Water and Transformation Peru Amazon

Nancy Santullo
Posted May 31, 2008 from Peru
Secure drinking water flows equally to each home and the village schoolhouse.
Secure drinking water flows equally to each home and the village schoolhouse.
Secure drinking water flows equally to each home and the village schoolhouse. (1/10)

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Auma
Jun 01, 2008
Jun 01, 2008

These are pictures that give encouragement,Nancy! Welcome to PulseWire.We will be glad to hear more about you and your work!

Leah Auma Okeyo-Africa Outreach Specialist-PulseWire

Nancy Santullo
Jun 01, 2008
Jun 01, 2008

Thanks Leah, I am currently in the field and will post a journal soon! Blessing and love, Nancy www.houseofthechildren.org

Jennifer Ruwart
Jun 01, 2008
Jun 01, 2008

Nancy,

Welcome to PulseWire! These pictures are beautiful. I keep scrolling up and looking at them. I love the picture of the girl drinking from the faucet.

I am so impressed at the depth of this project. Not only is it providing the village clean drinking, the mothers and their children are learning many skills. I like to call that "feeding two birds with one crouton!"

There are a few women on this site I think you might like to meet:

Rosemary Enie, Chief Executive Officer/President, Women International Coalition Organisation (WICO) International http://beta.pulsewire.net/user/100

Sumedha Kailash, Director, Bal Ashram, Bal Ashram Trust http://beta.pulsewire.net/user/303

Myrna, Publisher/Owner, Blueline Publishinghttp://beta.pulsewire.net/user/291

Gemma Bulos, Founder, A Single Drophttp://beta.pulsewire.net/user/116

And finally, we have a group devoted to Water!http://beta.pulsewire.net/groups/1073

johnsonssempijja
Jun 06, 2008
Jun 06, 2008

Dear nancysantullo.

Please l am Glad that your serving the young people in your nation and l have hope you can also bring your services in uganda,your always very welcome to come and creat the same services in uganda l am a Photographer based in uganda my nation, Please visit my at www.planetphotographer.cfsites.org

Yours Johnson Ssempijja

Julie Fiandt
Jun 09, 2008
Jun 09, 2008

What sustainable projects and beautiful photos! Thanks for sharing the story of such an effective project.

Nancy Santullo
Jun 13, 2008
Jun 13, 2008

Thanks Julie for you comments. Its been incredible to bring sustainable programming to native communities., I just got back from a 9 day trip to a new community that we hope to bring clean water, sanitation and health education too soon! Kindly, Nan www.houseofthechildren.org

Jennifer Ruwart
Oct 01, 2008
Oct 01, 2008

Nancy,

I get such joy when I read look at the pictures in this post. My heart leaps at the success of your work.

I know you are about to embark on Project Expansion. I think any community that is interested in your work would love to know what challenges you faced with Project Huacaria. What lessons learned will you carry forward? Do you have best practices you can share with our community?

All my love, Jennifer

Nancy Santullo
Dec 31, 2008
Dec 31, 2008

Hi Jenn, Caramba , sorry for the delay its been a busy time! Answers to your questions!!! Let me know your thoughts! Lots of love for a health, happy "New Year" with all your dreams come true! xo Nancy

Developing and implementing the first clean water, sanitation and health project for native rain forest people in the Manu Rain Forest had its challenges no doubt about it! First, when we enlisted the help of indigenous experts who had work in the region for 16 years, they told us that we were doomed to fail. There is no model to follow, because a clean water/ indigenous health project in context to rain forest cultures simply did not exist in the southeastern Peruvian Amazon. So everyone was skeptical! But we persisted, holding the energy for the project, against a stack of odds, -- working toward a goal of improved health for the children and families of Huacaria.

In the beginning of the project it seemed like each day we faced about 10 new challenges! Cultural barriers, misunderstandings and rumors were non-stop with our initial construction staff, certain people of Huacaria and in the surrounding pueblos. Change was making the people a bit uncomfortable, and they were not clear where this change would take them. It was a bit difficult getting work completed and delivered on time, organizing community workforces, and getting a male dominated work force accustomed to a women supervisor "ME" that had an eye for the details! LOL!

We eventually established a construction crew that was accountable for their work, respected customs and lifestyle in the community, and open to learning and exchanging knowledge with our US based supervisory team. We learned to give each worker an opportunity to improve, learn, and expand his/her work. We fixed constructions mistakes over and over, and used each mistake as a teaching tool. We built using natural resources and local materials, which blended into the environment and supported the local economy.

We learned that our work had to be developed and implemented in harmony with the natural cycles of the Amazon, and that most everything scheduled took two to three times longer to accomplish than originally planned, adding additional costs to our budget. We also learned that when working in the middle of the Amazon and with native cultures, work schedules had to be flexible, and the forces of nature (heavy rains, winds and mud), in fact, always won over our well-planned construction schedule.

In the end we understood that we had no control of the success or failure of their lives or life and death in the village, and that indeed we were a global family helping each other improve the quality of our human existence. It was a journey of the heart that ultimately led each one of us back to ourselves. The impossible has now been made possible in Huacaria and they as a people will always have this "Monumental" achievement!

What we carry forward into our expansion efforts are greater patience, deeper compassion in understanding the subtleties of indigenous cultures, submission to the elements…sound, culturally appropriate indigenous health programming, humor and lots of LOVE!

Best practices for building in remote rain forest communities (populations 200- 500):

1) Equal access to safe drinking water at each home/Communal Water System

2) Build in harmony with the eco-system using low technology methods of water and sanitation infrastructure. (Slow sand filtration/septic systems that naturally decompose waste)

3) Principle work force/team in-county based.

4) Communal water fund, where each family pays a fee for health infrastructure and water.

5) Community based participation and with active involvement from the children. All community meetings and correspondence be translated into native language.

6) Establish and train community based water committees to build, maintain and sustain infrastructure.

7) Health and hygiene education for women, children and families over 5 years.

8) Partnerships with Health and Education Ministries so not to reinvent the wheel and long term sustainability.

9) Not look at the people that we serve as poor, and supporting people/humanity in their strength.

Jade Frank
Jan 07, 2009
Jan 07, 2009

Hi Nancy,

I found your outline for best practices so compelling and useful for others that are interested in creating similar projects. I re-posted your comment in SharingSolutions so that other members can easily access and gain from your excellent insight and detailed information.

Thanks again for sharing your experience here with us on PulseWire!

Cheers, Jade

Jade Frank
Jan 05, 2009
Jan 05, 2009

Hi Nancy,

It's so wonderful that you have shared with us these pictures of your project in the Manu Rain Forest. The images are so vivid and truly tell the success story of your work.

While your journey in this hasn't been easy, your tireless efforts have accomplished so much. Thank you for sharing the lessons you have learned in this and the model you have laid out for best practices for those who wish to establish something on similar lines.

Keep up the amazing work and keep us posted! I know that many here on PulseWire have so much to gain from your insight and I hope that you too can find partnerships here to further your work.

Happy New Year! I wish you all the best in your goals for 2009!

Warm regards, Jade

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