Currently I am visiting my girlfriend back home in the states and working on some fundraising to continue the ministry that I’m apart of in YWAM Perth Australia. Which is what I wanted to talk about for a little bit. I want to let you guys know what I’m doing and I pray that you want to be apart of it.
Last May I joined staff at YWAM Perth to join the Appropriate Technology ministry and staff DTS (Discipleship Training School). The aim of Appropriate Technology is to use readily available materials in low-income areas to create technology that improves health and quality of life. Now you say “What exactly does that mean?” We go to the poorest of the poor in both rural and urban areas in countries all over the world. We go and see and assess what the needs of the people are discuss with key people in the area to find out what would be the most beneficial. Once that is done we search around to see what is locally available for the people and make a note. Depending on the need we can make technology there or we may need to come home to Perth and develop it before implementing it.
An example of this is the biosand water filter. It started from a trip to India where we were going to slums and found that there was no access to clean healthy water. The water being supplied was full of bacteria that were causing sickness. So after researching water filtration and different ideas we built a water filter out of a 55Gal plastic drum, PVC, gravel, and sand. After experimentation we were getting consistent results and then returned to India to implement it. Now the goal of this ministry is equipping, so we don’t just build and give. Our heart is to invite people who are interested and the influential in the community and teach them with the intent that they go and teach others and share. With this approach the technology can reach more people then if we as a ministry were to do it all ourselves.
Like all technology though it can be improved. In another trip to India some people who had heard about the filter project approached us. They brought us to an area that has the highest arsenic poisoning in the world. This village has no access to clean water. The water pumped in from the government come in intermittently for maybe an hour a day. They surface water in the ponds near by is full of pollution from the recent monsoon season that brought all the rubbish down stream. The well water is what the village uses the most. It however is what is contaminated with arsenic. So upon learning this we went and researched ways to remove arsenic. It took a while and wee had to figure out how to keep it simple and teachable. Most of the time we are teaching through translation. We ended finding some research talking about how iron oxide (rust) can remove arsenic.
This past November I lead a DTS team on outreach to India where we put this to the test. We were able to test the water before and after. Initial testing saw the arsenic level at 500micrograms. After running through the filter that level dropped to below 100micrograms. During our time there our team built nine filters over a two week time period. At the end of our first week working in the area we were told that people were already working together to go and buy the materials in bulk so that they too could build the filter. After just watching and helping with the building of a single filter they were confident enough to go and build their own. We have partners in the area that are stopping by and making sure that things are being built correctly.
This is just one of the projects that this ministry has going on. We have biogas, aquaponics, and grow bed projects that are all using similar materials.
When I get back from holidays I’m going to start looking into energy generation and who knows what is going to come from that. I’ll keep you guys posted though.