Spotlight: Project SHINE

We are pleased to partner with Project SHINE this year! A portion of the proceeds from this year’s dinner will be going towards their cause of raising awareness for and addressing issues of sanitation and hygiene.

Project SHINE aims to empower the local community and youth to develop sustainable methods of improving sanitation. Currently, they are working on biosand water filters and supporting social enterprise groups that focuses on “making soap to raise awareness about the importance of sanitation and hygiene, and as means of income generation.” We will be featuring our partner organizations weekly leading up to the event to shed light on the important work they are doing and how your support can help further their efforts. Donate or purchase tickets to the Rich Man, Poor Man event here:

a) What inspired Project SHINE to be formed?
Project SHINE was initially developed in response to community concerns about the impact of parasitic infection, as well as local hospital records which indicated that helminth infections and protozoa were among the top diagnoses each month. The aim was to develop an innovative way to engage and mobilize youth and the wider community in efforts to improve water, sanitation and hygiene.

b) What difference is Project SHINE making in the global community?
One [of our projects] relate to a social enterprise group that is making soap to raise awareness about the importance of sanitation and hygiene, and as a means of income generation. This group is supported through partnerships with the Rocky Mountain Soap Company and Sahakarini, a Camrose-based NGO. The second, which is the focus for our current fundraising efforts, relates to a pilot study of the biosand water filter to assess community acceptability of the filter. Based on promising findings that this is a low-cost, low-tech option to treat water at the household level, we are trying to scale this project up so that more can benefit from clean water. We started off with 30 filters in the community and by the end of November 2017, we will have increased that number to 130. We have benefited from the generosity of individual donors, as well as funds from the University of Calgary, the Norwegian University of Life Sciences and Sahakarini. At the global level, we hope that the SHINEmodel of engagement will inspire future efforts related to water, sanitation and hygiene interventions. Already, Project SHINE is being adapted and implemented in southern India and we hope to see further expansion in future.

c) How will funds raised from the Rich Man, Poor Man dinner help further your efforts?
The funds from the Rich Man Poor Man dinner are crucial to helping us generate momentum around scaling up the biosand water filter project. The funds will be directed to supporting both the purchase of additional filters, as well as ensuring the filters are properly maintained and used. We have established a number of partnerships as part of our strategy to ensure organizational sustainability and overall effectiveness including with CAWST (Center for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology) based in Calgary, Aqua Clara in Kenya and the WET Center in Zambia. Within the community itself, we have trained technicians and community health promoters. During our most recent visit to the field in September 2017, we also engaged with local policy makers in an effort to ensure future sustainability of the project.

Project SHINE would also like to acknowledge the research’s support by Grand Challenges Canada. Grand Challenges Canada is funded by the Government of Canada and is dedicated to supporting Bold Ideas with Big Impact in global health. The project was also supported by Global Health & International Partnerships, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary and by the University International Grants Committee (UIGC), University of Calgary.



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