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,
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