Giving Circles: The Social Way to Give Sustainably
In 2017 we expanded our Giving Circles program. This unique program allows you to give back in a new and very meaningful way by joining with your friends and colleagues to pool your funds and collectively fund a sustainable community development project. It’s an exciting movement supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and one in which are honored to take part.
With the support of Giving Circles donors, we have successfully funded our first three projects on the new platform.
Clean Drinking Water in Uganda
Access to safe water is limited and remains a challenge in the Bwanda, Buyola, and Nabikuyi villages of Uganda. The three villages are faced with rampant, water-borne epidemics such as typhoid fever and diarrhea. Buyengo Health Centre treats 40% of its patients for diarrhea and typhoid fever related to consumption of contaminated water. Women and children trek miles to neighboring villages for clean water at protected wells or boreholes. Time spent on fetching water from distant places is one of the causes of irregular attendance by school-going children. This project provides access to safe water for approximately 1,300 households in three villages, so the men, women, and children can lead healthy and productive lives.
KORD’s strategy is to adopt innovative and cost-effective interventions to expand access to water to as many households as possible, and spring protection represents a highly viable strategy. It consists of the construction of a spring “box” to act as a reservoir to store water during the night. This is practical in all three villages as the springs flow year round. This project increases the supply of adequate and safe water for 1,300 households in the three villages of Bwanda, Buyola, and Nabikuyi, and help reduce water-borne diseases in the villages by 50% in the first six months of operation.
Solar Energy in Kenya
The majority of rural households in the Namamali Ward of Matungu sub-County use lanterns or tin lamps as their main source of lighting. A survey done by MAKO women’s group in Matungu indicates that on average 30 shillings (roughly USD $0.30, and about 20% of the household budget) is spent per day on kerosene. Use of kerosene poses health risks to the entire household and contributes immensely to the pollution of the environment, whereas simple solar lamps/lanterns for lighting within homes will provide a cheaper and safer alternative.
Through this project, NEHCIP can support 70 rural households by providing them each with a solar lantern purchased using low-interest credit. The direct results of the project include a reduced lighting cost of nearly 900 shillings per month, per household, as well as reduced risks of heart disease, cancer, and respiratory infections associated with the use of kerosene.
Reduced School Absenteeism of Ugandan Girls
In Uganda, sexual and reproductive health is not often taught in schools, and many young girls are uneducated when it comes to menstrual health. Compounded with a lack of access to sanitary pads and changing facilities, many young girls are unable to attend school while menstruating, which eventually leads to high drop-out rates among teen girls. On average, there are 220 learning days in an academic year; missing 24 days a year translates into 11% of the time a female pupil will miss learning due to menstrual periods.
Because sanitary pads are expensive and rare, many young women are forced to use unclean rags, banana fibers, leaves, or used polythene paper during menstruation. This project is educating girls in grade four to seven about menstruation and hygiene. Each young woman who participates in the program will receive reusable pads. The same group will receive skill-building in soap making in order to create a sustainable source of income for when a new pad is required. By the end of 2018, this project will contribute to an increase of 30% menstrual hygiene management among primary school children of Bukanga sub-county.
There are so many good things happening in the world, and there is still time to contribute to a world of good through FSD.