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November 2005 Newsletter
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Letter from Linda

Dear Friends of Filters for Families,

Our team has enjoyed the Nepalese Holidays of Dashain and Tihar, after working straight through the monsoon (albeit a weak one). Unfortunately, the lack of rain prevented the lowland Terai, where we work, from cooling down. Temperatures were in the high 90ís well into the first week of October.

Along with our new school workshops (play with puppets), we were busy conducting village arsenic workshops into early October. We've finished 8 workshops for our new villages/wards and distributed 246 more filters since July. (To date, we've distributed 546 filters to families and schools.) See the map at the end of the newsletter for locations.

In September we held our first Nutrition & Health Workshop for Women, presented by Patti Wheeler. An unusually high number of women (157) attended from the villages of Thulo Kunwar and Sano Kunwar. We've also started our first 'Kitchen Garden' program in Kunwar with the local Women's Club.

We welcome two new friends working (volunteering) with Filters for Families. Mr. Amar Neku has joined us as a Board Member. Amar has worked on arsenic issues in Nepal since 1999 and is now pursuing PhD studies at the University of Texas at Dallas. Don Messerschmidt has joined us as newsletter editor. Don is an anthropologist and long time resident of Nepal. He is author of several books and many articles relating to rural development, health and natural resource management. We hope to send newsletters more frequently in the future with his help.

In March we were selected for a small research grant funded by the U.N. Development Program entitled 'Using Nature to Remove Arsenic'. Some of our exciting results are shared in the research section of this newsletter, along with news about our trial plant filter.

I'm continually amazed at the generosity and care of our donors. Thank you for helping us provide the basic human need of safe drinking water to the poor and disadvantaged people of the Terai.

Dr. Linda Smith

Aerial view of Mt. Everest by Kerem Barut / Download Wallpaper