The ‘unattractive’ problem of malnutrition

Maricarmen Valdivieso (NC Founder)

Malnutrition is an unattractive subject for everybody and more than that, its impact on everyone’s life determines everyone’s future. While we all know how important it is to be nourished, sometimes, due to the list of many important issues we need to take care of, we place the support to initiatives against malnutrition towards the last position on a list of priorities. Or maybe, when we have food in abundance for ourselves, we can forget that there are others who don’t have any.

The NGO/Start-up world demands the following trait as a requirement from anyone who wants to be successful: creativity. Many times, this has been focused on as the necessity to come up with an idea that is so good that it could sell itself. Don’t get me wrong. I wish our organization would be in a position to start something that is so innovative and creative that would eradicate the poverty in Cuncani. But we are not there yet, there are few steps we need to do first, in order to assure a sustainable Responsible Human Development. One of those first steps is to eradicate malnutrition – not just reduce it- but this takes time.

Nexos Comunitarios' Development Model
Nexos Comunitarios’ Development Model

 

When we ‘moved’ to work in Cuncani, I believe that none of my former colleagues, neither I, knew that it was going to be this challenging. The challenges are various, including the budget we have for every activity and every visit. As experts in poverty reduction say, communities as Cuncani, which still remain poor in Peru, are those that have a type of poverty that is very hard to combat. However, all these challenges have an amazing reward: the peace we find in the community and the special happiness that seems to permeate there when we finish with our working day with them. After several hard days and lots of effort, working in Cuncani provides its own unique and special compensation. I have made this very simple ‘snapchat’ video that chronicles a typical for us when we go to Cuncani. We start at 4:30 a.m, going from Urubamba to Calca. Watch the whole video here, to learn more about a typical day.

Our ZERO Hunger- Nutrition Program in Cuncani is just the beginning of our work with the community, but we need your help so that we can continue the program in collaboration with the community. On June 3rd, 9 of us, including NC staff, students from McGill University and Carleton University will be walking from Cuncani to Urubamba. We will be, literally, crossing mountains until we reach our lovely home in Urubamba. I have done the trek before and even though had the best memories, it remains quite a daunting task. But why are we doing this? As important as it is to raise money (our goal is US$ 3,000) it is to promote the idea that isolation shouldn’t be synonymous with a poor community. Neither should the existence of a high mountain range with all of its geographically imposing limitations it places on people mean that they shouldn’t be able to be involved in Human Development for themselves. Please, take the time to get more information about our campaign and we hope that you can support it. Find all the details here.

When I see how far we are from achieving our ultimate goal: To promote the exercise of rights and civil liberties through Responsible Human Development, in Cuncani, I need to remember to focus on small steps. Since we started working in the community, there are no children with anaemia, and from this year, we are starting to add a sustainable component to our Lunch Program in Cuncani through developing the school greenhouse and starting up the fish farm and initiating the family greenhouses with the parents of the children. I feel proud of what we have achieved so far but it will be nothing in comparison to the celebration in some years from now: when we all are able to realise our vision as reality and the implementation of our model, done with the support of the community. Help us to celebrate more accomplishments this year and make a donation. Every cent does count.

Let’s remind everyone that we all deserve the right to good nutrition and that in this century, and in a middle income country, like Peru, it is unacceptable that there exist communities that do not have their own access to their own better nutrition and food.

Wilma, Yulisa and Pavel (adorable Kindergarten children)
Children in Cuncani are often shy BUT always adorable: Wilma, Yulisa and Pavel 

 

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