Raleigh International is a charity which specialises in international development, coordinating projects in countries such as Nicaragua and Tanzania. Many of you will remember that last summer, Jill and David Spracklen held an afternoon tea in aid of the charity, and that I (their granddaughter Katie) subsequently went on a 10 week trip to Nicaragua with Raleigh.
Living with a host family in a rural mountainous village called San Marcos Arriba, I was involved in a water and sanitation project. This involved the teaching of basic sanitation practices, and the implementation of equipment to do so, such as simple mechanical hand-washing taps.
However, 1 year later, an insight into the progress of the project is a perhaps surprisingly positive one. We have been in continuing contact with a Nicaraguan charity that works in the area called ODESAR, who assure us that nine of the twelve ecological toilets that we taught people to build are still in use. The committee for clean water that we initiated have met once this year, and are continuing to work towards the long-term goal of having running water. Although not strictly in practice, we hope that initial education about domestic health and hygiene has remained pertinent.
Perhaps the most difficult aspect of any international development work is its
sustainability, and the long-term impact it has on the daily life of those in need, which is not always achieved. Our team leader will be visiting again in December, and our team is currently looking into fundraising for a tarmac road to replace the dirt track that runs out of the village; an uplifting and hopeful prospect after a relatively short project.