Lotus Outreach

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Lotus Outreach

Lotus Outreach is dedicated to ensuring the education, health and safety of at-risk and exploited women and children in the developing world. Lotus Outreach achieves its mission by supporting the development of grassroots projects in vulnerable communities. By working with local people and organizations, Lotus Outreach ensures the local ownership, cultural relevance and cost effectiveness of each project.

Lotus Outreach has several wonderful projects but have engaged with Forix to build wells in communities for whom water is a difficult resource to obtain. For those living in drought-prone regions, obtaining safe, potable water becomes a crushing burden which dominates their existence for six to eight months of the year. A villager can pay up to $30 per month for clean water – the equivalent of one adult’s wages for the same period of time.

This single, exorbitant cost means that the very activities that could rupture the pernicious cycle of poverty – education, saving, investment, or farming – come to a standstill during the dry season. Most often, children pay the highest price: to make ends meet, they are taken out of school and often sent to find work across the border in Thailand, where they face a high risk of being trafficked, raped or otherwise abused and exploited.

Complicating matters, populations in these remote village areas are poorly educated about hygiene and health, almost entirely unaware of the risks incurred by using stagnant water for drinking, washing and bathing. Villagers who try to alleviate their costs by using dirty water when available inadvertently compound their troubles through contraction of water-borne illnesses and parasites, leading to loss of income and need for expensive medical treatment. Once again, children are the biggest losers: unclean water and poor sanitation are among the leading causes of death for children in these regions.

Having a safe source of water near their home allows children to have the time to attend school, reduces financial burdens on families thereby lowering high-risk migration and trafficking, and allows families to practice hand-washing and other sanitary measures preventing the spread of life-threatening diseases. The program includes monitoring such particulars as water quality, water availability, functionality of the well, functionality and cleanliness of the platform and drains, percentage of population accessing the well, status of repair and maintenance, role and responsibilities of water management committee, status of health parameters, behavior changes re hygiene parameters, travel time for acquiring water and school attendance.

To see more, watch this video from the Lotus Outreach water program.