LED Update – Peru 2008/2009

Once again thank you very much indeed to everyone for the generous support you gave our “Peru Schools and Lights Project” last summer. The amount raised last year was in excess of £4000. A fantastic effort by everyone.

It was an extremely busy and successful month in Peru and I thought I would bring you up to date with events and how some of your contributions have been spent. I took £2000 to Peru and £2000 remains in the UK to supply the schools over the next 3 years. Our aim was to equip a number of remote mountain schools with the supplies they desperately needed. In addition you donated over 100 football shirts which were given to the most needy children. Alongside this project I have also been providing these villages with portable solar lighting and the provision of basic health care services. Your generous donations meant we were able to equip 6 village schools with both shirts, school supplies and medical services.

Another aim of our trip was to provide solar lighting and medical support for these remote villages which are often overlooked and neglected by local and national government.

This year, with funding from other charities and organizations, we were able to provide nearly 300 solar lights for the villages of Ashuac, Attapacha, Potacca and Jancapampa.

These lights make a considerable difference to the quality of life of people within the village and have an immediate and lasting impact. We have already received requests for an additional 300 lights for next year.

Health care is also of primary importance. Most people cannot afford health care and are unable to make the journey to the nearest doctor. In the spring of 2009 a small health centre will be built in Quishuar. It will provide subsidized access to a health professional and medication.

By chance whilst visiting Potacca we learned that the village head woman was a trained health worker. After some discussions she has been offered a contract to provide health support for these 5 villages, one day per week, until the clinic is completed in April 2009. As part of this support package I made the decision to use the balance of your funds we were carrying to purchase the necessary medicines to support her work until April, with antibiotics and children’s medicines being at the top of the list. Villagers pay a nominal sum for medication to avoid abuse of the system.

In addition we purchased 200 toothbrushes and toothpaste which will be used as part of an education programme for the village children.

Contributed by Val Pitkethly