Monday, 4 July 2011

No strings attached

This is just a little bit about the charity I am working with and what they do. I am not trying to preach, sell, or ask for any donations. This is just what it is. Simples.

The Charity I am working with are called Wherever the Need, but they work with smaller charities to help their cause. They deal with two main ares. 1. Sanitation and 2. Empowerment. They believe that you can empower people if you give them water, sanitation and a job, and all three are tried to be achieved by the charity.

1. We are all very aware of Tom and his shoes. Every pair you buy Tom will kindly give a child a pair too. Unlike what I previously thought, the purpose of this is not so children have a comfier walk to school. This solution is a quicker, cheaper, and short term way to solve to the problem that WTN is trying to fix. Through out feet we can pick up a lot of disease and even worms. This is absorbed directly though the soles of out feet without you even knowing. Many people in India do not have proper facilities so they urinate and defecate in their back gardens. WTN help to install Ecosans into schools, villages and in some cases homes. There is no need for any water or drainage. There are two chambers in an ecosan, one is always sealed when the other is in use. You do the business, spread a little ash, to absorb moisture, and hopefully wash your hands. I promise you that there is no smell, nothing! This was a concern by many locals before they were installed, there have been 0 complaints. When it is full it is sealed for a year. This is when the best part comes in play. After a year the chamber is broken open and you have better than perfect compost. It is absolutely safe and looks exactly like dirt. Its hard to believe but it smells less, looks better and helps crops more than traditional compost that we buy at Homebase. This then helps families or schools make money or grow better plants. Their shit is literally pulling them out of poverty.

2. Empowerment. I have heard and believed for a while that along with China, India is going to become a huge superpower and take over the world. However Indians do not believe this due to their cast system. They may have over a billion people here but only around 30% of them get a good education and technology due to their class. The poor in this country do not try to better themselves as they feel that that is there place. If they are in the lowest class they accept it and do not ask for anything. The charity works closely with families and women to help them micro finance. They can spent any spare money they have on a Jasmin plant for example. Then next year they could sell some Jasmin and hopefully earn some extra money. Many women are taught how to make fencing or baskets out of banana leaves, and so one. The community is starting to realise that they can do something about the situation they may find themselves in. Teaching is a huge factor here as awareness is so low here. I sat with one man to help him managed his accounts for his fields. It took us 3 hours to learn, understand and use depreciation. I was praying for Josh Harbinson to suddenly walk in so I could hand him over to him. I have also been entrusted with two main projects here, both are scary but in different ways. I will be helping a group of women set up a business selling wrist bands. We will source the materials and employee a sales person. I hope to have a working business by the time I leave but with an incredibly laid back Indian attitude here, speed is impossible. It is confusing to see such frantic and chaotic roads but when they arrive at their destination, nothing happens. I will also, starting tomorrow. Be the English teacher at school. I have no idea how this will go so you will just have to wait and see tomorrow.

Here are some Photos of the projects:

A completed Ecosan at a small (one room) school

Boys... quick pitstop

Ash they use...for the slower stop



The one I worked on

A teaching seminar on how to use them

The women I will be working with

A man making his sting. He makes 50 Rupees a day. (There are 73 to the Pound)

An Ecosan in a slum. These are portable

I hope you find this informative and interesting in terms of how things work here.

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