Belén Clean Water Campaign: Providing Education and Clean Water
We are CGCHealth. We’re working hard to assist the people of the Peruvian Amazon so they can achieve their community's life goals. Our goal is to magnify the voices within those communities so they can reach the ears of those with the power and privilege to help effect the change they wish to see in their world.
CGCHealth works within existing social structures in Iquitos, Peru to enact change. We make the needs and wishes of the people the starting point, working from the bottom-up, while always respecting the local cultures that are represented within the communities of the Amazon.
CGCHealth conducted a needs assessment in 2012 and met with many community leaders (Apus and Agentes) within the Amazon. They stated that the health of the community was a major concern. When asked what they believed the root of the health problem was they consistently responded, “No tomamos agua limpia”, “We don’t drink clean water.” So we are starting there: at the root of the problem.
We are working to solve the root of the health crisis in a community named Belén. Belén, located on the banks of the Itaya River, is a community of nearly 50,000 people whose voices have been overshadowed and forgotten, their needs have become secondary to those considered to be of a higher social status and more worthy of proper attention and aid. The people live happily in their tightly knit communities, however, and are eager to help themselves reach a future that they desire.
CGCHealth is a tool that can help the people of Belén reach their goals, their desires, and their futures. We have the power and the privilege to be in the position to teach free classes on what is asked of us and use that privilege as an NGO to bring in people from governmental organizations from all over Iquitos to come teach free classes about how to get a national ID, prevention of diseases, treatments for common illnesses, how to get clean water and the list continues to grow.
With the $10,000, CGCHealth members will team up with UNAP Medical Students to teach a four-day health course to a total of 180 families of the Belén community throughout the next year. We hope to be able to educate and provide filters to 15 families per month. At the end of each course, the families will receive a water filter system to implement in their homes. Water should always be free and clean but the people of Belén need our help to make this a reality.
What Is Being Asked of You
Centro de Salud 6 de Octubre
This Summer, CGCHealth set out to Iquitos, Peru to initiate a Clean Water Campaign with 50 families in the small and impoverished communities in Belén. We worked in the Centro de Salud 6 de Octubre. People with illnesses due to water contamination were offered a four-day course organized by CGCHealth. Along with the help of students from the University of Kansas and Medical Students from Universidad Nacional de la Amazonia Peruana (UNAP) in Iquitos, we educated the families about the symptoms, prevention, and treatment of illnesses common to Belén. At the end of the course, each family received a water filter and two buckets to use at home. The hope was to reach 50 families within the month of June. During the first week, 5 families showed up, 7 families by the second week, and by the third week, 150 families showed up with the hope of attending the heath education course and receiving a filter! This interest far exceeded our expectations or hopes for this program! All the families had come by word of mouth with an eagerness and desire to gain a better understanding about their health and the importance of clean water. We need your help to ensure that no family is denied access to clean water. Turning away one family is one too many.
The people of Belén are enthusiastic and hungry to learn about ways to keep themselves, their families, and their community healthy! Community members continue to ask CGCHealth team members when the next health course will be! CGCHealth hopes to support the desires of the community of Belén and continue the health course the rest of the year, reaching and educating 20 new families each month!
The funding we are asking for will go towards purchasing water filters and buckets for each of these families. This is where we immediately need your help so we can bring the community of Belén what they want and need the most for their health and for their futures—clean water!
- Water filter $45 USD + 2 buckets $10 USD = filter system $55 USD
- $10,000 ÷ $55 = 180 water filter systems
- 180 filters distributed to families of (on average) 5 means:
- 180 x 6 = 1080 people with clean water for 10-15 years!!!
Clean water is a seriously powerful tool to positively impact the lives of the men, women, and children of Belén. With the $10,000 USD we at CGCHealth can help to bring Belén the health education and clean water they desire! The 80 families CGCHealth has worked with so far have become spokespersons for health and clean water. They have become participants in town hall meetings with the Mayor of Belén, Hermogenes Flores Gomez, to voice their most prevalent needs, concerns, and desires for their community. But, as they say here, Belén RUGE por agua limpia—Belén ROARS for clean water! Neither we nor the community want to stop here! Clean water must be made available to all! It is a human right that must be instilled.
Children watching water filter to drink.
With clean water Belén can expect to be effected in the following ways:
- Children will become better educated not having to miss days of school home sick
- Parents will be able to work to earn their family a better living
- Parents and children will have a higher “baseline” level of health and become more effective community members
- Children will become better nourished and have energy to actively learn, grow, and create
- Parents will become better able to care for and nurture their young children with more energy
- With more active community members, Belén will be able to charge forward to reach the future they hope to see for their children
- With less government money being spent on medical expenses due to water borne illness the health posts will have the ability to care for the very ill patients or begin new projects to advance the communities goals for their future (Trashpickup! Sidewalks! Water canals! Latrines! Security!)
Other Ways You Can Help
We understand that monetary donations are not always feasible. We ask, however, that you pass the message on to friends and family. Help us to bring the voices of Belén to those with the power and the privilege to help Belén reach the future they wish to see.
- Make some noise about the campaign! Post the hyperlink to your facebook!
- Use the Indiegogo share tools!