The Better World Initiative has supported Gregg & Sal Beisly, a NZ couple who worked with youth in El Alto for the several years (through Pioneers NZ). El Alto is a city of around 1 million situated high on the Bolivian plains above the capital of La Paz. El Alto is a beautiful place, but it is also isolated & very poor. The youth in EL Alto can face many challenges (poverty, lack of work/income opportunities, drugs, gangs, violence etc).
Well Drilling in Bolivia (Agua:Yaku)
Since 2010, Better World Initiative has donated over $10,000 towards Agua:Yaku, a well-drilling project in Bolivia. More than 37% of Bolivians lack access to drinkable water. Agua:Yaku provides training and tools that will allow rural peasant farm families to drill and maintain their community water wells inexpensively. Agua:Yaku uses an extremely efficient and inexpensive manual drilling method developed by an agricultural missionary with many years of experience in Bolivia. Approximately 400 wells are drilled each year, using locally available materials. Agua:Yaku promotes sustainable grassroots development. With training, project participants use their knowledge and resources to improve the health of their families and the income generated from their farmland. With increased family income, children have greater opportunities to finish their education and escape the generational cycle of poverty. When Agua:Yaku partners with communities to help them drill wells, it loans drilling rigs to the community and teaches them drilling methods, pump construction, and maintenance. Communities form ‘Water Clubs’ to reduce the cost of wells by sharing labour (club members work together to drill one or several wells on each members’ farm). Casing and pump materials are purchased by each family (approximately $100-$200 dollars per well). Since 2010, Agua:Yakuhas expanded its programme into four of the nine departments in Bolivia — Santa Cruz, Cochabamba, Chuquisaca, and Beni. They have at least two teams out drilling full time.