As many of you already know, I just came from Peru where we launched a Cyber Sustainable Development Project. This was a collaborative work with Babble Cares, Johnson & Johnson and LATISM. When we selected Patacancha we had no clue about the real situation. I’m still trying to digest my experience and must admit that I need a lot more time to fully appreciate what I have lived. Just like my new Gringa BFF mentioned, I’ve been through a lot. It could be my quasi 40 years or it could be that I’ve gotten too used to the good life lately. But this one was hard, really hard. The cold, the humidity, the bureaucracy, the mud, the altitude and lack of oxygen. What made me stay one more day was the sense of hope.
Patacancha members are so eager to learn. From young to old, from the simple moms who never got a chance to go to school to the teachers who finally managed to use a computer. They see this Cyber Development Sustainable Project as a clear door to prosperity.
Now that we’ve been there and experienced a glimpse of their lives, I am convinced that we need to focus on two main projects:
A Computer Teacher: We can’t expect a community that has been forgotten by the world for all these centuries to all of the sudden become computer experts and run an e-commerce site in one week. It will take a full-time teacher to teach the young and the old how to use technology innovation and social media as a tool for sustainable development and eLearning.
The Piscigranja: This one is harder to explain but I will try. Pretty much the only food that grows well in such high altitude are potatoes. So this means that Patacancha members eat potatoes pretty much every day. As a result, there is an 80% of acute malnutrition among the kids. Mauro, the Elementary School Principal (and my new version of Superman) has come up with the Piscigranja solution. They grow trout fish in these ponds to feed the kids during lunch. This could guarantee iron intake and other nutrients that the kids badly need.
We will focus on funding these two projects in 2013. It is evident that a malnourished brain cannot function properly. You can help the Patacancha community tonight and for the rest of the month to pay a day’s salary for the computer teacher and/or to buy a trout and feed two kids during lunch time. Join #LATISM and #BabbleCares tonight at 9 pm (EST). For more information about the project, go to our LATISM post and you can make your donation there.