Reports continue to come in from Peru. The situation is not good in some parts of the country. Flooding is widespread and a number of infrastructure challenges have made it very difficult for relief efforts to get supplies to the areas that need them most. However, great work continues on the part of the NGO community and the Peruvian government. There is a solid level of support coming from both private, public and faith-based sectors. Check out the following article from The Catholic Register: http://www.catholicregister.org/home/international/item/24684-deluges-in-peru-trigger-flash-floods-landslides-at-least-85-dead
HBI's staff person is getting out and checking in with our partners and the families in the Ines Project. We will post photos and updates as they come in. For now, a great website to find information on the flooding and areas affected is Living in Peru.
Check out the Living in Peru interactive map outlining the areas most impacted by flooding: http://www.peruthisweek.com/news-what-areas-have-been-affected-by-floods-map-111166
Thank you very much to everyone who has contributed to our relief efforts. Our Perú Program Manager, Carmen, is on the ground in Lima taking water, diapers, and formula to our network of folks who have been without basic supplies and services for days - and she is always asking questions about additional need.
It's being called a 40-year rain, which you can imagine doesn't sit well with the primarily, desert landscape; and the season is purportedly two weeks from over. In fact, the forecasters are calling for more rain over the coming days.
Response from the Peruvian Government and local communities has been heartening and immediate. They have been extremely well organized in getting much needed resources to stem the tide of immediate need.
At this point - We're asking a lot of question of our partners, and plan to help with additional supplies, coordination of outreach, and planning in the aftermath. Right now the hardest hit areas are in the north coastal regions (Trujillo, Lambayeque , Piura) and we are keeping in close contact with our on-the-ground partners to determine how to best support their efforts.
Although the need is great right now, the Peruvian Government is doing a fantastic job responding. The long term impacts of this disaster will be broad and lasting. HBI is committed to work with our in-country partners to assure support is available to the communities we serve for the long term.
Please stay tuned for more updates and please keep the people of Perú in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you for all of your support.
Thanks to your generosity and support, the community of Alto Cayma in the City of Arequipa now has a tuberculosis clinic. We asked for your help and you responded. Thank you.
Through your donations, we have just completed construction of a tuberculosis treatment room for the Ministry of Health Rafael Belaunde Clinic in Alto Cayma.
Tuberculosis has been steadily on the rise in underserved communities around Peru. Much of the new cases are highly drug resistant TB and require ongoing treatment and careful management. The new TB treatment room at the Rafael Belaunde Clinic provides a dedicated space for offering comprehensive treatment and prevention services for the entire community of Alto Cayma.
The clinic expects to start seeing patients out of the TB room in the next week and we hope to have a small celebration with our community partner Father Alex Busuttil sometime this summer.
For now, thank you so much for your support!
On March 17th, President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski declared a state of emergency in Perú. Many communities around the country are experiencing some of the worst flooding in decades. The city of Lima, where HBI supports a number of families with medically fragile children through our Ines Project, has been particularly hard hit. The latest Associated Press reports show over 70 deaths and 110,000+ homes in ruins.
Access to water has become incredibly difficult for many of the families enrolled in our Ines Project. Additionally the prices of food and basic supplies are rapidly rising. This week, Perú Program Manager, Carmen Zavala, delivered water to several of the families, but resources are limited – and now we need to expand our outreach.
You can help. A donation to HBI will be used to bring relief and support to families enrolled in the Ines Project. In addition, we will work with our partners throughout the country to support communities where they work to get the resources they need. The situation is desperate and we need your help. Please make a donation to support Disaster Relief for Perú. (Any funds raised in excess of relief efforts will be used for general program support.)
I love to exercise. In fact I need to do it everyday. It keeps me balanced. Usually on my trips to Peru it is a big challenge to find time for daily exercise. The schedule is often quite full and I need to juggle a number of things. Today my schedule was open - sans one meeting in the mid-afternoon. I decided to combine activities and run to the meeting. I ran along the coast and had a marvelous time reflecting on the work of HBI and the direction we are headed.
After the meeting I decided I would run back to the HBI offices. Again, the route took me along the coast. About three quarters of the way back my path took me past a rather desolate part of the beach. There are soccer fields and a large dirt park where people often practice driving, but it is nowhere near as populated as the "surfing" sections of the Miraflores, Barranco and Chorillos beaches.
As I ran along this section I noticed an older man sitting on a concrete bench. His head was in his hands and he looked despondent. I stop running about 10-feet past him and walked back. I asked him if he was okay. His reply astonished me. He told me of his recent diagnosis with prostate cancer and the confusion he had over next steps for treatment. He told me that he had been living along the bluffs of the beach for weeks because he couldn't find any work and didn't have any where else he could go. He told me about his life.
We talked for about 30 minutes. He never asked me for anything. At one point he said, "I should let you go, I'm keeping you too long." I reassured him that I was more than happy to keep talking. He thanked me and said I had already done a great deal by stopping to listen to him. Although he never asked, I gave him as much money as I had and told him I would keep him in my thoughts and prayers. And then, I ran away - not certain if I should have tried to something more.
For as long as we have organized around social structures that require relationships to function, people have sought ways to guide one another. In the high Andes, well above the tree lines, people stack rocks to mark routes. This practice, not unique to Peru, is called building a cairn. It helps to guide people on their journey. Today, as I walked away from my conversation with my new friend on the beach I realized how disconnected we have become. I realized that many of us have lost the guideposts of our lives.
I am not sure what will become of the man I met on the beach today, but I do now that he offered me a great gift. He reminded me that we have a continuous opportunity to be a guide for others in our lives. Whatever we do, wherever we are - we can help to build guideposts. It doesn't take a special set of skills or an enormous amount of money. It just takes a little rocks and a bit of time - and a strong desire to connect with one another.
Thank you for your continued support of HBI.
The HBI Blog is a rotating journal from our staff. Our Blog is a series of messages from the field, insights from our work, and lessons in service.