Thursday, August 23, 2012

Biosand Filter Workshop Scheduled for October 18-21.

We have scheduled our next Biosand Filter workshop for October 18-21m 2012. For more information go to A Vision For Clean Water website Hear what past attendees have said about their workshop here

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sanitation and water testing workshop February 2-5, 2012

AVFCW has received a grant reduce the cost of our next 4-day sanitation and water testing workshop. The CAWST training will be held in Clarkston, Michigan from February 2-5, 2012 and the cost including room and board is $500. You can learn more at

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Short History of AVFCW
o Short history of your project: What first motivated you to start a water project? What was your first step? In 2002, founders of A Vision for Clean Water, John and Eileen Heasley, saw the dire need for clean water when they visited their son in Nepal. With the help of MIT students they provided two filters to an orphanage then quickly learned that to make their project sustainable, they needed more training. They attended the CAWST biosand filter training and founded AVFCW.

o What does the project look like now, and how did it grow to where it is today? Our mission today is to bring safe drinking water and sanitation to the poorest in the world. To offer support and encouragement to others who share this mission. We conduct yearly training for those interested in household filters, sanitation or rainwater harvesting and have helped train over 100 others.. We continue to work in Nepal and have provided filters and more to 9 villages and over 30 schools there.

o Summary of activities: What project activities take up most of your time? How do you involve the end users? How did CAWST support your work? Most of our time is spent educating others abut filters. We have hosted CAWST training here in Michigan and provided training to over 100 who want to work with household filters of rainwater harvesting in developing countries. Our next training will be a sanitation workshop in February, 2012. Our end users are the participants who have gone to over 15 developing countries ready for the challenges they will face. We continue to answer their questions and connect them with CAWST experts.
We continue to work in Nepal by partnering with Rotary International, ENPHO (Environmental and Public Health Organization) other groups to provide Kanchan Arsenic and ceramic filters or toilets to villages and schools. The end users receive quarterly hygiene training for one year but also important for them they have built an ongoing relationship with ENPHO that sometimes gives them other opportunities for more help like toilets.
CAWST has strongly supported our efforts. Their technical help is outstanding. Those working in the field are fast and efficient with their technical advice. They have provided excellent and experienced trainers for the workshops.
o Outcomes: What aspect of the project are you most proud of? What has the project achieved so far? We are most proud of the way we have leveraged our experiences in Nepal to help over 100 others do similar work in developing countries.
o Challenges: What were the biggest challenges you faced? What challenges do you think you will face in the future? We are all volunteers. We face the challenge of a small budget. In the future, we face the challenge to grow in a way that is sustainable.
o Lessons Learned: What have you learned from the experience? What advice would you have for other implementers? In everything we do we are flexible. We ask our end users what they want and need. We primarily learned that users must be vested in the project for it to be successful. They must ask to participate, spend time training and they must contribute something to the project for it to be successful.
o Plans for the future: Where do you see the project in one year? In five years?We plan to use this year to plan and have already had two planning sessions. From these sessions we can say what will come in the next five years.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Biosand Filter Workshop a Success

The 2011 "Implementing the Biosand Filter Workshop" was a great success. Seventeen participants attended the workshop in October, 2011 from as far as Washington State. They studied a variety of safe water technologies, learned about sanitation, discussed appropriate hygiene technologies and actually made a concrete biosand filter. Emilie Sanmartin from CAWST conducted the training. AVFCW expects the next workshop will include water testing and sanitation. Look for more details to come.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Local school students make pictographs for project

High school students from Troy and Novi Rotary Interact clubs in Michigan met with John and Eileen Heasley and volunteers to learn about biosand filters.

The students plan to make pictograph directions to accompany the written directions given to those receiving a filter 2011 Ecuador Water Filter Project.

Epidemiologist Erica Gwynn organized the project. Erica worked in Mexico as part of a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship in 2007-8. Erica explained that during that year, it was the young people that made her project a success and they continue to implement her changes. Now that she has returned, she wants to motivate our young people to help bring safe drinking water to those in most need.

The four-hour workshop began with a discussion about the benefits of the biosand filter and how it works. The group then spent time sifting sand and gravel to actually commission a filter. Interactors were excited about the project. They learned more about how the biosand filter works and met new friends to work with them on the project.

Monday, January 17, 2011

From October 10-13, 2010, 17 people participated in A Vision for Clean Water’s annual Biosand Filter Workshop held in Clawson, Michigan. Attendees came from Mexico, California, Oregon, Washington DC, Michigan, Canada and more. The excitement ran high as they learned about the many water related issues creating illness in many countries, and shared their own potential projects and challenges.
The four-day workshop was filled with learning, hands-on and challenges to complete the packed agenda. Daytime sessions were complemented with evening programs including films, discussions, as well as workshop graduates and other speakers who have worked to improve water in several countries. Class members, trainer and A Vision for Clean Water founders Eileen and John Heasley (who organized and assisted with the session), appear in the photo below with the concrete biosand filter the class constructed during the workshop.
Two participants are returning to Tanzania where they are planning a village water project. The team attending from Mexico is working to change government policies regarding household filter guidelines in that country. The group going to Ecuador has already been approved for a grant to provide concrete biosand filters there. We are looking forward to the next workshop which will be held in Clarkston from April 14-18, 2011 in Clarkston, Michigan

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Help given to stop cholera in Nepal

The newly founded Metro Detroit Rotaract Club –the service club founded by Dustin Tierney following his trip to Nepal in 2008- received an email from the Kathmandu Mid-Town Rotaractors to help prevent the spread of cholera in Nepal. It had been two years the last case was reported in Nepal but 300 deaths were reported. The cure is to give hygiene education to the villagers and bottles of chlorine. Dr Tuladhar reported back that 8657 vials of chlorine were packaged by the youth volunteers.