The past few weeks have involved a lot of discussion regarding which projects we will be working on for the summer and the direction in which to take these projects. Here is a small look into some of the projects from previous years:
Endeleza Vijana Organization (EVO) Partnership: EVO was established in 2013 and aims to support youth through everyday challenges by providing them education on health related issues and life skills. In summer 2015, SIHA provided EVO with seminars on various topics aimed to increase members' capacity in achieving organizational goals. Their current programs include: Sports 4 Life Program, World Aids Day, and Partner Invitation Card (which aims to increase male involvement in couple HIV/AIDS testing).
The Water Projects: Biosand Filters (BSFs): SIHA first installed BSFs in 2013 in response to high rates of diarrheal disease and limited access to effective treatment methods. SIHA connected with SON international: a local non-for profit that builds and services BSFs. A pilot project was initiated to assess BSF utility in various demographics and in different locations.
In July 2015, SIHA found all of the BSFs dried out or in poor condition at all four locations. SIHA connected SON international with those utilizing the BSFs. In February 2016, SON international repaired and relocated the BSFs, with SIHA funding these costs.
Rainwater Collection System (RWCS): SIHA constructed a RWCS in 2012 to improve water accessibility for the community of Kikongo. The RWCS is composed of a 26 000 L tank, which sits underground and water is supplied via pump. In the following years the RWCS had finance and management issues despite evaluation and encouragement of the SIHA team to promote a sense of ownership within the community and the local government. In 201 6 the SIHA team decided to pass full ownership of the RWCS to the Kikongo Primary School.
Malaria Prevention: ITNs Project: Malaria has been identified as a primary health concern in multiple communities. Key informants helped to identify barriers to malaria prevention in these communities: the accessibility and cost of Insecticide Treated Nets (ITNs). SIHA has worked to connect local businesses with community groups (such as MEC) to distribute bednets at a reasonable price to communities with the goal of decreasing dependency on SIHA.