Supporting Indigenous Villages in Peru
Nancy Santullo, a successful fashion and advertising photographer, traveled to Peru in 1999 and was inspired to set up a project to support the indigenous people of the Rainforest. She has established a non-profit organization called Rainforest Flow, to provide the local children and adults with clean sustainable water, sanitation, improved health and education and technical/vocational training, while honoring their traditional customs and ways.
SQ Foundation has been supporting Rainforest Flow community based projects since 2007, providing basic human services for more than 800 people, in three remote villages, located in the Manu Rainforest Biosphere Reserve, in the southeast Peruvian Amazon. Manu Biosphere is the most biologically diverse place on the planet.
Health & Hygiene Through Education & Safe Drinking Water
Rainforest Flows pilot project began in the indigenous village of Saint Rose of Haucaria. They brought safe drinking water, sinks or tap stands with underground greywater drains to each home, and eco-friendly bathrooms to the village schoolhouse. Health and hygiene education was also provided for children, mothers and families, as well as technical/vocational training for the village based water and sanitation committees that focused on building, maintenance and long term care of the infrastructure. Systems are put into place that encourage inter-community collaboration and provide additional support from the local health and education ministry to ensure long-term health advances and project sustainability. This was the first time in the history of the southeastern Peruvian Amazon that this had been accomplished for indigenous cultures who were all but forgotten.
Projects of this kind have been attempted by the Peruvian government in the past and failed as they did not consider the real cultural and environmental needs of indigenous people.
All Rainforest Flow work involves and integrates the villagers from the beginning as active participants, and this has been a key component of this program’s long-term success.
In one project, a village-elected committee was trained to construct and maintain the sanitation systems and collect a monthly usage fee that was agreed upon by the villagers. These committee members also have the opportunity to earn wages by teaching people in other villages how to build their own water and sanitation infrastructures and improve their health.
SQ Foundation brought clean water, eco-friendly bathrooms, health education and technical training to the remote Matsigenka village of Taykome, in the protected zone of the Manu Park. We also funded the construction of an immense 100m extension bridge, named Linda’s Link, to bring clean water to the remote village of Yomybato. This bridge now brings water to the homes of more than 240 people, as well as to the schoolhouses and the medical post. This is the first time that these basic human services have been made accessible to the people in this environmentally vital region of our world.
Thanks for helping to continue to support our friends in Peru.