Alejandra and Angela sieve sand by size through one of a series of mesh screens, to create the layers of the biosand filters.

Strong hands to work: Alenjandra and Angela build biosand filters for their community

By Emma Condori Mamani, Project Leader of Biosand filters clean 100 Bolivian families’ water project

2 March 2020

Young mothers Alejandra and Angela joined our team and like making biosand filter containers. Since last year, they have been mixing the sand and concrete to build the huge concrete filters.

On a recent Saturday, only one man and these two women made it to our workplace to build the filter containers. That morning I asked them sadly, “Do you think you will be able to work today without the others who were not able to come?” Alejandra looked at me and she said, “I have hands that are very powerful, powerful enough to build even a house. Of course we can do it!”.

That day I understood how meaningful and important it is for them to do this work. Some Saturdays both Angela and Alejandra would bring their kids who, even though they are of elementary school age, would never sit around at the workplace. Instead, they always try to help their moms who are joyfully building the biosand filter containers under the hot sun. I saw one of these kids, aged eight, serving juice to all the people who were working. I told him, “Thank you”, and he replied with smile, “It is very hot weather, isn´t it?”

With the support of all these wonderful Bolivian women and men, making the biosand filter containers is successful. All of us have a dream about a happy Bolivian family who will get this filter installed in their home!

Your support makes this project of neighbors helping neighbors possible. Thank you!

Left: On that day they didn’t give up in the face of hard work, Angela (in striped sweater) and Alejandra (in red) pose with the inverted filter molds, the newly-made filters lined up behind them. Right: The same boy who brought everyone juice helps to create the cement to build the filters.

This article was submitted as a report for the Biosand filters clean 100 Bolivian families’ water campaign, with support from GDF North America.

We are extremely grateful for donations to support these efforts, either through the GlobalGiving online campaign or through GDF’s North America programme.