The challenges of getting the project up and going
By Douglas McMeekin - Executive Director, Yachana Foundation
I would like to thank all of our supporters for the tremendous support we received over the past four months for our project for the elderly in our part of the Amazon. As the director of the project, I am 78 years old and acutely aware of the needs and challenges of many elderly people in this very rural region. It is different than an urban environment in that there are not many options for this age group. We are getting everything ready here at Yachana to receive the groups. One of the big differences of what we are offering from municipal government projects is the diversity of activities. We are in the “campo” with agricultural, culinary, horticulture, mechanical and other projects that people can be involved in; where they can move around in a natural, open environment.
We will be providing breakfast and lunch and are putting a major emphasis on offering healthy food. We produce much of our own food: free range chickens and eggs, vegetables, yuca (a root like a potato), plantain and much more. We will be working with groups from two provinces; Loreto in Orellana and Chonta Punta in Napo. What has surprised us is the demand; there are approximately 400 people who want to participate! We will receive them in groups of 25 to 30 each day, five days a week, because that is all we can manage. We, like the rest of the world, are having to deal with all the issues of the coronavirus. It has delayed our project some, but everything is still on track. We tentatively have a “test group” of 15 elderly visiting on Saturday 3 April, but recent virus restrictions may cause that to be cancelled. But we hope to be up and fully operating shortly. I will keep you posted as things progress. Thanks again for your support, Douglas
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