Trip to Guatemala

Recently, in July, Aidan and Lenora of Aztech Labs went to Guatemala. And they worked on a water filter project with a local patron, Mil Milagros, to donate and install 41 Sawyer water filters to school children’s families.

Aztech Labs chose to help Guatemala because it is a poor country with low health standards. Not only is it a third world country, with the 4th worst water sanitation in the world, but it is also closer to the US, making it easier to travel there to help. In Guatemala, tap water is not safe and requires intense boiling to become drinkable. They have rich culture and a beautiful country and deserved to be helped.

Aidan and Lenora helped by assembling Sawyer bucket filters and cutting in the their needed holes. These filters, along with pencils, were then delivered them to mothers at two poor schools, one called Nuevo Progreso the other called Pahaj, which could not supply their students with proper drinking water.

At the the first school (Nuevo Progreso), we gave water filters to the students’ mothers. Afterwards, Aidan played soccer with them. Later, in the second school (Pahaj) we helped install Sawyer filters into buckets. They had to cut holes in the buckets to properly install the filters. Overall we were happy to help the families have clean water. One mother said:

“For us, this is very special, because the children are drinking water at school thanks to Mil Milagros.  Now, we can give them (clean) water at home, too.”

To accomplish this project we worked together with Mil Milagros (www.milmilagros.tumblr.com) and Water Charity. When MM got to the school they was met by energetic school children. Thanks to everyone’s work and his help, dozens of students will be able to drink clean water and live a healthy life!

 

Toilet Strike

Matt Damon started the toilet strike and took the world by storm by vowing not to use toilet until everyone in the world has access to clean water. Recently Richard Branson and Bono boldly vowed to do the same in this funny video:
Click Here to Watch Through YouTube.

Join the cause like we just did at strikewithme.org. Also, if the mood strikes you, please consider a $32 donation to Aztech Labs that we will use to purchase a bio-sand water filter that will provide clean water to a needy family for 25 years by clicking on the button below:

Thank you!

By Aidan Hunter, (age 9)

Hello everybody! We decided to add a quick update to our Indiegogo campaign. Something interesting that we’ve learned from the campaign so far is that we find ourselves constantly updating it. As a quick recap for those of you that haven’t heard of the campaign, we have started a project on a crowd-funding website called Indiegogo. Currently our campaign has raised $2,039. Which is 27% of our goal. Currently we are 24% of the way through the campaign with 34 days left. Also, we added a video:

If you want to donate, click here.

Trying to fund 500 filters by June 1, we’ve just launched a campaign to raise money for 262 more water filters on Indiegogo

Please check out the campaign we just launched on Indiegogo. Indiegogo allows charities like ours to get the word out to lots of people who would otherwise never hear about us. We’ve set a pretty ambitious goal to provide 1,000 water filters to Indian families this year. To succeed, we’ll need to raise a total of $32,000 this year. That’s a lot of money but so far, we’re actually on target. With less than 1/4 of the year gone, we’ve already raised more than $8,000.  We’re hoping that this Indiegogo project will keep us on track with fundraising succeed in increasing our total amount raised for water filters this year to $16,000 before June 1st.

If you’d like to join us and help provide water filters to poor families in India, we’d appreciate even a dollar or two.  Every little bit helps.  And even if you can’t donate anything, you can still help us a ton by:

  1. Getting the word out about what we’re trying to accomplish by posting our Indiegogo project to Facebook (or Tweeting about it), or
  2. Writing a comment on our Indiegogo page.

Thank you!  With help from generous people, we can really make this happen!

2 Kids Providing Water Filters to 1,000 Indian Families | Indiegogo at 12.43.02 AM

It’s Over!

The competition is now over and both teams can celebrate.

Blue Devils can be happy about winning both rivalry basketball games of the season while Tar Heels can be proud about winning the water filter donation contest. It was a close call with the $2600 in donations split $1350 UNC (54 donors) vs $1250 Duke (50 donors), but UNC triumphed. We received many donations from Chapel Hill., Durham, Charlotte and even out of state. Please see some highlights of our donations below and our appreciation blog post titled “People are Awesome”.

Because of your donations and the matching funds we lined up, we’re going to be able to fund filters for 200 families in two different villages. UNC donors wallowing in the pain of today’s loss can take solace that these filters will be painted Tar Heel blue! Another outcome of the contest is that Aidan will be wearing a Duke shirt at Qdoba on Franklin street a few days after we get back to the US, in early July and he’ll need to wear a UNC shirt to school for a week. Photos of him wearing a UNC shirt will be posted on aztechlabs.org.

Coincidentally, the day of the big game we visited the first village we have sponsored, Nelavagilu for a dedication ceremony for their water 100 filters. During part of the ceremony, we met with kids our own ages who attend the local village government school. We gave all of them soap and note books (so that they would know more about sanitation) and a piece of candy. One of the boys wanted to show us discolored patches of skin on his face which we learned was caused by worms that come from their unfiltered water supply.

Many children suffer at home from these worms and the occasional pain in their stomachs from the worms sometimes prevents them from attending school. The children wanted to let us know they are happy to have these filters in their school and will encourage their parents to also use them at home. A few photos of the village are available at http://aztechlabs.org/2013/03/photos-from-our-2nd-visit-to-nelavagilu/ We have been overwhelmed with the attention from newspapers and from your generous donations.

In addition to the 4 articles already written about our contest, Raleigh’s News & Observer will be writing an article this week about Aztech Labs and the outcome of this competition. So if you want to know more about what we’ve been doing after the contest, look for article a week from now. In the end, everyone wins. The villagers get clean water, Duke won both regular season basketball games, and UNC won our donation competition. Our fundraising efforts continue. Please check back on our website for more updates.

Special Donors

Matt P. and his friends – $300 – Duke – These Duke students raised money from Duke Students for a week by setting up a table outside of the student center

Welcome, NC Church – Fellowship and Friendship classes raised over $250

Barbara “Buzzer Beater” B. – $25 – Duke – (Last Person to Donate)

Photos from Installing Filters at our First Village

 

Zach and Aidan in front of 50 of the first bio-sand water filters to be donated by Aztech Labs in India.  We plan to donate a total of 1,000 filters with help from people like you.

Zach and Aidan in front of 50 of the first bio-sand water filters to be donated by Aztech Labs in India. We plan to donate a total of 1,000 filters with help from people like you.

Children who received the first water filters donated by Aztech Labs

Children who received the first water filters donated by Aztech Labs

Aidan handing out bars of soap, notebooks, and candy

Aidan handing out bars of soap, notebooks, and candy

Zach shaking hands with kids from a school that will receive  bio sand water filters

Zach shaking hands with kids from a school that will receive bio sand water filters

Zach Hunter of Aztech Labs and Ramachandra Gauda of SAPWII

Zach Hunter of Aztech Labs and Ramachandra Gauda of the South Asia Pure Water Initiative Inc. (“SAPWII”) in front of the very first water filter donated by Aztech Labs

Bio-sand water filters effectively trap and kill bacteria and viruses as well as removing debris

Bio-sand water filters effectively trap and kill bacteria and viruses as well as remove debris

 

People are Awesome!

My brother Zach (age 12) sent out emails recently to 4 newspapers telling them about how my brother and I (age 9) are raising money to provide long-lasting water filters to hundreds of poor families in Indian villages.  We’re currently running a fundraising contest between the basketball fans of Duke University and the University of North Carolina.

A. OUR EXPECTATIONS – PEOPLE WOULD BE GOOD

This is what we were hoping would happen when Zach sent out his 4 emails to newspapers:

We hoped 1 out of the 4 newspapers would take the time to write an article about this effort:

Aztech Labs Photos at 12.54.48 PM

From there, we hoped a couple people reading the story would take time out of their busy days to donate some money to our project.

Aztech Labs Photos at 12.36.00 PM

B.  WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED – PEOPLE HAVE BEEN AWESOME!

Instead, because people are awesome, this is what happened…

3 out of the 4 newspapers we sent an email to responded to us within 48 hours.  Two of them, the Duke Chronicle (the Duke student newspaper) and the Herald Sun (from Durham), already published their articles:

Aztech Labs Photos at 12.20.36 PM

Aztech Labs Photos at 12.20.47 PM

So, clearly, newspaper people are awesome.  They’re helping us spread the word about a good cause.

And then awesomeness from “normal people” kicked in.

Aztech Labs Photos at 12.30.05 PM

People started sharing the news on Facebook (71 shares!), Twitter (17 Tweets plus more than 50 retweets!), and on Google Plus.

People on Twitter said some really supportive things about the fund-raising contest we’re running right now between fans of Duke basketball and University of North Carolina basketball  (which is running until the second game is over on March 9th).  Some noteworthy tweets included these:

Jason deBruyn is awesome…

Snaps From the Past at 12.59.26 PM

Mark Richard Gannott is both awesome and amazingly supportive (even if his words of encouragement are probably an exaggeration here)…

SnappyApp at 12.59.55 PM

My brother Zach is a big UNC fan.  It was fun for me to see this tweet from @DukeBasketball which proves fans of Duke as classy as Coach K.

Twitter - Search - dukebasketball must read siblings at 1.25.04 PM

When Zach saw how many Twitter followers @dukebasketball has, even Zach had to reluctantly admit that @dukebasketball is awesome.  And I mentioned that he’s a UNC fan?  Yeah.  That’s how awesome you people are.  You’re making my brother realize that “the enemy” is awesome.

Aztech Labs Photos at 12.33.49 PM

All this attention led more people than we thought to open up their wallets and donate.  A lot of people.  $700 raised within a couple days!  I’ll say it again: people are AAAAAAAAAAAAAWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!

Aztech Labs Photos at 12.20.56 PM

C.  MIND-BLOWINGLY-AWESOME AWESOMENESS

As if all of that awesomeness described above wasn’t enough, we got this email from Matt, a student at Duke three days ago.  He’s volunteered to help raise money from Duke students!

Aztech Labs Photos at 3.30.03 PM

Matt, you, sir, are the awesomest of the awesome.

D.  THANK YOU!!!!!

Zach and I at Aztech Labs thank all of you for your awesomeness!

Aztech Labs Photos at 3.59.57 PM

These kids (living in a town that is about to receive 100 water filters) thank you for your awesomeness!

Indian Kids

These guys (from the same town) thank you for your awesomeness!

Aperture at 4.22.30 PM

And these guys (from the same town) thank you for your awesomeness!

_DSC8040 | Flickr - Photo Sharing! at 1.11.39 PM

Also from the same town, these school kids from a school that manages to have the highest test scores within 100 miles even though 3 out of 4 kids there go to school barefoot, thank you for your awesomeness!

Aperture at 4.04.46 PM

Thank you for your overwhelming support!

Water being filtered with a biosand water filter by Aztech Labs | Flickr - Photo Sharing! at 1.10.39 PM

One final time…   Thank you!  You people are AWESOME!!!

Aidan Hunter, age 9 (with some help from my dad)

February 17, 2013

From our temporary home for a few months: Bangalore, India