The Planeta Y Wash Program at Project La Merced is a program that educates community members, especially children, about the status of their water, and how a healthy environment leads to a healthy community. The program had one level until the beginning of June, which entailed a weekly visit to the communities of Pucara and Utcuyacu.
Since hiring our Field Officer, Gaelle, in June there have been several expansions of the program! We have included two new communities within the program, and we have also been working on a second level of intervention. The first part is training the teachers each month on some key topics, and then monitoring directly in the 10 PRONOEIs (the name for "kindergartens" in the region) of Monobamba and Vitoc’s district (monthly visits).
We are very proud of how much the Planeta y WASH program has advanced during June 2017 under the leadership of Gaelle. In a short span of time, she has created a robust program schedule, not just in our two communities of Utcuyacu and Pucara, but a thorough hand-washing program in 10 kindergartens in the Vitoc region, ensuring that all children in the area are able to participate. The main focus throughout June has been on hand-washing, but also nutrition and the creation of organic gardens. The communities are now fully committed to the program, attending weekly meetings, and we're able to have a strong relationship with them. At the end of June, the community invited us to celebrate with them with a fantastic meal (meats and vegetables cooked in the ground) known as “pachamanca”. We are excited about how the program will continue to progress!
Hopefully following August 2017, we will be able to commence a third level which would be a first step of training the teachers every month and then monitoring each of the 8 PRONOEIs in the regions of San Luis de Shuaro and Chanchamayo every trimester.
Having these three levels of intervention will enable us to monitor and figure out which level has the best impact in the communities and PRONOEIs.