House of the Children

To empower global cultures by providing sustainable clean water, sanitation, health and education programs that raise the quality of life of children and adults in context to cultural and environmental needs. Our goals are healthy, educated, culturally and environmentally aware children and adults that flourish within natural environment. HOTC was founded on the belief that one person could make a difference in the lives of children, by supporting them from their place of inner strength.
Mar 23, 2012

Project Tayakome - Progress & Unwavering Dedication

Health team conducting parasite & anemia study.
Health team conducting parasite & anemia study.

It is time once again to update you on our progress in Tayakome. How quickly time is passing as it’s been nearly 2 ½ years since we first began to empower the Matsigenka people of this village, through the flow of clean water, dignified sanitation and health education. It has been an amazing experience for us all.

Our advances have been monumental for the people who once believed that they were all but forgotten, and their dedication remains unwavering.

Over the last three months we were able to accomplish the following:

  1. A supervision visit to Tayakome to teach advanced technical training to the village water/ sanitation committee and the villagers. These ongoing training workshops are essential for the people to achieve long term health advances and sustainability. 
  2. A health supervision visit to teach basic health and hygiene education to the village health promoter, the children, mothers and community members. House-to-house visits were also made with the health promoter to secure that the tap stands and greywater drains were functioning, and to have our staff visit with the people personally.
  3. Health documentation: parasite and anemia testing was conducted for the children and the whole family in December of 2011.
  4. Microbiology water testing was conducted with the village water/sanitation committee to secure that the water supply was safe.
  5. Dr. Glenn Shepard Jr., Medical Anthropologist and Matsigenka expert, made a visit to Tayakome to document the social impact our programming is having on this remote native culture, and to ensure our programming stays culturally appropriate.

The GREAT News!!!

The water in Tayakome continues to flow clean, the bathrooms are in great working order, and hygiene practices among the villagers are much improved. The water/sanitation committee is maintaining the infrastructure beautifully. In the past 2 ½ years, there has been an encouraging decrease in parasite loads among children 15 years and under. Our full health study is available upon request. 

The people of Tayakome continue to FLOURISH and your GlobalGiving donations continue to be instrumental in improving the health and well being of this native culture.

What’s NEXT:  Our next supervision visit will be in April 2012 when the Peruvian project supervisor, Caleb Matos Chavez , continues his work training the village water/sanitation committee in systems maintenance and water safety and quality.

The health educator will conduct a supervision visit to work with the village health promoter, the school teachers, and the mothers and children on health and hygiene practices. She will also distribute anti-parasite medicine in partnership with the health tech from the village medical post.

We are also committed to building three additional tap stands in the village, and we are currently scheduling the construction. 

The generosity of our GlobalGiving Family is truly inspiring and instrumental in helping House of the Children realize our goals of healthy, educated, culturally aware children and adults that flourish in their natural environment. Together we are doing what has never been done for remote native cultures in the history of the southeastern Peruvian Amazon. We have made history and the health of the people is changed for the better.  

Many thanks for your ongoing support of our work!  Please share our work with your family, friends and colleagues!

Nancy Santullo

Executive Director

House of the Children

Clean water flows to every child in Tayakome.
Clean water flows to every child in Tayakome.
Anthropologist & HOTC Director - Social Impact.
Anthropologist & HOTC Director - Social Impact.
A  family participating in the parasite testing.
A family participating in the parasite testing.
School bathrooms are maintained by the children.
School bathrooms are maintained by the children.
Mom
Mom's no longer go to the river to wash clothes.

Links:

Nov 21, 2011

The lives of the Matsigenka people--Changed for the Better!

Bacteriological H2O testing  with health staff.
Bacteriological H2O testing with health staff.

Dear Friend,

It is always our great pleasure to report our project advances to you! The people of Tayakome continue to inspire our work by how quickly they are adapting to the new infrastructure that was installed 2009 -2010. The water flows clean, the bathroom structure at the school is hygienic and in perfect working order, and good hygiene practices abound. We are very proud of the people, especially since 60% of all water projects fail within the first three years of implementation--and Tayakome is FLOURISHING!

In July and August of 2011 our Peru associate and project supervisor Caleb Matos Chavez made supervision visits to Tayakome. Your GlobalGiving donations were instrumental in helping to accomplish the following:

  1. Installation of sky lights on the roof of the bathroom structure to minimize flies and mosquitoes gathering in the stall areas. Structural maintenance was also performed due to a leaky pipe.
  2. Overall maintenance of the gravity flow water system, cleaning of the slow sand filters, bacteriological water testing, and PH balance testing was conducted to assure the water supply was safe. This was done with the water and sanitation committee. (WSC).
  3. A technical training course was implemented for villagers and the WSC to review the infrastructure, and the importance of water quality testing and safety. These training workshops are essential for the community to arrive at long term health advances and project sustainability. 
  4. The establishment of a monthly water and sanitation fee in which each family contributes $3.50 per month to maintain their infrastructure. This agreement was established at a community meeting in which 80% of the villagers were present.
  5. House-to-house visits were also made with the village health promoter to secure that the tap stands and greywater drains were functioning, and to check-in personally with the people.
  6. Meetings were held at the health post with the doctor, nurse and health aides to evolve their understanding of the biological components of slow sand filtration, and how it is removing 99.99% of the bacteria from the water supply. Caleb’s training with the medical staff assured them that the water is safe to drink without the use of chlorine disinfection.

What’s NEXT:  Our next supervision visit will be this December when our medical anthropologist Dr. Glenn Shepard Jr., will conduct a social impact study on the influence of our programming on remote rainforest cultures. We will also continue with technical training and health education to support long term health and sustainability.

House of the Children would like to thank our GlobalGiving Family for their ongoing generosity and friendship to the children and families of Tayakome. The advances in the community are monumental for indigenous people and give hope and inspiration to other villages that await our services.

REMINDER! We still have 14 months of supervision visits in Tayakome, so know that we would all be grateful for your continued support of these beautiful Matsigenka people.

Many Thanks!

Nancy Santullo

P.S.  Please share our work with your friends and colleagues!

"A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they will never sit." Greek Proverb

Matsigenka mother bathing her baby at her tap.
Matsigenka mother bathing her baby at her tap.
Technical training for village men.
Technical training for village men.
Sky lights for school bathrooms.
Sky lights for school bathrooms.
Water flows clean 24/7 to each village home.
Water flows clean 24/7 to each village home.

Links:

Jul 1, 2011

Advances in Project Tayakome

Project supervisor collecting water saftey tests.
Project supervisor collecting water saftey tests.

Dear Friends,

Our work with the Matsigenka people of Taykome continues with great success. In March of 2011, HOTC made a technical visit to the village to check in on how the people were maintaining their infrastructure that was built in 2009 -2010. Our visit was also to provide technical training to the water and sanitation committee and to reinforce health and hygiene education with the children and moms. Our team arrived to find the new infrastructure: water filtration system, tap stands, sink and bathrooms, in excellent working condition. The water and sanitation committee is assuming their responsibilities with continued enthusiasm. Microbiology water testing was conducted by our project supervisor and he confirmed that the slow sand filters were removing up to 99.99% of the bacteria from the water supply, and that the water is SAFE to drink.

We also made house-to-house visits with the village health promoter that HOTC trained in 2010. The health promoter is a young woman named Mircia, and she has been making monthly house-to-house visits to work with the mothers since December of 2010. She also works with the children on weekly maintenance of the bathroom structure at the schoolhouse. Mircia is soaring to new heights in her function as a health promoter in the village. We observed the tap stand at each home clean and hygienic, and the cleanliness in and around the circumference of the home is much improved. We also observed that daily hygiene practices among the children continue to transform, and basic hand washing is becoming second nature to them.

The experimental gardens that we planted in three village homes in November of 2010 continue to flourish. Families are having success growing scallions, cabbage, and tomatoes (to name a few) to supplement their yucca –fruit – fish and wild game based diet.

The water and sanitation committee received advanced technical training from our project supervisor in systems maintenance, repair and water quality and safety. One of the committee members shared with our supervisor how he made a shower connection at his home by what he learned from his training with HOTC. HOTC also met with the teachers and medical personnel to discuss the coordination of weekly health and hygiene classes for the children at the school. The teachers and medical personnel agreed that it was imperative to continue with the weekly classes that were set forth in partnership with HOTC in 2010. They remain committed to developing "good daily hygiene practices" among the children.

Our last order of business on the visit was a community meeting. HOTC's Project Supervisor congratulated all the villagers on their progress. He presented the results of the water analysis taken at each home to its family members, so that they could see for themselves that the water was SAFE. The community leaders talked with the participants about establishing a monthly usage fee for the water and sanitation system from each family. They could not reach a final decision that day, however they agreed to address the topic on the next supervision visit with HOTC.

HOTC is extremely pleased with the accomplishments of the people and their willingness to continue to work towards long term health advances for themselves and their children. However, we have more to accomplish in Tayakome and our focus is all about “Project Sustainability.” In July of 2011 our team will make a supervision visit to the village to do the following: 1. Ongoing technical training for the villagers and the water and sanitation committee in system maintenance, repair and water quality and safety. 2. Enter into phase two of our talks with community leaders to establish a water and sanitation fund that charges a monthly fee to each family. This fee will be used for the community to maintain the infrastructure. 3. Ongoing health and hygiene education for mothers and children in partnership with the village school teachers, health promoter, and medical personnel in residence at the health post.

***This educational portion of our programming is essential in order for long term health advances to be achieved by the people.

*** OUR GRATITUDE: HOTC would like to thank each one of you for the difference you make in the lives of the people we all serve through GlobalGiving. Together we are doing what has never been accomplished before, as we bring clean water, a dignified toilet and health education to the people in the remote Manu Rain Forest of Peru. We believe as each community reaches its goal, our work will branch out to serve as a multicultural global model to promote the preservation of tropical forest ecosystems and the health and cultural integrity of indigenous peoples in the Amazon. Thank you again for your ongoing support of the project. Please share our work with other friends and colleagues so that we can continue to provide basic human services to these beautiful Matsigenka people.

Sincerely yours in service,

Nancy Santullo

Matsigenka man conducting a H2O test at his home.
Matsigenka man conducting a H2O test at his home.
Bathrooms clean & hygienic at the school.
Bathrooms clean & hygienic at the school.
Scallions growing in a family garden.
Scallions growing in a family garden.
Shower built by a H2O committee member at his home
Shower built by a H2O committee member at his home