In the last year, The Hunger Project-Peru and Chirapaq have restructured their focus with a plan of action to better address the needs of the communities in which we work. No longer focusing solely on the nutrition of children between the ages of 6 months and 2.5 years, The Hunger Project and Chirapaq are now emphasizing the importance of food security and sovereignty, and prioritizing the recovery of ancestral knowledge and traditional biodiversity levels.
This year, Chirapaq has made significant advances in training Health and Nutrition Promoters, improving agricultural practices to ensure families have access to diversified diets, building individual’s’ skills to utilize local produce, and educating men and women about breastfeeding and maternal health.
Twenty-four Health and Nutrition Promoters are continuing their training in skills and actions to promote healthy practices in their communities. Promoters have learned about good handwashing practices, the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a child’s life, and the necessity of feeding schedules for the remaining six months of a baby’s first year. Health and Nutrition Promoters also learn the skills necessary to become effective and transformative leaders in their community.
Chirapaq has supported the development of improved agricultural practices in eight Shawi communities in the Amazon. Earlier this year, local families installed 30 organic gardens of native crops. When installing these gardens they learned natural management techniques to prevent pests, avoid plant disease, and conserve seeds for future planting. Over 230 families have constructed chicken coops and have learned to raise healthy hens for eggs, increasing the consumption of protein-rich food in their diets. And 184 families are working to rehabilitate two ponds in Santa Rita and Nueva Esperanza in order to support the growth of fish and mollusks for future consumption.
The Quechua women in Laramate have continued to sell their produce at local food fairs as an opportunity for generating income and improving nutritional knowledge. These women participate in demonstrative cooking sessions, teaching local families about how to prepare balanced meals for their families while using produce they can find locally. Families who attend these food fairs are provided with the recipe book “Mikuyninchikwan: With our own food,” that they can use to guide their cooking at home.
Men and women learned about breastfeeding, maternal nutrition, and family nutrition through Knowledge, Attitude, and Behavior workshops. These trainings are typically attended by 30-35 participants and emphasize the benefit exclusively breastfeeding babies up to six months of age and the nutritional importance of a balanced diet that incorporates local food products.
One of Alwaleed Philanthropies’ main focus areas is developing communities. By collaborating with other philanthropic organizations, NGOs, governments and small-sized non-profits, Alwaleed Philanthropies supports thousands of sustainable projects to alleviate poverty in the most deprived communities of the world. Their work stretches far and wide, providing humanitarian assistance to ease poverty and famine, supporting development, health, education and infrastructure, and encouraging social entrepreneurship to achieve long-term, sustainable change.
The improvements that Chirapaq and The Hunger Project-Peru have made are due in part to the Alwaleed Philanthropies, who is the primary funder of our work in Peru. This support has been vital in creating sustainable change. Today, communities are more educated and have the s
kills necessary to ensure their families have adequate food and proper nutrition.