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Need: In the midst of difficulty lies opportunity

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Hello dear sisters,

I am trying to find funding to continue a project that began three years ago in a village in the Himalayan village of Stok. It is called the Zero Trash Policy. Students at the local Buddhist school, the Siddhartha School, participated in a program I created as an environmental science photo-documentary project. The concept is to teach environmental science that educates on the hazardous nature of plastics and toxins from trash that are finding their way into the drinking water in the Himalayan mountain runoffs that the villagers rely on for crops, livestock, and their own drinking water.

The 50 students were given digital cameras to share, split into groups, and spread out around the village to document before, during and after photos and written descriptions/location IDs of the sites with highest waste content. Over forty bags of trash were collected, and then students were instructed how to bury the trash instead of burning it. They were taught the health dangers inherent in the practice of burning the waste and asked to go home that night and educate their households. The following summer all but one household had discontinued the practice of burning the waste. There have been 3 calendars produced as fundraising tools using photos the students have shot.

Currently, there is a need for funding to take the project to the next level which would involve a serious attempt to sell some of the waste for a recycling initiative to use it to create backpacks, shoes, and tarps that are economically in demand due to the trekking industry in Ladakh. Please contact LisaV.Blake@gmail.com if you have suggestions or can contribute to funding this important health, environmental education initiative. Thank you!

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