstances.  The community has 37 children, 2 teachers and 19 mother volunteers.
  • b.    Problem Description:  The community has water from the local town government and when there is no water, they use rain water catchment systems to ensure they have enough water.  However, the water is contaminated.  The children in this community have really latched on to drinking water regularly as they have had access to water filters that now need to be replaced.
  • c.    Filters to Install:  Chutinamit will receive four water filters, one for each classroom and two for the kitchen.

Aldea Xecotoj, San Andrés Semetabaj, Sololá, Guatemala

  • a.    Xecotoj is a diverse community whose residents were displaced in 2005 after a hurricane destroyed their homes along a local river.  The school has 55 children, four teachers, and 30 mother volunteers.
  • b.    Problem Description: Xecotoj has serious problems with lack of water and went two months in 2013 with no water at all.  Local governments have piped dirty water into the community once a week.  The water is contaminated and the school needs new filters to be able to implement the health and hygiene program successfully.
  • c.    Filters to Install:  Xecotoj will receive eight six water filters, one for each classroom and two for the kitchen.

Canton Pahaj, Santa Lucía Utatlan, Sololá, Guatemala

  • a.    Pahaj is a larger community outside of the main town of Santa Lucía, with a large population of men who are in the United States.  Many are unable to send money to their families.  The school has 400 children, 19 teachers, and 220 mother volunteers.
  • b.    Problem Description:  Pahaj has very little water and the water sources are unreliable.  They have been lobbying to receive another water source.
  • c.    Filters to Install:  Pahaj will receive eight 20 water filters, one for each classroom and two for the kitchen.

Sololá School Filter Project - GuatemalaProject Impact
This project will benefit 953 children, 65 teachers, and 470 volunteer mothers in 6 schools.

Project Director
Carolyn Daly is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, living in Sololá, currently working for Mil Milagros.

Comments
This is a great series of projects due to its effectiveness, sustainability, scalability, and ease of implementation and evaluation.  It falls under our ongoing Filters For Life Program - Worldwide, which is an initiative to spread the use of these lifesaving filters as far and wide as we can.

Please give generously to this ongoing program. We will accept what you can afford, but we will give special recognition for donations of $100 or more. Any contributions in excess of the amount needed for the project will be allocated to other projects in Guatemala.


Special Recognition
Michael and Carla Boyle, Nelsonville, OH, USA - $2,500
S A Escott - Ottawa, Ontario, Canada - $100
Sarah Albright - $200


This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.

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Magunga Township Secondary School Handwashing Station Project – Kenya

Magunga Township Secondary School Handwashing Station Project – KenyaLocation
Magunga, Suba District, Nyanza Province, Kenya

Community Description
Magunga Township Secondary School is a young school located in a rural village near Lake Victoria in the scenic Gwassi Hills. The community is small and agriculturally based and the area is semi-arid with long periods of dryness as well as the problems of soil erosion due to unsustainable farming practices and deforestation. Suba district is also among the communities most heavily affected by HIV in Kenya.

Problem Addressed
The Magunga Secondary School has little access to proper sanitation. The lack of handwashing stations makes the students susceptible to other illnesses particularly diarrhea.

Project Description
This project is to install 3 handwashing stations on the school grounds.

One 1,000-liter tank will be installed near the students’ latrines. It will contain 2 sinks (one for girls one for boys). One 210-liter tank with one sink will be placed at the staff latrines.

Magunga Township Secondary School Handwashing Station Project – KenyaFor each station, a platform will be constructed on which the tank (with taps) will be placed. A tin roof will be built and gutters will be attached so that rainwater can be harvested during the rainy season.

The school will provide the labor of a local carpenter, and the stations will be maintained by the school staff and student prefects.

The stations will be made of bricks and cements for durability. The sinks will use push tap faucets to reduce the water wastage.

Trees will be planted along the drainage areas, and will utilize the water from the drains.

Water Charity funds will pay for the tanks, as well as materials used to construct the platforms, roofing, and gutters.

Magunga Township Secondary School Handwashing Station Project – KenyaUpon completion, the Peace Corps Volunteer will give the students and staff a lesson on hygiene and how to properly use the handwashing stations.

Project Impact
200 people will benefit from the project.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Margaret Guin and Kyle Babbitt

Comments
This is an important project that will improve the health and wellbeing of students, teachers, and staff.

Margaret previously completed the Magunga Township Secondary School Rainwater Harvesting Project – Kenya.

Dollar Amount of Project
$500.00

Donations Collected to Date
$5000.00

Dollar Amount Needed
$0.00 - This project has been fully funded through the generosity of the Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Paula Schmid, of Findley, MN, USA, who served in Georgia and completed a project there with Water Charity.

 

 

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Sipo Mangrove Reforestation Project - Senegal

Sipo Mangrove Reforestation Project – Senegal

Location
Sipo, Communaute Rurale of Toubacouta, Region of Fatick, Senegal

Sipo Mangrove Reforestation Project – Senegal

Community Description
Sipo is an island village located in the Sine-Saloum Delta, Senegal. The village has a year round population of approximately 116 people, but it increases considerably during the tourist season.

Sipo is one of the 14 villages that make up the community managed MPA (Marine Protected Area) of Bamboung. The Bamboung MPA spans approximately 7,000 hectares, and is comprised of fourteen villages (for a total population of 30,000), each chosen for being located at the periphery of the Bamboung bolong (a Saloum Delta specific saltwater channel).

The area is known for its unique and rich mangrove forest ecosystem, over 30% of the surface area of the delta being covered by mangroves. These mangroves provide a habitat for a diverse array of tropical and subtropical animal and plant species and sustain the livelihoods of many coastal communities.

Mangrove branches, trunks, and roots provide a naturally effective form of flood and erosion control. They process and filter water, and treat and absorb waste (sewage) and toxins, thus reducing human disease.

Problem Addressed
The Senegalese population has increased from 3 million in 1960 to 10 million in 2000. This dramatic population increase has brought many complications, especially in the realm of sanitation and hygiene.

In Senegal, waterborne diseases are the main cause of mortality, particularly among children under five years old. There is an infant and child mortality rate of 160 per every thousand in rural areas of Senegal, with more than 17% of these deaths attributed to diarrhea.

Sine-Saloum island communities, such as Sipo, are particularly vulnerable to sanitation and hygiene issues because it is difficult to transport materials from the mainland to the islands. With over half of the population being under 15 years old, this problem is bound to escalate.

Mangroves have provided a natural method of erosion control and have kept waterways and water resources uncontaminated. However, due to its resistance to salinity and termite attacks (a major issue in Senegal), mangrove wood is sought after to be used in construction. It is often preferred by villagers as firewood because it burns longer and hotter, and the cutting of mangrove roots to remove oysters is an often-practiced, yet highly destructive occurrence.

Sipo Mangrove Reforestation Project – SenegalThe rate of decline in mangrove forests in Senegal has been greater than the rate of appearance, and the cutting intensities of mangrove wood are estimated to be between 1,500 and 5,700 individuals per hectare. This exploitation of mangrove resources exacerbates the problem of sanitation.

Without mangroves, there will be an increase in erosion, and waterways and water resources will increasingly become contaminated.

Project Description
This project is to participate in and expand upon a larger mangrove reforestation project in the village of Sipo.

Approximately 50 Senegalese nationals and Peace Corps Senegal volunteers and staff will participate in a mangrove reforestation effort. Over 74 hectares of mangroves are expected to be planted.

A Peace Corps Small Project Assistance grant will cover the cost of 80 sacs of mangrove propagules (approximately 10,000 seedlings per sac).

Water Charity is funding the purchase an additional 37 bags of propagules (at 7,000 cfa per sac), and the transportation of the sacs from the mainland to the island.

Project Impact
116 people will directly benefit from the increase in mangroves on their island. The project will also indirectly affect the lives of all the people living in the Saloum Delta.

Comments
This project is being implemented under the direction of Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Laura Coberly.

During her service as a Peace Corps Volunteer in 2010, Laura completed the Sokone Women’s Garden Well Project – Senegal.

She is now back in Senegal, working for 4 months with the Peace Corps on reforestation.

Please donate for this project by clicking the Donate button below.


This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.

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