E MPLOY E E NE W SL E T T E R
A PRIL 2012
LEFT: Septic system made from a mixing bowl, silicone, bucket, and PVC pipe. TOP RIGHT: Chicken cooking on a stove made from aluminum cans, tin, and ethanol fuel. BOTTOM RIGHT: Home distillery that can power household items such as stoves, refrigerators, and lights.
Changing lives with as little as $50 Third-world countries receive aid from BYU-Idaho students » Jessica McIntyre: Graduate, Communication
Walking down an uneven dirt road in Abundancia, Paraguay, the hot, sticky air swirls dust around the ankles of a local woman as she makes her way home. In this sparsely settled wilderness lays a Mormon enclave, and with members lacking basic necessities, the Church has been helping residents reach self-sufficiency by helping them build wells, plant crops, and raise chickens. To further make life easier in this village and for others around the world, four student groups in Tyler Watson’s international health class were given $50 to build a prototype that could be implemented in a third-world country to address specific health issues. “Living in the U.S. we don’t realize how lucky we are and that something as simple as $50 can really change thousands of lives,” Watson said. Students in the class researched the struggles people deal with in these countries such as poor food quality, inadequate water sanitation, and insufficient access to fuel. After they chose a situation, students set to work creating prototypes for $50 or less, addressing health needs ranging from solar-powered fridges for street vendors, indoor stoves, a distillery that creates ethanol, and a septic system.
Cooking dinner over an aluminum can
After talking with a family member currently living in the Philippines, one group realized that many people there spend a majority of their day over a hot stove that creates respiratory problems from smoke inhalation. By creating a stove from aluminum cans, tin, and ethanol fuel, they have decreased cooking time and have helped to alleviate health problems. “Our group realized that we can really change the standard of living for others, and its potential is immense,” said Gretchen Gill, a senior studying health science. From a mixing bowl to septic system
Trying to help the people in Abundancia, a second group created a prototype septic system with a mixing bowl, silicone, a five-gallon bucket, and a PVC pipe. “In Abundancia people share an outhouse, and when it’s full they just move it — it’s a nightmare for health officials because of possible soil contamination,” said Landin Hagge, a student studying public health. “Once created on a large scale it will cost only $200. This will improve sanitation and create jobs by training people how to install the septic system and build toilets.” A P R I L 2 012