MATSIMBE SECONDARY SCHOOL, Malawi

Please help us reach our new goal of raising $6,600 this year to supporting Matsimbe Secondary School!

Matsimbe is a large secondary school in rural Malawi with an enrollment of 1872 students and only 18 teachers. The school uses a nearby hand dug, unprotected, shallow well as their source of drinking water. Because the water source is unprotected, it is most likely contaminated, and students often become sick from drinking it. Teachers at the school have to travel and queue at a community borehole half a kilometer away whose water yield is very low. They often have to wait for long hours to access water, taking away precious time from teaching. Then, it is difficult to carry the heavy water back to the school. 
 
The school's sanitary facilities are in very poor conditions. They have four temporary pit latrines and no urinary facilities. The are no handwashing facilities at this school. Due to lack of sanitary facilities, boys and girls use the bush at a nearby graveyard as a restroom. This further contributes to the rampant spread of water-related diseases among students. As a secondary school, girl students who have reached puberty often drop out from embarrassment of having no private place to use the restroom or maintain menstrual hygiene. 


H2O's implementing partner, Freshwater Project International, will drill a fresh water borehole at the school, and provide two blocks of latrines (with locking doors) and two blocks of urinals. One of the girls latrines will have a menstrual hygiene management station. All of the sanitation facilities will have hand washing stations adjacent, and more hand washing stations will be located close to the classrooms. Students will also receive hygiene and hand washing training and menstrual hygiene management training (for girls). Additionally, students receive a supply of Procter & Gamble Purifier of Water packets for students to use to purify water in their homes.
 
Please help us provide a comprehensive solution to the water and sanitation needs of this school in Malawi!
 

MADEGWA PRIMARY SCHOOL, Kenya 2018

$3,500 Raised!

A new rainwater catchment system was built! Madegwa Primary School in Kenya now has a new source of safe, clean water thanks to your support. Handwashing stations were installed so that students can clean up after using their new latrines, and students and staff have received training in sanitation and hygiene.
 

Rainwater Catchment Tank
Construction for this 50,000-liter rainwater catchment tank was successful! “The 50,000-liter tank donated to us will be of much help to the school community at large,” Headteacher Jane Msachi said. “We had a hard time in getting water in school, which made some of the pupils stay home because of lack of enough water in school. This also made most of the pupils go to other schools which have water. I believe by donating this water tank to us, the school will grow in population.”
 

Parents, staff, and students helped our artisans gather everything needed for construction including sand, stones, and water. Gathering enough materials was rough because of an ongoing classroom construction project. The administration and parents finally agreed to pause classroom construction and prioritize building this tank and the new latrines. Our staff and school administration started by looking around the school to determine the best location for their new rainwater catchment tank. This needed to be the best site with good, clean roofing to catch the rainwater. Then, we cleared the site: excavating the soil within the required measurements to make level ground for the tank foundation. The foundation was cast by laying stones on a level ground and then reinforcing it using steel, concrete and waterproof cement. Both the drawing pipe as well as the washout pipe were affixed as the foundation was lain. The wall was built with ferro-cement techniques through six layers. The inner wall was plastered while rough casting was done on the outer part. The catchment area was dug, plastered, and a staircase installed so students can easily get water from the tap. Dome construction could begin after the superstructure had been given enough time to settle. The manhole cover was fitted, inlet pipes were connected to the roof gutters, inlet screens, ventilation pipes (breathers) and overflow pipes were all done to standard. Once finished, the tank was given three weeks to undergo complete curing before it was cleaned and handed over to Madegwa Primary School, though we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our monitoring and maintenance program.
 

VIP Latrines
This project funded the installation of six new ventilated improved pit latrines. All of these new latrines have cement floors that are easy to use and clean. And with a rainwater catchment tank, there should be enough water to keep them clean all the time.
 

Handwashing Stations
Pupils can now enjoy washing their hands with soap thanks to the two handwashing stations that were delivered to their school.  These new handwashing opportunities will help reduce cases of hygiene-related illness. The training on hygiene has motivated these students to share what they’ve learned with their peers at school and families at home.
 

New Knowledge
It was in the evening during school vacation when we met 14 pupils and three teachers at the school. We gathered together in one of the classrooms that had enough desks and a chalkboard. The school needed to be equipped with knowledge on how to improve standards of hygiene and to also ensure that the sanitation facilities given to them are maintained to serve the school for years to come. Some of the topics covered include water pollution, personal and environmental hygiene, operations and maintenance of the facilities, group dynamics, and leadership and governance. The group activities equipped the new health club to promote hygiene and sanitation awareness at their school. Students were proud to learn that if they take good care of their facilities, they will help the school for years to come.
 

“I appreciate the training you have taken us through. l know the pupils will tell the others of what they have been taught, and put into practice,” Teacher Mercy Kemunto said. “Also in this training, we have learned something new about healthcare in using what is available, like charcoal in brushing teeth. That is something l didn’t know, and also how a tank is washed and the gutters, and the number of times it has to be cleaned.”

GAGADI SCHOOL, Jodhpur 2018

$2,200 Raised!

The proposed project will be an integrated effort on improving health and nutrition awareness among children. Availability of safe drinking water, Bio sand filters and regular check-ups to monitor the health of the students. This school has already received water and sanitation facilities with the support of H2O for Life. 

The Thar Desert of India is one of the most challenging parts of India. Severely deficient rainfall creates a chronic drought situation in Thar trapping the region under great poverty and deprivation. Food and water shortages are very common causing poverty and malnutrition. In rural areas health and nutrition needs are often neglected and less prioritized especially for females. Lack of awareness and lack of adequate healthcare are two critical challenges in the region. Education and health facilities are limited in the desert and develop the lowest statistical data nationwide. 

India has a goal for 100% enrollment of children and to ensure the completion of primary and secondary education by all boys and girls under the Sustainable Development targets for 2030, guaranteeing equal access to opportunities for access to quality technical and vocational education for everyone.

BONETE, Nicaragua 2017

$1,075 Raised!

Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the Western hemisphere. In a country where 37% of rural people have no safe drinking water (UNICEF) and 47% of the forest cover has disappeared over the last 50 years (UN Food and Agriculture Organization), these water, sanitation, and reforestation programs are a critical way to improve the living standards of the rural poor while conserving environmental resources. We work in remote rural villages that lack access to most basic services and are too small to receive assistance from other organizations. In general, communities are formed of subsistence farmers or day laborers who live in extreme poverty, surviving on $35-70/month.

LA RENESSENCE, Haiti 2017

$428 Raised!

In 2000, Pierre Supreme Elius started La Renessence, after noticing that the streets were filled with children during the school day.  After talking to the community he learned that there was no school in Cite Pope (Saintard region) Haiti and they could not afford the fees that the schools outside of the city required.  After trying but failing to get the support of various leaders, Pierre decided to start the school himself in a local church.  With the help of the community an additional one-room building was constructed out of wood and coconut front panels to house the pre-schoolers. This year 96 students attend La Renessence (46 boys and 50 girls). Pierre used to get water out of an old well. It was far from potable, but there was no choice but to give the children this water especially on the hottest days. Pierre also teaches the children a hygiene class discussing the importance of clean water.

Currently La Renessence students get their water from an untreated well.

Supporting this project will allow enough funds to deliver 3 jugs of clean water per school day for an entire school year.

COLUMBIA YOUNG DOCTORS COMPETITION 2017

Ella won FIRST PLACE

Each year Columbia University sponsors a city-wide competition to research, build a 3D model, and present a thorough knowledge of a system of the body and a disease associated with it. The competition culminates in a ten minute presentation to Columbia University doctors and professors. This year's focus was on the immune system and Ella chose to study and present her work on HIV/AIDS because it affects her community as well as the world. The competition reinforces how health is affected by environment, education, equal access, government support, and communication. 

OZONE SURF COMPETITION 2017

Trash sorting and raffle ticket selling!

We sorted trash into compost, recycling, and landfill in order to minimize waste. Trash must be manually removed before the current washes it back into the ocean, where it endangers wildlife. We also sold raffle tickets to benefit community programs.

MARIA MITCHELL SCIENCE CENTER VOLUNTEER AND FUNDRAISER 2016

Ella worked at the aquarium for two months and we raised $245 dollars for Maria Mitchell Science Center!

Ella volunteered all summer at the Maria Mitchell Science Center and we raised $245 for their conservation, education, and outreach programs! 

LA FLOR/FLOR DE SACUANJOCHE, Nicaragua 2016

$1,075 Raised!

Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the Western hemisphere. In a country where 37% of rural people have no safe drinking water (UNICEF) and 47% of the forest cover has disappeared over the last 50 years (UN Food and Agriculture Organization), these water, sanitation, and reforestation programs are a critical way to improve the living standards of the rural poor while conserving environmental resources. We work in remote rural villages that lack access to most basic services and are too small to receive assistance from other organizations. In general, communities are formed of subsistence farmers or day laborers who live in extreme poverty, surviving on $35-70/month.​

MARIA MITCHELL SCIENCE CENTER VOLUNTEER 2015

Ella worked all summer as a volunteer at the aquarium!

For two months Ella cleaned tanks, collected specimen through seining expeditions, measured and collected data, and led tours. 

HABITAT FOR HUMANITY 2015

We raised $100.21 for Habitat for Humanity!

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization that helps families build and improve places to call home.

MONTES VERDES, ANDREA GUEVARA SCHOOL, Nicaragua 2015

Our potholder sales ($460) went directly to the Columbia Secondary School Green Team's contribution! This is the school Ella attends! 

KNIT-A-SQUARE 2015

Our squares were combined to make a blanket to warm orphans in South Africa.

Since 2008, Knit-A-Square has distributed 90,000 blankets to comfort the vulnerable children of South Africa, most of whom have been orphaned due to the HIV/AIDS crisis. 

OZONE SURF COMPETITION, 2015

Beach clean up!

We picked up beach trash for five hours. Thousands of pounds of trash wash up on Nantucket every year. Trash must be manually removed before the current washes it back into the ocean, where it endangers wildlife.

WOMEN IN NEED 2014

We raised $57 for NYC homeless women and children.

Founded in 1983, Win (at the time Women in Need) began as a shelter for four homeless women and their combined six children. Today, Win is the largest provider of shelter and supportive housing to homeless families in NYC.

ARARSO PRIMARY SCHOOL, Ethiopia 2014

Our potholder sales ($250) went directly to the Columbia Secondary School Green Team's contribution! This is the school Ella attends! 

STOP INDIA 2014

We raised $302 for Stop India!

(STOP Trafficking & Oppression of Women & Children) STOP India's mission is to stop trafficking and oppression through education, legal movements and rescuing children and women from various forms of slavery and trafficking. They rescue girls and provide a safe home for them to heal and rehabilitate as well as receive an education and life skills, providing many opportunities for survivors to realize their potential and to become empowered individuals and agents of change.   

96ELEPHANTS 2014

We raised $70 for Elephant conservation!

The 96 Elephants Campaign bolsters elephant protection in the wild by increasing support for park guards, intelligence networks, and government operations in the last great protected areas for elephants throughout the Congo Basin and East Africa. It funds high-tech tools in the field ranging from drones and sophisticated remote cameras that track poachers in real-time, to specially trained sniffer dogs to find smuggled ivory in ports and trading hubs. It also engages the public through a series of actions including online petitions and letter writing campaigns enhanced through social media to support U.S. and state moratoria, increase funding, and spread the word about demand and consumption of ivory. 96 Elephants will educate public audiences about the link between the purchase of ivory products and the elephant poaching crisis, and support global moratoria and other policies that protect elephants.

MARINE MAMMAL ALLIANCE NANTUCKET, 2013

We raised $410 for Marine Mammal Alliance Nantucket!

MMAN responds, rescues, protects, and advocates for marine mammals on Nantucket and the region. MMAN regularly takes part in Island events, providing information, outlining opportunities for future education, and encouraging involvement from the public in marine mammal conservation causes.

SCHOOLS4WATER 2012

We raised $230 for Schools4Water!

Schools4Water is a project organized by Walking4Water to involve students in their mission for clean water for all!

MARINE MAMMAL ALLIANCE NANTUCKET 2011

We raised $35 for Marine Mammal Alliance Nantucket!

MMAN responds, rescues, protects, and advocates for marine mammals on Nantucket and the region. MMAN regularly takes part in Island events, providing information, outlining opportunities for future education, and encouraging involvement from the public in marine mammal conservation causes.

POLAR BEARS INTERNATIONAL 2011

We raised $35 for Polar Bears International!

Polar Bears International is the only organization dedicated solely to wild polar bears. Made up of a small group of passionate conservationists, scientists, and volunteers­­, PBI exists to help secure a future for polar bears across the Arctic.

BIDEAWEE ANIMAL SHELTER 2010

We raised $65 for Bideawee Animal Shelter in New York City!

For more than 117 years, Bideawee has been the leading no-kill pet welfare organization serving metropolitan New York and Long Island. Through a vast array of services Bideawee cultivates and supports the life-long relationships between pets and the people who love them.

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Thank You!

Ella and Mabel

sisters4water@gmail.com

@sisters4water