Over the last 30 years, tens of thousands of Peruvians have left their homes and headed for the capital, Lima, in the hope of finding a better future there. Most of them fled the terrorism which prevailed in the Andes in the 1980s, others simply saw no future in their small isolated villages. When they arrived in Lima the disappointment must have been tremendous: the city is hopelessly overcrowded and struggles to control the ongoing influx of migrants. It is almost impossible to find a steady job, and most people have to take badly paid casual work in order to keep themselves afloat. Many migrants live illegally on the outskirts of the city, often without water and electricity. The hygiene conditions in the slums around Lima are extremely poor. In response to this difficult situation CSI Lëtzebuerg and its partner organisation have decided to do something.
The project in brief:
The project’s main objective is to improve the living conditions of the population of Huayacán by providing health education. 50 women from Huayacán are being trained by the local NGO INTSOL in hygiene, balanced nutrition, waste management and health emergency management. These women, from poor backgrounds, are thus able to boost their self-esteem. They are supported and monitored by the partner organisation, so that they can in turn share the knowledge they have acquired with other families. Besides this, the women regularly go to the local school in order to distribute self-made healthy snacks and to sensitize the pupils to important topics like hygiene, nutrition etc.
Recently, the women founded three small businesses that sell self-made cakes, juices and snacks. The women would very much like to extend their organisation’s activities, but unfortunately this is currently impossible, as the Peruvian food authority has not issued them with an official sales licence. This is linked to the fact that the women prepare their products in a tiny private kitchen which does not meet the authority’s requirements. The kitchen is also very poorly equipped, which very much restricts the women’s work and makes them less motivated. In other words, at the moment they do not have the space or possibilities to develop their activities as they would like. But now this is set to change.
The plan for 2016 is to build a centre in Huaycán which will meet the food authority’s building and hygiene standards and thus allow the women to achieve their long-standing ambition of obtaining a sales licence. The ground floor will contain a professional kitchen and a room where the women can sell their products. The first floor will house storerooms and a meeting room. The latter can also be used for workshops, thus saving the women the long journey to the premises of INTSOL for the workshops.
The building of the centre is a major step towards financial autonomy, the intention being that from 2018 the project should be self-sufficient (without support from CSI Lëtzebuerg) and provide the women with a small source of income.
Please state “Peru / women” if you wish to support this project. Thank you very much!