Monday, blogger Betty Londergan posted on Heifer 12x12 about her visit to a Heifer project outside Puno, Peru, and I'm excited to share it with you all. I feel close to this project, because I worked on a grant that helped fund phase two of the project. When I traveled to Peru and Ecuador last August, I was a little disappointed that I was unable to visit the communities participating in this project, because there was a political situation at the time that made it less than safe to travel to that part of the country.
Betty's stories bring to life the struggles and successes of the women in these project communities.
From Heifer 12x12:
Through FEED, Heifer brought the women of Chillcapata a list of simple ideas to improve their lives (no animals in the house/a bed for every child/a biogarden to improve nutrition), offered training workshops, then sent a few emissaries like Maria to other communities to see the ideas in action.
The women came back motivated true believers, and set to work to transform their own homes, and pass their learning on to others. Luckily, these are can-do people who are incredibly clever at building things, working cooperatively, and getting ‘er done.
The Incan ancient tradition of ayni, like an Amish barn-raising where everyone pitches in to cooperatively help each other, is still very much part of Chillcapata culture. Maria’s kitchen was one of the first finished, and quickly, other women signed on to improve their homes.
Julia and Celso Apaza got the materials they needed from Heifer to start kitchen construction, and the couple worked day and night to change every room in the house. “It was like a dream for us,” she told me, “because before I felt ashamed of my house. It was a mess, and I never wanted to welcome visitors. But now my doors are wide open and I even have a bench for my visitors to sit on.”
Read the rest of Betty's post here. Be sure to subscribe to get all of Betty's posts as she travels the globe visiting Heifer projects this year!