I think more such small but significant grants for community-based research is needed. This is not only for local modifications of ideas but for stimulating “me tech” (vernacular engineering), engaging one’s neighbors and family, and developing novel ideas we all could use.
With or without grants, please be sure to evaluate if your school or Village project works or not and what you would do to improve it. (Even ideas that don’t work are valuable to learn from. Perhaps even more valuable than ideas that do work.) Then get the word out to others by sharing or publishing.
We especially need innovative ideas for use in camps and homes that don’t have running water. I have a school teacher thesis from the 1960s (deep storage) which describes ways of making sanitary water stations on the frozen river or handwashing sink and disposal out of 55 gal drums. The same simple technology and procedures used in the trace analysis labs that measure mercury in fish can also be adapted to provide clean water for handwashing in the home. Local creativity with guidance has been able to develop sanitary dumping areas in Villages without landfills and convenient and usable carcass pits (see solid waste resources at http://13C4.wordpress.com)
GermSmall grants to support innovative handwashing education methods were given to 26 local organizations statewide. Here’s the best of the best!