We are a student non-profit working on safe water projects in Uganda, East Africa. With additional support we hope to expand to neighboring countries. This all started when 14 students from the University of Wisconsin-Madison studied health and nutrition in Uganda for 3 weeks in January 2005. We came back to the U.S. and applied for a small grant so that the students going on the next year's study abroad trip could help build rainwater collection tanks as a source of clean drinking water for families in rural Uganda. We received the grant and Village Health Project (VHP) was started! This coming January, the 3rd group of students from the Univ. of Wisconsin will be able to work on a service-learning project helping to build water tanks and BioSand Water Filters. I tested water from common sources in 2006 and again in 2007, and most are contaminated with E. coli at levels considered 'high risk' by the World Health Organization. This particular area of Uganda has no rivers or running water sources; people use stagnant wells or dams where human and animal waste can easily run into. We funded Mr. Paul Kimera, a Ugandan engineer, to attend a workshop in the U.S. in 2006 to learn how to build BioSand Filters, and because of that, the entire country may benefit in the next few years from safe drinking water. These filters are made from local materials, efficient at removing pathogens, make the water clear and appealing to drink, and easy to maintain!
This January we held 3 workshops focused on water/sanitation training village health workers. We work with a local Ugandan project called 'Community Based Integrated Nutrition.' This local group, as amazing as it is, lost funding from USAID about two year ago, so we have been funding all of the salaries! Pretty unbelievable for a small student group from Wisconsin. We also distribute a substance called 'Power Flour' to malnourished kids...one cause of child malnutrition is that when kids are weaned from breastmilk, the food they're fed is too thick and they can't digest it. Power Flour makes the food thinner so the young ones can actually digest it and get the nutrients from it.
We also support a group of HIV+ men and women in Kampala, Uganda by buying beaded crafts that they make and selling them in the United States. We have sent back thousands of dollars, which goes straight into their pockets, by selling over 2,000 AIDS pins and other various crafts. This is a lot of money for people in a country where the average person makes less than $1 a day.