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Community to the Rescue: Addressing Malnutrition in Rural Peru

Radio Programas del Peru aired this story highlighting Window of Opportunity’s work on December 18, 2012

Actress Amy Brenneman of ABC Television’s Private Practice, visited several CARE maternal health and child nutrition programs last month in Peru. During her visit to a region of the world where 25% of the kids are malnourished, Amy talked with families who participate in a child nutrition program and viewed family plans – goals for the year and strategies for attaining them that CARE encourages as part of the program.  She was struck most, she says, by the plans that lined the kitchen walls. She later blogged: “Here in this village, which on the surface differed so much from my home, we were employing the same strategies to lift ourselves out of vague intentions and discontents, to put pen against paper and say, against seeming insurmountable odds ‘This is who I am. This is what I want. This how I’m going to get it.’”

In Guayacondo, a community of more than 150 families sprawled across a valley in the Peruvian highlands, Amy met a woman who – with CARE’s help – brought a life-changing water system to her community. Amy’s children (daughter and son) instantly understood the depths of the poverty they were witnessing when they played with other Peruvian kids at a CARE-run daycare. Her son later asked innocently  “why were their hands so dirty?” A question that Amy says is a “great starter” to explaining the ripple effects of poverty.

Amy says her trip forced her to think about the “basic building blocks” to fighting poverty. “You want less infant mortality? Well, water nutrition and family planning.. from those building blocks people make choices and are able to be.. not so desperate,” she says.

After her first CARE trip, Amy has a message to donors. “Whatever you donate goes to practical, usable, tangible things that make an impact in people’s lives,” she says. “It was very intimate. It wasn’t a big government organization. CARE means individuals. “

http://www.rpp.com.pe/2012-12-18-pobladores-se-organizan-para-mejorar-su-salud-y-nutricion-en-ayacucho-noticia_550030.html

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