Sunday, April 13, 2008

Estamos Founder (who focuses on clean water and eco-sanitation) wins Goldman Prize

Feliciano dos Santos talks to a rural community about clean water and sanitation (Photo: John Antonelli for the Goldman Prize)

Today, I was reading about the winners of the Goldman Prize, which is...
...the world's largest prize honoring grassroots environmentalists... Founded in 1990 by Richard and Rhoda Goldman, the Goldman Environmental Prize annually awards US$150,000 to environmental heroes from each of the world's six inhabited continental regions.
Turns out one of the 2008 winners is Feliciano dos Santos, a Mozambiquan musician who has spent the past 10 years providing and promoting safe water and ecological sanitation to rural communities in Mozambique through an organization he cofounded called Estamos. In 2005, I had the opportunity to work extensively with Estamos in Maputo doing wat-san work. They were a wonderful community-based organization and had tremendous trust within the communities they worked in.

Feliciano is cool for more reasons. He has also started a musical band called Massakos, and he uses the music to promote hygienic practices, clean water, and sanitation in the communities. The music is catchy, and his number one hit "Wash Your Hands" has even become an international hit! He has now signed with UK-based Poo Productions (gotta love the name!) which promotes bands and films that also focus on awareness of water and sanitation issues in the developing world.

The websites are all great, with documentaries and music for you to check out. And if you like the music, buy it! Proceeds from music sales go to support Estamos and other wat-san projects for the poor.
Also, BBC recently did a write-up on him, which is also very good.

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