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World Vision awards Collaboratory project teams $733,000 to improve access to water and sanitation in Ghana, Niger and Mali

May 14th, 2012

World Vision has awarded the Collaboratory for Strategic Partnerships and Applied Research at Messiah College a contract for two projects that will be funded at $733,000 over three years with money from the Conrad Hilton Foundation.

The Collaboratory is a center for multidisciplinary service and scholarship at Messiah College that enables participants to apply academic knowledge and live out their Christian faith through imaginative, hands-on problem solving that meets the needs of clients in our region and around the world. Clients of the Collaboratory invest in the educational mission of the College through their interactions with students, and we produce professional and sustainable results for them by leveraging long term partnerships and intergenerational volunteerism that enables projects to span multiple generations of students. Collaboratory projects enable students to engage classroom fundamentals in an authentic client-centered environment.  Students lead and manage the Collaboratory in partnership with the educators and volunteer professionals who mentor them.

This new funding will enable a second phase of the Collaboratory Water and Disability Study. The project team will work in Ghana, Mali and Niger to disseminate technologies they developed in phase one of the project that increase access to water and sanitation resources by people living with disability in rural communities. In partnership with local government offices and NGO’s, the team will engage local artisans and develop marketing strategies for the fabrication and dissemination of various assistive devices. Workshops on disability and development will also be provided to World Vision employees who work in the WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) sector in these countries.

Another project team will identify and ameliorate causes of mechanical failures in installations of the India Mark II pump to increase the time that the pump is delivering water to communities.  Communities in Ghana and Niger will be served by the immediate results of this project.  The India Mark II pump, however, is widely deployed by World Vision and other development organizations around the world.  Recommended improvements in design, manufacturing, installation, and maintenance made to World Vision may be shared with other NGOs to benefit many other communities.

Dr. Ray Norman, dean of the School of Science, Engineering and Health, lead the Collaboratory team that negotiated the research contract with World Vision. Norman and Nate Kamban, Collaboratory water and disability project manager, authored the proposal for the Water and Disability project. Sarah Finney ’12 is student leader of the Water and Disability Project Team.  Tony Beers, Collaboratory WASH project manager, and David Vader, Director of the Collaboratory, authored the India Mark II project proposal with support from project team members Timothy Van Dyke and Timothy Whitmoyer in the Department of Engineering. Zach Sizemore ’13 is student leader of the India Mark II project team.

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