Friday, 8 March 2013

Women's Day Spotlight: Women, X-Ray 7 & Water

It is International Women's Day and we are celebrating women here on Expedition 13A. Today we will publish a series of Women's Day centred blogs from our teams who are spread far and wide across Costa Rica and Nicaragua and are celebrating in their own way. We also though you would be interested to read Marie Staunton's article in the Huffington Post. Marie is the Chair of Raleigh International and is currently visiting Raleigh ICS and Raleigh International's projects in Nicaragua and wrote this article about our project partner's the Cooperative Juan Francisco Paz Silva - click here to read >
PM's Emma, Paul and Cali with their host family Norberto, Sylvia and their children - they will be a beneficiary of X-Ray 7's work.
Furthermore X-Ray 7 and their Comms Officer Josh Arbon have conveyed their feelings about the affect that the new access to clean and safe water that will be provided by their gravity fed water system will have on their community of Matapalo, Achuapa, Nicaragua:

To fully appreciate the impact of our project here in Matapalo we conducted interviews in villages that have benefited from previous Raleigh teams. In particular we focused on the women within the household to tie in with World Women’s Day which we have been discussing over the past week. The results of this have been both uplifting and shocking simultaneously. The projects made huge improvements to the women’s lives, however, these drastic changes highlighted three existing issues which faced the women who haven’t beneffited from the scheme.
The Cooperative Juan Francisco Paz Silva is helping to achieve social justice, equality and basic public services for it's members. The community of Matapalo are a part of this cooperative.
In one case the mother of one family would have to take a 15 minute journey with 20 litres of water five times in the morning and then five times at night. This took a serious portion of her day and left her with serious neck problems. In the four years since Raleigh installed a safe water source in her home medical problems have subsided and she has had far more time to cultivate her vegetable patch and enjoys a markedly improved quality of life.
Senada Lopez is a beneficiary of a previous Raleigh water project in Matapalo. The current project will provide all remaining families in the area with a clean and safe water source.
She also believes that this project, and others like it, has helped to empower women in the local area and given them a louder voice on the community stage. This view is reciprocated throughout the women of the community. Another interviewee noted how 20 years ago women in the village had no rights or opportunities whereas with the implementation of projects such as the one we are currently undertaking women have more opportunity and are pushing for gender equality.
Sylvia, the PM homestay mother in her kitchen
This is why our work here in Matapalo is extremely important and poignantly timed. With World Women’s Day today we can greater appreciate the impact of our work. When asked about World Women’s Day those interviewed said they felt proud and thought the day was important for women such as themselves and particularly those in a worse situation.

This is a value which is also held by us in X-Ray 7 and we can see first-hand the differences made by Raleigh to the very homes who have been extremely welcoming to us.

Spotlight: Why do Raleigh's water projects benefit Women 
Norberto and his wife Sylvia are beneficiaries of the new gravity fed water system in Matapalo
Women are disproportionately affected by lack of access to safe drinking water. Women primarily manage water resources on a local level. In other words women, particularly in developing countries, are tasked with cooking, cleaning, and providing drinking water for the family. This can mean that where water isn’t readily available, women can spend up to 3 hours per day collecting water for their family.
The new feed in Matapalo will supply 30 of the community with safe and clean water
At the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development 2005-2015 was named the ‘Water for Life’ international decade for action. This called for women’s participation in water-related development issues.

Women’s lives improved due to:
-        Reduced time, health, and care-giving burdens from improved water services give women more time for productive endeavours
-        Convenient access to water and sanitation facilities increase privacy and  reduce risk to women and girls of sexual harassment/assault while gathering water
-        Community-based organizations for water management can improve social capital of women by giving them leadership and networking opportunities and building solidarity among them.

A study in 88 communities in 15 countries found that water projects are more sustainable and effective when designed with the full participation of women than those that are not.

Happy Women's Day to all of our blog readers and our volunteers family and friends.


  1. For Alex Bührich 13A Costa Rica X-Ray 9
    Schatz, habe alle Bilder ausgedruckt, Ich freue mich so sehr für Dich, dass Du soviel erlebst und unheimlich glücklich aussiehst. Genieße die noch verbleibende Zeit. Freue mich trotz allem sehr auf Dich! Kiss Mami PS darf ich Dich abholen?

  2. Daniela Carranza X-RAY 5. Isla San Lucas.
    Viernes 8.
    Hola Hija! todos los días abro la página para ver si tengo noticias y observar fotos de los diferentes RAY, especialmente el tuyo, estoy pendiente de todo y le pido a papi o a Milton que me traduzcan. Es muy interesante y enriquecedor todo los bueno de este proyecto definitivamnte solo cosas buenas de puede dejar dicha experiencia. Por aquí todo macha bien y las abuelitas y tías me preguntan constantemente por tí, yo las tengo al día con lo poquito que entiendo. Los días pasan y ahorita estamos juntas de nuevo. Te AMO MUCHOOOO, por favor cuidese por que te estoy esperando. Mamita.

  3. Dominic Orchard Xray 10

    Hey dom, kath here, miss u loads!!!
    How is it partying with the monkeys?? Im so excited to hear all about it!! Auditioning is going well but I'd love some of your words of wisdom. The letter you send was brilliant. You look like a cave man in it, i've never been so proud.
    Lots of love xxxxx

  4. For Jelmer van der Ploeg, X ray 3

    Hey Jelmer! 18 worden aan de andere kant van de wereld! Dat zul je nooit meer vergeten. Van HARTe gefeliciteerd en we wensen jou een mooie dag met alle mensen daar om je heen. Wij proosten hier in Glimmen op jou! liefs, Marco, Hennie, Laura en Esther



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