Empower Indigenous Youth Activist Association

by Alianza Arkana
Empower Indigenous Youth Activist Association
Empower Indigenous Youth Activist Association
Empower Indigenous Youth Activist Association
Empower Indigenous Youth Activist Association
Empower Indigenous Youth Activist Association
Empower Indigenous Youth Activist Association
Empower Indigenous Youth Activist Association
Empower Indigenous Youth Activist Association
Empower Indigenous Youth Activist Association
Empower Indigenous Youth Activist Association
Empower Indigenous Youth Activist Association
Empower Indigenous Youth Activist Association
Empower Indigenous Youth Activist Association
Empower Indigenous Youth Activist Association
Setting up medical equipment at the local school
Setting up medical equipment at the local school

On March 11th, after the tireless work of our local community health advocates (Maritza, Amelia, and Luzmila) from Bena Jema, we managed to get more than 50 women to get their PAP smears done! Not only did they get PAP tests, but they also got the chance to get vaccinated against yellow fever, and parasite treatment access. 

This was possible thanks to our wonderful shipibo health advocates, who have supported all along by this project. Moreover, thanks to the money that was invested, we got to cover some gaps in the health system. For example, the local doctor told us that when they themselves organized the campaign, only 12 mothers showed up, however, with Alianza Arkana's support, more than 50 women did. This is a HUGE success, and we think it was due to:

1. Our shipibo health advocates

2. Covering extra costs which are not covered by the government, such as extra nurses, transport, and lunch for all staff. 

This is the beginniing for a succesful community health model that we are trying to replicate and advocate for so that there is greater investment from the government. 

To look at our PAP Campaign video, please click here!

Getting registered for the campaign!
Getting registered for the campaign!
Mothers waiting for their turn
Mothers waiting for their turn
Local health post Dr. Patricio informing mothers
Local health post Dr. Patricio informing mothers
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Women gathering names for PAP smear campaign - 1
Women gathering names for PAP smear campaign - 1

After our wonderful 3-day workshop on Women's Health, co-sponsored by Shilpa Darivemula, founder of The Aseemkala Initiative, (you can read more about our workshop here!) the attending women were so inspired and motivated that they decided to run their own community-based health campaign!

During the workshop, as we talked extensively about cervical cancer, a very common disease amongst Shipibo women, one of the women stood up and asked, "When are we getting our PAP-smears done?" and this was the birth of how we started supporting women in organizing their own health campaign.

As we researched how to make this happen, we learned that the local health post will deliver a free PAP smear campaign only if the women gathered a list of 100 participants. And so we organized meetings, and sooner than expected, the local women were already walking around their settlements to gather the needed names. 

Gathering the names became harder than expected. The stigma against PAP smears, added to bad experiences due to poor medical services made some women reluctant. However, slowly but surely, our lists started to fill up. We were happy to see how there was considerable interest in women to monitor their own health. We could also see the concern many mothers had for their daughters, who usually start having sex at a very earñly age. Women's past bad experiences made us really pay attention to how this campaign would be executed. We want to make sure that this campaign really offers the best services possible as all women deserve the best health care they can get. 

The health campaign will happen anytime this month (March), as soon as the women finish gathering 100 names. For now, we will keep supporting them with transport costs, and meals. We also hope to conduct a complete health assesment of the community in order to better target their needs, and of course, continue the conversation with our core community team. 

We are so proud of our women in the core team, Luzmila, Silveria, and Amelia for walking from home to home, gathering data and names in order to make this happen!

We hope to continue to support them in their work, and to help them access the best healthcare possible.

Women gathering names for PAP smear campaign - 2
Women gathering names for PAP smear campaign - 2
Women gathering names for PAP smear campaign - 1
Women gathering names for PAP smear campaign - 1
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Shipibo woman participating in our workshop
Shipibo woman participating in our workshop

We organized a 3-day dynamic workshop in the urban shipibo district of Bena Jema about women's health. The topics included STDs, Cervical Cancer, Menopause, and Contraceptives. The workshops were truly intergenerational and exciting. Our partner, Shilpa, founder of The Aseemkala Initiative, supported this workshop and helped us kickstart our work in Bena Jema. We are grateful for her support and hope to continue the work. 

At the end of our workshop, the mothers requested a PAP campaign, which is now on the works. We are striving to get solid local organization and support to continue to deliver more workshops, train community health workers, and organize the respective health campaigns. 

See how our workshop went here! https://youtu.be/tLU15G4vUpo

Girls and our volunteer Inga
Girls and our volunteer Inga
Our shipibo nurse Silveria explaining anatomy
Our shipibo nurse Silveria explaining anatomy
Our partner Shilpa, explaining cancer
Our partner Shilpa, explaining cancer
Mothers and young girls learning about condom use
Mothers and young girls learning about condom use
Youth participate in intergenerational workshop
Youth participate in intergenerational workshop

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Children drawing deforestation and illegal logging
Children drawing deforestation and illegal logging

This past weekend, we partnered with UNICEF to deliver our first youth workshop in the shipibo community of Nueva Betania. Through art and music, we engaged the youth in a transformative experience that unleashed their creativity and stimulated their consciousness. Our workshop was intergenerational this time. This means that along with youth, children were allowed to participate. Creating intergenerational spaces is crucial, as young children rapidly absorb information and are able to engage with their older peers.

The children were definitley the stars of the show. From producing very poignant sketches about deforestation, overshifhing, and pollution, to creatively dramatizing these problems and their solutions, they definitely reflected their complex knowledge of the environmental issues at hand. 

The youth's passion for music was also reflected. We brought quenas, guitars, charangos, horns, and flutes, and everyone was trying to learn. This only strengthens our vision of integrating more art and music into our work. 

Sharing music at night
Sharing music at night
Painting our own shirts!
Painting our own shirts!
Musical children :)
Musical children :)
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Organization Information

Alianza Arkana

Location: Yarinacocha, Ucayali - Peru
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Macarena Arias
Yarinacocha, Ucayali Peru

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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