17 April "I NOW CONDUCT MY LIFE LIKE A NORMAL PERSON!" April 17, 2016By Web Admin Democratic Republic of Congo 0 A combination of malnutrition, lack of health care access, and, above all, lack of access to clean water, means that the camp is full of orphans, while at the same time mortality rates among children under five is extremely high. In late 2014, Friendly Water for the World Medical Officer Dr. Kambale Musubao traveled to one section of the camp, where he conducted HIV testing. He found 63 families (with a total of 378 children) impacted by HIV. In the year prior to the testing, these families lost 80 children under the age of five from waterborne illnesses. Through a small grant from Friendly Water for the World’s Card Fund ($2,920 to be exact), all 63 families were provided with BioSand Water Filters, as well as basic education in sanitation and hygiene. In December, Dr. Kambale returned to conduct an epidemiological survey of the families. He found that, among adults, there was not a single death from waterborne illnesses – not one - and HIV-related deaths were reduced by 70%. Under-five mortality was reduced by 75% (it likely would have been reduced more, except that in the very close quarters of the camp, children visit other children and families who continue to consume contaminated water.) Dysentery and diarrhea among the children went from being a near-universal condition to a rarity. School attendance had radically increased. And among the adults infected with HIV, chronic illness among the 63 was reduced from 51 people to 12. Cholera cases were reduced from 23 cases to 2; typhoid cases from 20 a month to an average of one. Dr. Kambale believes reductions would be even greater if more attention were paid to sanitation and hygiene, and if participants didn’t sometimes pour overly chlorinated water, obtained from other non-government organizations, into the Filters, destroying the bio-layer and reducing Filter efficiency. “After the death of my husband from HIV,” said Mwenge, “I had no energy for my daily routine. But now after the use of the BioSand Filter, my health has improved a lot, and I can work. I almost forgot that I am an HIV person”. Mwenge is now selling filtered water to her neighbors (at approximately one-sixteenth the cost of bottled water), and in the past several months, has earned $108. Her neighbors Aline and Jean said that before the use of the BioSand Filter, they were in constant fear of death. But today, they have hopes for normal lives, health, and life expectancy. "BioSand Filters are not just helping reduce the spread of disease," notes Dr. Kambale, “but also lift the people’s spirits and gives them hope for a better life.” Friendly Water for the World is now expanding the program and the hope is that, during the next year, as part of our Building New Lives Campaign, people with HIV will be trained to fabricate, distribute, install, and maintain BioSand Filters, as well as conduct community sanitation campaigns inside the refugee camp Make this YOUR story of hope. Join the Building the New Lives Campaign. Also Please share this with your friends. Related Posts THIS is What Success Looks Like – NOTHING HAPPENS There – when “nothing happens”, it is often a revelation. While surrounding communities are experiencing disease and even death, when “nothing happens” in the community because of a health intervention, there is much rejoicing. There is even more rejoicing, and a feeling of great pride, when not only are our new friends surviving and even healthy when the periodic epidemics sweep through, but when they do this for themselves and for their neighbors - without governments (local, national, or foreign), banks, churches, white missionaries, huge NGOs and charities, political parties. Sometimes, even without doctors or nurses (because there aren’t any!) They make “nothing happen” with their own intelligence, ingenuity, pent-up energy, generosity, and caring. (And a little knowledge sharing and training, in the case below all secondhand, tools, and some cheerleading – perhaps our biggest asset - from us.) So there is great excitement outside of Gisenyi, Rwanda. Early this year, our Friendly Water for the World affiliate God in Us-Africa trained a group of 20 HIV-positive widows – of different ages, religions, and tribal affiliations - in building BioSand Water Filters, and in teaching community sanitation and hygiene. They called their group “Tunyamazimeza”– meaning “Use Clean Water” in Kinyarwanda, elected a President, and set up a bank account. They started by building and installing Filters for themselves and their children, and, as we’ve seen virtually everywhere, within less than a month waterborne and opportunistic infections disappeared, and the women got stronger. No typhoid, no cholera, no bacterial dysentery, no ambiasis, no Rotavirus. They made “nothing happen”! Then they went to work. Over the past four months, Tunyamazimeza has built and installed 164 BioSand Water Filters, many of them ordered by local schools who have seen how much “nothing happens” when the kids have access to clean water. They made a profit of $835. They spent the first $225 to buy health insurance for 56 children, who can now access health care at government health clinics when they need it, and free pharmaceuticals (the bane of health care in many subSaharan environments.) Of course, most of them don’t need much of it anymore, as “nothing is happening”. They are using the rest of the funds to rent land for next year to cultivate fruit and vegetables, both for the market, and for their own families to supplement their limited diets. These are now some very happy people! (And of course they are continuing to build BioSand Filters.) Now, people are streaming in from other districts, pleading with God in Us-Africa and Friendly Water for the World to start programs in their communities. And local governments, too. We have 12 projects now, and a team that does nothing but monitoring and evaluation. I expect we will triple that in the next year, perhaps to include Friendly Water soapmaking, and training in building eco-friendly latrines. Of course, that means we need more help from all of you. Please consider supporting us with a monthly pledge (you can do that through our website at www.friendlywater.net ); even $5 a month can make a huge difference in people’s lives. Help us make “nothing happen”! (And share this with your friends, so that they can, too!) Report from the Kahororo, Congo project - Two years in background He chose the village of Kahororo, in a low-lying area halfway between Uvira, Congo, and Bujumbura, Burundi. It is a Batwa/Pygmy village – really a reservation. The Batwa/Pygmy people are a highly oppressed minority, rather like American Indians, making up less than 1% of the total population, who were once forest dwellers and hunters, but now gathered into small areas of mostly non-arable land. Kahororo is surrounded by water and marshes. There was no school, no health clinic, no road, no significant buildings of any kind. Unemployment is essentially 100%. The people remember only a single outside intervention in their past, when United Nations troops passed through in 2004, raped some of the women, and gave them HIV. Life expectancy is under 35, and more than half of the children died before the age of five, almost all the result of waterborne illnesses. The Intervention With the funds received, Friendly Water for the World provided two steel molds and a toolkit under our long-term loan agreement for use in producing BioSand Filters, and enough materials to build the first 30-35 Filters. Eliphaz trained a group of 16 women and 14 men for six days in fabricating, distributing, installing, and maintaining the Filters, as well as providing training in community sanitation and hygiene. In 38 days, 31 BioSand Filters were built and installed. A formal BioSand group was formed, and leader elected. More materials were requested and provided, so that Filters could also be sold outside of the community. Over the next six months, 85 BioSand Filters were build and installed in Kahororo. Results Major improvements in health were seen within three weeks. Over the course of the next year, under-five child mortality was reduced by more than 90%, from as many as one child death every three days, to as few as one every six months. Longevity increased among adults as well. A school was started. The group began selling Filters to surrounding communities. A World Bank committee charged with improving the conditions of Batwa/Pygmy people heard about the “miracle of Kahororo” and visited Kahororo in January 2015. The residents told them they wanted to spread the work to other Batwa/Pygmy communities. One person trained – Konka Shindano – became a BioSand technician. In September 2015, at Friendly Water for the World’s request, he traveled almost 500 miles away, to Beni and Butembo in the far northeastern corner of the Congo to train other Batwa/Pygmy communities. He had never traveled more than 15 miles away from Kahororo before. It turned out he spoke the same languages (Kimpute/Killesse), and the fact that he could teach technical skills was seen as extraordinary. His presence and expertise was much sought-after by village leaders and the length of his trip had to be doubled. He is likely to return there to assist with future trainings in 2016. Kahororo village leader Anania Shigira says, "Water is Life, and is a fundamental life. As one of the fundamental rights, life can now be returned to my community and my people are revitalized because we now have access to clean water through BioSand Water Filters. Thank you! We note that the sustained action of Friendly Water for the World is the first intervention toward the development of Kahororo since the world began. We were yesterday forgotten, discriminated against, and marginalized, but today we now have become proud and worthy thanks to the BioSand Filter program." Please help us extend the miracle of Kahororo to other communities through your contributions large and small. And please share this post with your friends People with Albinism Groups trained by Friendly Water for the World – frequently made up of HIV+ people, widows, formerly unemployed youth – as well as our country representatives, often take up the conditions faced by even poorer members in their communities. God in Us-Africa, our Friendly Water for the World partner in Rwanda, supplied us with the photos below, of their work in providing clean water to albino children. In the DRC-Congo, we are exploring setting up a workshop in the production of BioSand Filters with an albino rights group, which will provide its members a means of earning a living even at the same time as contributing greatly to community health. We dream of the time that, instead of being among the most stigmatized, they are valued for the important contributions they make to the life of their communities. Please share, and if you can, send a little bit our way Kasaana People Living With HIV Kids were taken out of school to walk up to 5.5 kilometers each day, twice a day, to fetch dirty water for their sick parents. Research has shown that, with consistent access to clean water, the life expectancy of a person living with HIV can be extended from 5-8 years. With clean water and anti-retroviral drugs, life can be extended indefinitely. But taking anti-retroviral drugs without clean water can reduce their effectiveness by up to 80%, as the body cannot resist opportunistic infections. Last year, Friendly Water for the World's Uganda Country Representative Richard Kyambadde (who is openly HIV positive, and wants you to know it), trained the group Kasaana People Living with HIV to build 59 BioSand Filters, as well as to undertake spring protection activities. Health improved almost immediately, and massively. But, especially in the dry season, the people still had to walk up to 5.5 kilometers to fetch water. As part of a large grant from One Day's Wages based in Seattle, Washington, Rotary Clubs based in Luxembourg, and Rotary International Foundation, the people of Kasaana have been trained to build rainwater catchment systems using ferrocement tanks that they fabricate themselves. Ten have been built thus far. Now these folks - most of whom were "fixing to die" - have a ready source of employment, building such systems for their neighbors and in neighboring communities. Their skills are going to be incorporated into the new Friendly Water for the World Center for Clean Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene. Thanks to all who made it possible. The "muzungu" (white person) in some of the photos is John Bailey, a retired engineer, living in Hubbardsville, New York. John came to our Friendly Water for the World training in Anacortes, Washington last July, and is now putting his skills to good use! (which isn't to say that he didn't before - LOL!) Please help us extend this work to other communities of people living with HIV. Friendly Water for the World- www.friendlywater.net And please share this with friends. Comment (0) Comments are closed.