Indigenous Youth Living in Two Worlds

Our partner organisation FENAMAD supports indigenous students in the Peruvian Amazon who have to move to the city for their studies.

Peru indigener Jugendlicher

Indigenous Youth Living in Two Worlds 

Our partner organisation FENAMAD (Federación Nativa del Río Madre de Dios y Afluentes) supports indigenous students in the Peruvian Amazon who have to move to the city for their studies. The organisation also supports secondary school students. Higher education provides a great opportunity for the young people themselves as well as for the indigenous communities. That is why FENAMAD works at various interfaces and supports the young people and children in accessing education and in acquiring further social and intercultural skills.

Photo report from the project in Peru

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More and more indigenous young people are moving to the city to study. However, it is a big challenge for them in many ways. They often have very limited financial resources, which means that they cannot afford stable housing and healthy food. And often there is no adequate care available to them. In addition, they repeatedly encounter discrimination.

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JJosé Antonio Dumas and Katya Mallea from FENAMAD coordinate and manage the education project in Puerto Maldonado and Pilcopata. FENAMAD supports the indigenous students in their balancing act between living in their community and studying in the city. For the time of their studies, the students can live in the “Casa Miraflores”, a residence which is provided by FENAMAD and which offers the young people a safe space where they can live and study. In addition, they receive individual support from Katya Mallea (r.), a psychological specialist, who helps them develop their self-confidence and plan their future. Personal tutoring and artistic workshops are also available to them.

Half an hour’s boat ride from Puerto Maldonado is a community garden, which is looked after and maintained by the young people under the supervision of a former student and graduate farmer. The route across the water is normal in the Peruvian Amazon, often even the only possibility to reach certain spots. Depending on the water level and the weather, they visit the garden twice a week in small groups.

After the boat ride, the trail leads through the rainforest for half an hour.

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Once in the garden, they immediately get to work. Many young people used to help with gardening in their village communities when they were young and therefore know their way around.. The picture shows them gathering turmeric, which they use in the kitchen. Through gardening the young people learn to take responsibility for their own existence among other things. 

They also grow plantains, which are an important ingredient of the Peruvian cuisine, especially in the Amazon lowlands. The yields from the community garden provide a balanced diet for the students. It also provides them with an occupation close to nature and their culture and is an important counterbalance to life in the city.

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The education project would not be possible without close cooperation with the village communities. Therefore, FENAMAD regularly visits the communities to identify their problems and needs and to look for solutions together with them.  For these visits, the path often leads across water as well.

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On our last visit we went with FENAMAD to Puerto Luz, where  an extensive meeting with the whole village community took place. We exchanged ideas about the young people’s studies and their lives in the city, far away from their families. Studying in the city is also a political issue for the whole community and a beneficial result for the community is expected. This meeting clearly showed how important FENAMAD’s support services in Puerto Maldonado are for these young indigenous students, a fact which was also confirmed in the various conversations with the parents and the teachers of the secondary school.

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During the visits to the village communities FENAMAD talks to the young people and their parents. In these conversations,  questions and problems, but also expectations and wishes are discussed. In this way mutual trust has developed in the last few years and the project has become well established in the indigenous communities.

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Some students come from communities that can be reached in five hours, but in other cases, the journey takes several days. Depending on the water level of the river, it can happen that the students are not  able to visit their families for several months. In addition, transport is very expensive. 

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FENAMAD now also supports secondary school students in Huacaria, a community where Machigenkas, Wachiperis and Quechuas live together. There is no secondary school in Huacaria itself. The nearest one is in Pilcopata – too far away for the young people from Huacaria to attend school regularly and without problems.

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That is one of the reasons why many indigenous young people from Huacaria do not get beyond primary education. The municipality, together with FENAMAD, is therefore looking for a way to stop these frequent cases of dropping out.

The solution is a residential house in Pilcopata for the students from Huacaria but also for those from even remoter communities. EcoSolidar has financed the construction of this house, consisting of bedrooms, toilets and showers, a kitchen and a “maloka” (community house) in the middle.The “maloka” was built by the parents and their children in community work.  Thus  the involved parties intend to counteract the fact that many children drop out of school,  either because the ways to school are too long or because the families are too poor. Now the young people can live in Pilcopata during the week, where the secondary school is also located, and return to their communities at the weekend. The community is prepared to organise the supervision and preparation of meals for the young people and FENAMAD is providing a tutor for school supervision.

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In Amalia, a very small community, there is a primary school that was built by the community itself. This primary school is currently attended by 12 children. These children should later have the opportunity to attend secondary school. FENAMAD  assists the community as an advisory and mediating counterpart.

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Amalia can only be reached by boat or by walking through the rainforest for several hours. FENAMAD works with full dedication; in cooperation with the communities and the students, they are able to take a holistic approach.

Young people on their way to independence

Our partner organisation BSDA (Buddhism for Social Development Action) has created holistic educational and vocational training programmes for socially vulnerable children and young people in the Kampong Cham region, Cambodia.

Shop in Kampong Cham

Young people on their way to independence

Our partner organisation BSDA (Buddhism for Social Development Action) has created holistic educational and vocational training programmes for socially vulnerable children and young people in the Kampong Cham region, Cambodia. With the aim of giving the young people a perspective and enabling them to lead an independent and dignified life, BSDA promotes not only the intellectual and professional, but also the social and personal skills of the beneficiaries. Educational and vocational training opportunities open the doors to a better future for young people, but the awareness of one’s personal skills and the resulting belief in oneself are essential for sustainable self-development. BSDA is aware of this and takes a holistic approach in all programmes for all ages. 

PHOTO REPORT FROM THE PROJECT IN CAMBODIA

Kindergarten

In two of BSDA’s kindergartens, children from particularly poor backgrounds are prepared for school. This is done holistically and in a playful way. In the long term, this programme is to be integrated into the public kindergarten programme that is currently being developed. To this end, BSDA is working closely with the Ministry of Education. 

Happy Happy Center

At the Happy-Happy-Centre, one of the two drop-in-centres, children can attend extra tuition classes in addition to regular school lessons. The offer brings some relief to the parents, most of whom are engaged in illicit work, and the children have a safe place for their personal development.

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BSDA also grants scholarships to particularly poor families, thus ensuring school attendance for many socially vulnerable children. Awareness-raising events on various topics are also organised in the framework of the awarding of these scholarships. In this case, the topic is violence. 

Küche Training

BSDA itself runs two social enterprises where young people can be trained in the gastronomy and hotel industries. Here at Smile Restaurant, a former beneficiary shows two trainees how to prepare different drinks.

Hanchey Sängerin

Sreng Bopha (right) has completed her training at the Hanchey Bamboo Resort, the second BSDA-owned social enterprise. Here she is serving a well-known Cambodian singer who celebrated her birthday at the resort, which attracts national and international guests.

Hanchey

Due to its special architecture and social and ecological concept, the resort has become widely known.

Gartenarbeit

The garden is excellently maintained by the trainees as an informal part of the training. They enjoy the fact that they can contribute to the maintenance of the resort garden.

Shop

In addition to their own social enterprises, BSDA also provides vocational training for young people in external training companies. Here you can see a beauty salon in the centre of Kampong Cham.

Beauty Salon

In this beauty salon, the trainee is taught by the trainer how to cut and style a customer’s hair. 

Shop Mechanik

BSDA offers another external training opportunity in the field of electronics. During their training the young people are not only supervised by the trainers, but also actively supported by BSDA employees.

Betreuung

The support of the trainees comprises, among other things, regular evaluations, assessments and personal discussions. Here, two BSDA staff members conduct an assessment interview with a front-desk vocational trainee.

Apsara Tanz

The promotion of social and personal skills is part of the holistic approach. In the second drop-in centre, the young people can engage in meaningful leisure activities, such as learning the traditional Cambodian Apsara dance.

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The holistic care enables the young people and children to strengthen their self-confidence towards independence. These former beneficiaries have personally told us about the positive impact this holistic approach had on their personal development. Some of them work as volunteers at the centre, others have even got a fixed employment there. 

Team

The aim of BSDA is to enable the young people to lead an independent life by learning a profession and thus securing their livelihood. The former beneficiaries are accompanied by aftercare programmes over a period of time in order to ensure that they are able to gain a foothold on their path to independence.

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While some of the young people get a permanent job in their training company, others dare to take the step into self-employment, such as the owner of this small shop.

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Chhouern Sreyya, a former beneficiary, runs a successful stationery shop combined with a café. She can make a good living from her income and leads a fulfilled and independent life.

PIONEERING SPIRIT IN ORGANIC FARMING

Our local partner organisation KODO (Kuthandiza Osayenda Disability Outreach) supports farmers with walking disabilities in the areas of mobility, income generation and food security in Salima, Malawi.

Pioniergeist Fotoreportage

PIONEERING SPIRIT IN ORGANIC FARMING

Our local partner organisation KODO (Kuthandiza Osayenda Disability Outreach) supports farmers with walking disabilities in the areas of mobility, income generation and food security in Salima, Malawi. KODO offers courses in tailoring and cane chair making. At the same time, all participants are trained in organic farming and permaculture and accompanied in the implementation of  these new techniques. Thanks to organic farming techniques, they are able to feed themselves and their families in a healthy manner without having to spend a lot of money on seeds and chemical fertilisers. They pass on their new know-how to others, which simultaneously strengthens their social position in the community. 

Photos: EcoSolidar

PHOTO REPORT FROM THE PROJECT IN MALAWI

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At KODO there is a special building which houses the courses in tailoring and cane chair making, a permaculture garden and next to it a hostel financed by EcoSolidar with rooms for the course participants. 

KODO Training Kompost

All course participants are trained in organic farming during their time at KODO. Here, a training on compost production is taking place.

KODO Zimmer und Betten

The rooms are tailored to the needs of course participants with walking disabilities, i.e. the beds are built extra low.

KODO Tereza und Kollegin

Tereza Bute (right) has been trained in tailoring and organic farming at KODO. Today she is a lead farmer. In this capacity, she passes on her know-how to 30 farmers from her village.

KODO Tereza Kompost

Here, Tereza is showing a group of villagers how they can make simple organic compost from existing natural materials so that they do not have to buy chemical fertilisers.

In the village, Tereza breeds rabbits, which the farming families distribute among themselves. Rabbits provide manure for the compost. Tereza continuously acquires new know-how and passes it on to the others. In May 2021, she was able to attend an external training course at the Paradise Institute, Malawi with KODO.

Tereza and her husband are a good team. During her 6-month absence, her husband took care of the household and the children. Both of them saw the training as an investment in the future that is paying off today.

At home, Tereza can successfully apply what she has learned, namely how to make organic compost, which plants to use for pest control and how to provide enough moisture by means of irrigation techniques and soil cover.

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Tereza and her husband are harvesting fresh peanuts in their field. They are satisfied with their harvest.

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The harvesting is attracting the children from the village, who sit down and help to separate the peanuts from the stalks. On this occasion, the fresh fruits are eagerly tasted.

Dorothy Kabambe has learned organic farming and tailoring at KODO. At home, she sews and sells clothes. The new income gives her self-confidence and improves her social standing in the community.

George Chimpiko, founder and director of KODO, on the road with Dorothy. He himself also has a walking disability. His goal is to enable people with walking disabilities to be able to provide for themselves.

Dorothy mit Rollstuhl

Dorothy has received a wheelchair from KODO. She can use it to go to her field and work there. An important goal of KODO is to provide mobility to farmers with walking disabilities to make them more independent.

Polina Judesi (right) has completed a course in weaving at KODO and has been taught organic farming at the same time. Today she produces and sells small tables and chairs. She makes compost for her fields and she uses local maize varieties, from which she produces her own seeds. This makes her independent of buying expensive seedlings and chemical fertilisers. As a lead farmer, she passes on her know-how to others. 

Akim Chifuno is a follow farmer of Polina. She regularly visits him and assists him in overcoming any difficulties. Akim has attended a course in tailoring and organic farming at KODO. He is able to earn a small income by sewing. In addition, Akim has planted a cotton field, for which he makes his own organic compost, and has surrounded it with a number of pest-repellent plants. And what is important, he has found a market for the cotton he produces.

KODO Malawi Masken

During the Corona pandemic, the training centre had to close temporarily. During this time, the former course participants sewed masks and KODO set up hand-washing stations in the villages. Here, George Chimpiko (left) is visiting a former course participant who is sewing masks.

Bilingual Radio

In Cusco, Peru, indigenous children produce bilingual and intercultural radio programmes at school. They are thus actively involved in the teaching process, which strengthens their self-confidence, consolidates their knowledge of their mother tongue and makes them deal with their cultural origins.

Bilingual Radio

In Cusco, Peru, indigenous children produce bilingual and intercultural radio programmes at school. They are thus actively involved in the teaching process, which strengthens their self-confidence, consolidates their knowledge of their mother tongue and makes them deal with their cultural origins. The radio programmes are broadcast through regional radio stations and make the voices of the children and the indigenous communities heard in the media. At the same time, they serve as intercultural teaching material since the children listen to and discuss the radio programmes of other schools. The Pukllasunchis radio project makes an important contribution to cultural equality in school education.

Photo report about the project in Peru

At a school in Chillihuani, a class is recording a radio programme. The children often present the stories they are telling as plays with costumes and props. This recording is about a traditional ritual of the indigenous sheep farmers. 

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The participation in these programmes strengthens the children both as a group and as well as individuals. Besides taking responsibility for the joint radio programme and consolidating their knowledge of their mother tongue, they also have a lot of fun.

The teacher is enthusiastic about the radio project and enjoys supporting her pupils. She has attended a further training course at Pukllasunchis and has got to know new teaching methods: her lessons are now participative, she uses visual learning aids, the classroom is colourful and there is a pleasant learning atmosphere.

Ermelinda goes to this school and she really likes recording the radio programmes. The class develops the programme as a co-production: they decide on the topic, think about the sequence and distribute the roles. Every child has a say and can contribute something.

Henry goes to a rural school in Ccoñamuro. He and his classmates regularly produce radio programmes. Here, Henry is talking about his everyday life and the traditional ceremonies he performs together with his family. The radio programmes are listened to by other classes and the content is discussed.

The school Henry attends is very small and most of the children speak Quechua. Their mothers take turns preparing the lunch, which the children then eat together.

At home, Henry has to look after the guinea pigs. 

Like many other people in the community, his family breeds and sells guinea pigs (cuy), which are a popular food in Peru. In addition, most families own a piece of land and some cows.

Constantino at work at the Ausangate radio station. It is located in Quispicanchi in the Cusco region and is one of the places where the radio programmes are broadcast from. 

They reach many indigenous families in the country and in the city. The broadcasts have a high value because they bring information about other regions and strengthen the sense of community. 

In a training session for teachers at Pukllasunchis, Yovana Huanca Huallparimachi is presenting the many facets of the radio project in the classroom. The teachers learn a lot about bilingual and bicultural education that they can put into practice afterwards. They find it motivating to see considerable changes in the students, who become more self-confident and participate more actively in class after working on the radio project.

At school events the students present their various projects to proud parents and other interested parties.

In Chillihuani, these include, for example, designing maps of the surrounding area with the important natural resources, making presentations of the history and culture of the region and, of course, producing the said radio programmes.

Since the beginning of the Corona crisis, schools in Peru have been closed. Especially for indigenous families in the country, it is impossible to ensure digital access to schooling for their children. They lack electronic devices and access to the internet. Pukllasunchis has worked with teachers to develop teaching materials for online distance learning and school lessons for radio. Children with access to mobile phones and the internet have been able to contribute to these lessons. They have sent video and audio recordings of the school topics to Pukllasunchis, which has then made them available to other students via the internet and radio. In this way, the organization has reached many children in rural areas who otherwise would have had no access to education during this time. Additional radio programmes have served to give information about Corona by means of the character of Capitán Jabón (Captain Soap) (https://redsisicha.home.blog). 

Organic farming: From the school to the communities

In Ng’ongo, a remote village in the north of Malawi, the village community, supported by ASUD (Action for Sustainable Development), started to establish a permaculture garden at the school four years ago. Thanks to this garden, school absenteeism has strongly decreased and the performance of the pupils has increased.

Malawi-Permakultur-Schulgarten

Organic farming: From the school to the communities

In Ng’ongo, a remote village in the north of Malawi, the village community started to establish a permaculture garden at the school four years ago. This project was supported by ASUD (Action for Sustainable Development). Thanks to this garden, the students are better nourished and, as a consequence, school absenteeism has strongly decreased and the performance of the pupils has improved. The school produces the required compost itself by means of the manure produced by the pigs. The mothers of the school children are also involved. They have organised themselves in clubs and have been learning organic farming techniques through their work in the school garden. Today, these women also have permaculture gardens at home, from which they can harvest vegetables for a balanced diet. They support each other and pass on their knowledge to other families in their villages. In less than three years, a holistic project has been developed which now serves as a model for other communities.

Photo report about the project in Malawi

Malawi Permakultur Schulgarten

Ellen Magawa, teacher at the primary school in Ng’ongo in northern Malawi, is teaching her students how to make compost. For this purpose, they dig pits which are filled with the compost material, covered and left to rest. They will later use the compost in the school garden and the organically produced vegetables will provide the common school lunch.

Malawi Permakultur Schulgarten

This project started with a small school garden that was to provide the pupils with balanced meals at school and, in turn, was to enable them to learn better. Today, the garden with vegetables, medicinal plants and pest-repellent plants has become both a source of food and a place of training.

Malawi Permakultur Schulgarten

Pigs are kept on the school premises and their manure is an important ingredient in the compost. These pigsties in this foto are part of the demonstration farm at the school in Ng’ongo and are at that moment being visited by members of the Ministry of Agriculture and the principals of other schools with the aim of exchanging know-how about pig farming.

Malawi Permakultur Schulgarten Schweine

The mothers of the school children also take care of the pigs and thus learn everything important for their own pig farming. Back in their communities, they put what they have learned into practice independently. Pig farming is not easy, the pigsties must be well built and maintained and the pigs must be expertly cared for. In Ng’ongo there has already been some success in breeding.

Malawi Permakultur Schulgarten

Ellen Magawa has been involved in the project from the start and she says: “This project has been our project from the very beginning. We were asked what we wanted to implement and how we wanted to do it. We were given the opportunity for further training in permaculture so that we could gain the necessary know-how. In this way the school garden has become the heart of the project and everyone involved has realised that with their commitment they can considerably improve the situation of their family and of the whole community”.

Malawi Permakultur Schulgarten

Around 400 children from the area attend the primary school of Ng’ongo. On the open doors day there is a lot of activity on the premises: everything must be shown and seen, the school and the school garden as well as the pigsties.

Malawi Permakultur Schulgarten

The school had no well for a long time and the children had to bring the water for drinking, washing their hands and for the plants from far away. In 2018, EcoSolidar supported the construction of a school well, making it possible for the school and the community to obtain their own water. Especially in the current corona crisis it is very important to have enough clean water for drinking and for following the measures of hygiene.

Malawi Permakultur Schulgarten

Vegetables are planted in the school garden to provide the children with a balanced meal every day. This is to combat malnutrition and prevent school absenteeism since hungry children often do not come to school at all or can hardly concentrate. The knowledge of organic farming techniques has also increased the children’s and their mothers’ knowledge about healthy eating. Since the women now have such gardens at home, they can better feed their families and, in addition, share the skills they have gained with other farmers. 

Malawi Permakultur Schulgarten

Visitors to the clubs of lead and follower farmers who cultivate their own organic permaculture gardens in the villages around Ng’ongo, will always be welcomed with dancing and singing. Here Thomas Ngwira, our project partner and managing director at ASUD, and the project officer are joining in the dancing!

Malawi Permakultur Schulgarten

The mothers who regularly work in the school garden and attend courses on organic farming techniques and permaculture take their new skills home with them and pass them on to other farmers. Towera Chawula, a lead farmer, supports a group of women in their village community in establishing their own permaculture garden. Here she is advising Witness Ngwira on problems in her garden.  

Malawi Permakultur Schulgarten

In the villages, the families are now also producing their own organic compost and are having good results with it. Thus they are less dependent on artificial fertiliser, which is expensive and harms the soil in the long term. The permaculture techniques also help them save water. For the farming families, the different methods of organic cultivation are crucial for a good harvest and for their economic independence.

Malawi Permakultur Schulgarten

These women are part of a club in which the lead farmers pass on their acquired knowledge about nutrition, pig farming, compost production and organic farming to the follower farmers. Apart from the numerous advantages for the food situation and the economic independence of the families as well as for the school performance of the children, learning together in the communities is also great fun!

Malawi Permakultur Schulgarten

The two follower farmers grind their own organic maize in their village. After milling the white maize is processed into N’sima, a kind of thick polenta. The polenta is served with a sauce and is the most important staple food of the families.

Las Pioneras for a better life

Thousands of people from all parts of Peru move to the capital city in the hope of a better life. Due to the massive immigration and the uncontrolled settlement construction a second city has emerged around Lima in recent decades. Our partner organisation IDEMNNA (Instituto de Desarrollo “Maria Elena Moyano”) works in the community of Villa El Sol in Jicamarca where living conditions are extremely precarious: There is no basic supply of water and electricity. Violence, alcohol, drugs and the land trade cause massive problems. Most families live in extreme poverty. IDEMNNA works together with the

“LAS PIONERAS” FOR A BETTER LIFE

Thousands of people from all parts of Peru move to the capital city in the hope of a better life. Due to the massive immigration and the uncontrolled settlement construction a second city has emerged around Lima in recent decades.

Our partner organisation IDEMNNA (Instituto de Desarrollo “Maria Elena Moyano”) works in the community of Villa El Sol in Jicamarca where living conditions are extremely precarious: There is no basic supply of water and electricity. Violence, alcohol, drugs and the land trade cause massive problems. Most families live in extreme poverty. IDEMNNA works together with the women and their children in this project. The aim is to improve family life, to support the women in their personal development and independence and to strengthen solidarity in the community.

Photos EcoSolidar

Photoreport about the project in Peru

The environment in Jicamarca is barren and stony, there is hardly any green and the area looks hostile to life. People build their little houses on the hills and most of them secure their livelihood from day to day with casual work. There is no running water; people have to order water and pay on delivery. In the current corona crisis, the inhabitants of this area are facing even more difficult problems. IDEMNNA is therefore supporting them with information about corona and sanitary precautions.

Virginia Rivera Aquino (in the middle) is one of the women in the project. Tabita Lozano (right) and Carmen Velásquez (left) are the founders of IDEMNNA. These two women started the project in Jicamarca, a suburb of Lima, two years ago and invested their own savings. They are employed 50% each and take turns working with the local women. They accompany the women very closely and they put their heart and soul into this work.

At the centre of the work of IDEMNNA is a group of women. They meet regularly and talk about their experience with violence, difficulties in raising their children and other problems of everyday life. Most of them left their homes at a very young age and have experienced many disappointments. They had their children very early, are often single parents and can hardly cope with their situations. The meetings in the group are very important for the women; they exchange knowledge and develop strategies for survival and help each other solve their problems. At the same time the women are supported by IDEMNNA in their financial independence through the development of their own business ideas and with small loans as start-up aid.

The solidarity in the group means that they no longer put up with everything. They learn how they can support themselves and each other with their actions and resources. The group is a source of strength and growing self-confidence for them; so much so that they have given themselves the name “Las Pioneras”.

When Virginia moved to Jicamarca with her four sons two years ago, she had nothing. She took up any job she could get to earn some money. Eventually she started a plastic recycling business: She buys plastic and cleans it at home. She separates it from staples and cardboard and then resells it.

IDEMNNA supports women in the development and implementation of business ideas and gives them a start-up loan. The necessary purchases are made together with the women. Virginia used her loan to buy a larger stock of plastic and expand her business. Today she earns around 300 USD per month and is even thinking of employing another woman.

The women’s businesses usually start with an idea which they discuss with Tabita and Carmen and in the group. They also discuss positive and negative experiences. In the end the women create a business plan. Afterwards they receive a small start-up loan to make the necessary purchases for the implementation of their business ideas.

Virginia is a role model for the others, especially because of her successful business model. The women meet regularly in small groups and exchange views about work and family life. An important subject is the violence many of them have experienced in their lives. In the group they support each other and learn to defend themselves against violence and to live a non-violent life with their children.

Virginia lives together with three of her sons. The elder two work in a factory and contribute to the livelihood of the family. The youngest son still goes to school and after school he helps with the separation of the plastic. Virginia has experienced a lot of exploitation in her life and is very proud of owning her own business now and of having become more confident and less dependent on others.

Eulalia lives with her three sons and her husband. Living together is extremely difficult and often unbearable for her. In the women’s group Eulalia finds support and advice on how to deal with her situation. The situation has fortunately started to improve and Eulalia has found some hope.

Eulalia has invested her start-up loan into sewing machines, fabric and thread to expand her sewing business. She repairs clothes for customers. Her goal is to produce her own clothes, first on order and later independently for the market.

Eulalia has a small garden on the outside wall of her house where she grows tomatoes, herbs and lettuce. This is not easy, because water is a rare commodity in Jicamarca which has to be ordered and filled into water tanks for a fee. This quantity of water must suffice for everything, for drinking, cooking, washing and also for the garden.

Tabita and Carmen visit the women regularly at their homes and talk to them about their personal problems. Most of the women are single parents and their everyday life is strongly marked by the difficulties in raising their children single-handedly. Therefore, IDEMNNA also involves the children themselves in the work with the women.

Herlinda grates ice, mixes it with fruit syrup and sells it in the street. With IDEMNNA’s business start-up loan she bought a machine for crushing ice. She also sells honey and Algarrobina (carob), which she gets from her family in northern Peru.

The women meet with the children at Herlinda’s and enjoy the fruit ice she has made. Up to now they have met at different women’s homes. IDEMNNA has recently been able to rent a piece of land, on which a small meeting place is now being built for the women’s group.

Two of Erlinda’s four sons are just entering puberty. She is a single mother and often unable to cope with the problems in the family. In the women’s group she gains strength and courage and is able to share her concerns. At the same time the women also experience happy and funny moments together. They can be sure of the support of the others.

The involvement of the children in the project is of great importance. Tabita and Carmen have many years of experience in working with children in need. They know that the role of the mothers is crucial. Through the mothers the family life and the relationship between parents and their children can be influenced.

Indigenous youth between the Amazon and the city

More and more young people from indigenous village communities in the Peruvian Amazon region are moving to Puerto Maldonado to study. When they arrive in the city, many of them face existential problems.

Our partner organisation FENAMAD (Federación Nativa del Río de Madre de Dios y afluentes) supports the young people in their everyday lives so that they can complete their studies. FENAMAD’s student accommodation, Casa Miraflores, offers students a sheltered space where they can live and learn. A psychologist takes care of the young people individually in order to support them in planning their future and to strengthen their self-confidence.

Fenamed – Jugendliche aus indigenen Dorfgemeinschaften

Indigenous youth between the Amazon and the city

More and more young people from indigenous village communities in the Peruvian Amazon region are moving to Puerto Maldonado to study. When they arrive in the city, many of them face existential problems.

Our partner organisation FENAMAD (Federación Nativa del Río de Madre de Dios y afluentes) supports the young people in their everyday lives so that they can complete their studies. FENAMAD’s student accommodation, Casa Miraflores, offers students a sheltered space where they can live and learn. A psychologist takes care of the young people individually in order to support them in planning their future and to strengthen their self-confidence.

Photos EcoSolidar

Photo report about the project in Peru

Bessere Zukunft durch Ausbildung

Maribel Meshi Shanocua comes from the indigenous community of the Ese Eja. She is 26 years old and has a five-year-old daughter who lives with the grandparents. She wants to give her daughter a better future and therefore studies nursing in Puerto Maldonado. In Casa Miraflores she has found a safe home for the period of her studies.

Indigene Kinder benachteiligt vom BIldungssystem

Maribel is on her way from Casa Miraflores to her school. The educational system in Peru puts indigenous children and young people at a disadvantage right from the start. At the public schools the Spanish language dominates and the quality of the schools depends on the economic situation of the parents, which is particularly weak in the indigenous population. In order to get a good education the young people have to leave their communities.

Maribel is studying nursing in order to find a job in the health sector.

Peru Studentenunterkunft

Together with other indigenous young people she lives in Casa Miraflores, a student accommodation. The students do the housework together. In the kitchen they cook together, do the cleaning and talk about their day.

Leben indignere Familien

At home in the village: Maribel’s father is a fisherman and sells Brazil nuts he picks in the forest; her mother makes handicrafts and sells them in the city. The two have six more children. They are very happy when Maribel comes to visit them and tells them about her life in the city.

Asubildung Lehrperson für interkulturelle Bildung

Segundo Rogelio Zumaeta Saavedra comes from the indigenous community of the Yine. Because there are hardly any bilingual teachers in his community, he has decided to train as a teacher for intercultural education.

Indigene Dorfgemeinschaft – Kleinbäuerin

Segundo Rogelio with his mother. He is 24 years old and the youngest of 10 children. His mother is a smallholder and his father died when he was still very small.

Indigene Jugendliche – Peru

The difference between life in the city and life in the village is very big. In the conversations with indigenous young people it becomes clear how difficult it is for them to leave their families and the communities and how much they miss their lives at home. Segundo Rogelio helps prepare “Masato”, the traditional maize drink, during a visit at home.

Hochschule in Puerto Maldonado

Many parents send their children to a university in Puerto Maldonado if at all possible. Often, however, they can hardly afford the costs for accommodation and food in the city. Segundo Rogelio works in a restaurant in the city to earn money for his studies.

Internetzugang im Amazonasgebiet

Here Segundo Rogelio is seeking network connection for his phone. His village community is located far away from the city in the Amazon region.

Indigene Jugendliche Studienweg

The way home from the city is long and has to be covered by boat. Katya Mallea (front right), who takes care of the young people in Puerto Maldonado, sometimes accompanies them on their visits to their home villages.

Peru – Indigene Jugendliche Ausbildung in der Stadt

The balancing act the young people have to perform when they study in the city is great. It is not easy for them to find a new home in the city. At the same time they know that it is existential for their families and the whole community that they succeed in their endeavour. So there is a lot of pressure on the young people.

Fenamad – psychologische Unterstützung

Katya Mallea from FENAMAD is a psychologist at Casa Miraflores who looks after the young people. She supports them in school-related questions and in finding their way around the city without losing their cultural identity.

Gruppenworkshops zur Förderung der Sozialkompetenz

As a psychologist, Katya Mallea looks after the young people individually in order to strengthen their self-confidence and organizes group workshops to promote social competence and personality development. The focus is also on living together as a community. This care work is existential.

Casa Miraflores – Wohnheim für Jugendliche

Casa Miraflores was renovated in 2017 with the support of EcoSolidar. The kitchen and the bedrooms were renovated and a fence was built around the property, as the house is located in a rather dangerous area of Puerto Maldonado. The young people move around carefully and are glad that the house was provided with new doors and locks for security reasons.

Miraflores – Wohnheim für Studenten Peru

The students do the household chores together. They cook, clean and maintain the garden around the house, where they plant vegetables and flowers.

A better future thanks to Apprenticeships

Our partner organisation BSDA (Buddhism for Social Development Action) enables young people from very poor families in the region of Kampong Cham to complete an education so that they can have a better future. At BSDA the young people complete an 18-month training course. In the first six months they catch up on basic education and during a further year they complete an apprenticeship in the fields of mechanics, electronics, hotel business, gastronomy or beauty care.

A better future thanks to Apprenticeships

Our partner organisation BSDA (Buddhism for Social Development Action) enables young people from very poor families in the region of Kampong Cham to complete an education so that they can have a better future. At BSDA the young people complete an 18-month training course. In the first six months they catch up on basic education and during a further year they complete an apprenticeship in the fields of mechanics, electronics, hotel business, gastronomy or beauty care.

Photos EcoSolidar

Photo report about the project in Cambodia

Va Valong is 16 years old and lives in a village with his parents and three younger siblings. His family is very poor, his father works as a day labourer on the construction site and barely earns enough to feed the family. Va Valong had dropped out of school to help at home.

For five months now he has been training as a mechanic at BSDA. His mother has encouraged him to do this training. She says: “Of course he is missing as a help at home, but I wish for a better future for him. His life shall be less difficult than mine”.

During the training Va Valong lives together with other young people in “Smile Institute”. They cook and eat together and spend their free time here. The young people can learn new things about the world, laugh and forget their worries from home for a while.

Va Valong is doing his apprenticeship in the “Metta Garage”, a social enterprise of BSDA. Here he can gain practical experience and apply his knowledge immediately. He likes the training course, the teacher is friendly and explains things well.

Regularly there are theory lessons with the teacher, Chhit Mengly. His task is not easy. In teaching he has to consider the different educational levels of the young people as well as their sometimes difficult personal backgrounds. This takes time and requires patience.

Chhorn Sokheang is 16 years old and has been living in “Smile Institute” for eleven months. In the first six months she caught up on her school education. She likes reading. Here she is discussing her homework with a roommate.

Chhorn Sokheang at home: She is the second eldest of five children. Since her parents had no money for her school fees, she had to drop out of school. Although her parents miss her help at home, they are happy that she can live in “Smile Institute” and that she is well cared for.

She likes her training course in beauty care very much. The owner of the shop is very satisfied with her, because Chhorn Sokheang is proactive and helpful. That’s why she has already offered her a permanent position after one month of training.

Kim Tharoath is 15 years old and has been living in “Smile Institute” for eight months. She shares a dormitory with ten other girls. Here she is practising the alphabet with her friends. They help each other to learn.

Kim Tharoath has decided to study gastronomy. In “Smile Institute” she is assigned to the kitchen service and cooks for her roommates.

She completes her practical training in the “Smile Restaurant”, a social enterprise of BSDA. The “Smile Restaurant” serves as a training place for prospective cooks and service employees. Kim Tharoath can gain practical work experience in cooking and service here.

Sreykeo Chron has also made her training with BSDA in gastronomy and has been working in the restaurant of “Hanchey Bamboo Resort”, an ecological centre, since its opening in October 2018. In the meantime, she has become a team leader and is responsible for the service team. She trains young people who gain practical experience here during their training with BSDA. Her dream is to open her own restaurant one day.

“Hanchey Bamboo Resort” is another BSDA social enterprise. The ecological retreat centre for local and international guests serves as a training location where young people can complete an apprenticeship in gastronomy and hotel business.

The construction of the centre was effected in an ecological and socially sustainable fashion. Workers from the surrounding villages built the bungalow complex from bamboo and local soil and received training in this construction method.

The proceeds from “Hanchey Bamboo Resort” co-finance the educational programmes of BSDA.

Vin Dina also comes from a poor family and had dropped out of school to earn money. Her father learned about BSDA and three years ago she completed a cooking apprenticeship: “I learned to cook, but also a lot about living together with others. And I noticed that the world was bigger than I had thought it was”.

After her training, she gained further experience in various hotels. Today she is the proud owner of a small restaurant: “I am very satisfied, I have a lot of work, but I am my own boss. And I am very proud when my customers are satisfied.”

Together against anti-women violence

IEDS works in the region of Bangalore for a non-violent society and for the empowerment of women. The collective offers counselling for women affected by violence, in which husbands and families are also involved. SIEDS conducts workshops with women on the topic of violence. Women are strengthened and empowered to defend themselves against the various forms of violence at home and in society. SIEDS brings together members of the population, various social organisations and the authorities and involves them in the discussion on violence and equality.

Together against anti-women violence

SIEDS works in the region of Bangalore for a non-violent society and for the empowerment of women. The collective offers counselling for women affected by violence, in which husbands and families are also involved. SIEDS conducts workshops with women on the topic of violence. Women are strengthened and empowered to defend themselves against the various forms of violence at home and in society. SIEDS brings together members of the population, various social organisations and the authorities and involves them in the discussion on violence and equality. This is how the change towards equal rights for women at the social, official and legal levels may be effected. Photos EcoSolidar

Photo report about the project in India

The SIEDS office is always busy. The women and men who work here are very active and work with a lot of energy and commitment for the women affected by violence in Bangalore. They work together with women concerned and their families, lawyers and the authorities.

Shanta Bai is one of the women who have been working for SIEDS for a long time. She has a lot of experience and a large network in her communities. Thanks to her tireless efforts SIEDS has been able to achieve a lot.

Shanta conducts workshops, speaks to school classes and students, advises women affected by violence and does public relations work. She is often on the road and in conversation with everyone involved.

Rekha came into contact with SIEDS three years ago when she herself lived in miserable circumstances and in a relationship full of violence.

A lot has changed since then: She has left her violent husband and now passes on her experiences to women in similar situations as a consultant at SIEDS.

Mamatha Yajamman’s motivation for her commitment also derives from personal experiences with domestic violence. She has been advocating for women’s rights with SIEDS since 1996.

In her daily work, Mamatha looks after individual women who experience violence. She also conducts public relations work, organises sensitisation campaigns and speaks publicly about her work.

At universities and schools, young women and men discuss human trafficking and the violence among young people caused by poverty together with SIEDS. These issues were taken up under the influence of younger SIEDS team members.

The fact that young women can express themselves so decidedly and that men listen to them is not at all self-evident. In many schools, boys and girls do not talk to each other and it takes a while for them to get used to this change.

Whenever possible, SIEDS involves authorities such as the police in its work. On such occasions, police officers also have to face the accusation that the police often fail to respond to calls for help from women. Taking part in a public discussion on the subject of violence against women, they are forced to take a stand.

To be present in public is very important for the work of SIEDS. If, as here, the press shows interest, the topic is heard and the work of SIEDS is seen and noted by many people. A public statement by the police in front of the press increases the pressure on the state authorities to take a clear position and to effect changes.

The Bunong people are fighting for their future

The indigenous community of the Bunong is affected by land grabbing by international rubber companies. The loss of their land forces the Bunong to settle down and give up their traditional cultivation method.

The Bunong people are fighting for their future

The indigenous community of the Bunong is affected by land grabbing by international rubber companies. The loss of their land forces the Bunong to settle down and give up their traditional cultivation method. Our partner organisation BIPA (Bunong Indigenous People Association) has discovered in organic farming an alternative type of agriculture that allows the farmers to cultivate the small amount of land that remains to them more profitably. In addition to securing their livelihood, organic farming encourages the Bunong to work together again and thus strengthens their community.
Photos EcoSolidar

Photo report about the project in Cambodia

An einer Dorfversammlung erzählt sie von den Chancen, die der Biolandbau für die Zukunft bietet.

Singeab Kleok Keo is convinced of organic farming. At a village meeting she speaks about the opportunities that organic farming offers for the future. Singeab has been a long-time supporter of BIPA and is an important link between BIPA and the village communities.

Singeab will für die Zukunft der Bunong

Singeab is 30 years old and has four children. Her father has supported the Bunong community during the Vietnam War, the Khmer Rouge and the Vietnamese occupation and Singeab also wants to fight for the future of the Bunong.

Biologischer Kompost für das Pfefferfeld

Singeab has learned at BIPA how to produce biological compost. She distributes it around her young pepper plants. She and her husband own a pepper field where they grow organic pepper and they are part owners of a rice field where several families work together.

Biologischer Landbau, Pfefferpflanzen

Sometimes Singeab helps her husband on the rice field. But mostly she stays in the village with the children and takes care of the pepper plants.

Bunong – Zeremonie für die Reis-Geister

The women from Singeab’s family have a special task: they are responsible for the rice spirits. In order to ask for a good harvest, Singeab performs an elaborate ceremony in the rice field. The relationship to the spiritual world is of great importance for the Bunong and the respect for nature is omnipresent since according to their belief the spirits live in the land.

Waldrodung – Zerstörung von immer mehr Wald

Bewildered, the Bunong have to watch how more and more forest is destroyed. Valuable trees are brought out of the forest with large machines.

Neben der Existenzsicherung ist der Biolandbau auch ein Weg zum Frieden.

Neth Prak is deeply worried about the desperate situation of his community. Therefore, he has founded an association (BIPA) that is committed to the future of the Bunong. Besides securing the livelihood of the Bunong, organic agriculture is also a way to peace. The land problem fuels conflicts within the community. Organic farming brings the Bunong back to working together.

Diese Grabstätte liegt in einem kleinen Stück Wald, das den Landenteignungen noch nicht zum Opfer gefallen ist.

In their belief the world of spirits and ancestors is firmly connected with the forest. This graveyard is located in a small piece of forest that has not yet fallen victim to the land grabbing.

Neben den Monoplantagen entstehen neue Siedlungen mit Häusern, in denen die Angestellten der Kautschukfirmen leben

Next to the monoculture plantations, new settlements are being built where the workers of the rubber companies live.

Neth besucht die Familien regelmässig zuhause und tauscht sich mit ihnen aus.

Neth regularly visits the families at home and talks to them. This farmer has recently started planting Sacha Inchi. He talks to Neth about natural pesticides.

Im Biolandbau finden die Indigenen eine Alternative für ihre Existenzsicherung und Zuversicht und Hoffnung für ihre Gemeinschaft.

Nhong Prak and Ming Chuy are employed by BIPA. They advise the farmers in technical know-how. In organic farming the indigenous people have found an alternative method of cultivation to secure their livelihood as well as confidence and hope for their community.

Methoden des biologischen Landbaus.

Ming and Nhong ride their motorcycles from house to house and demonstrate methods of organic agriculture to the farming families in seven villages.

BIPA lehrt, biologischen Dünger herzustellen. Dorfgemeinschaft bewirtschaftet gemeinsam ein Pfefferfeld mit 600 Pfefferstangen.

Kros Sok (left) has learned how to produce organic fertilizer with BIPA. His village community jointly cultivates a pepper field with 600 pepper plants. The profit is divided among all the farmers and used e.g. for school fees or hospital costs. The vegetable field next to it is also community land and its produce belongs to everyone who works on it.

Anbau von biologischem Gemüse

This elderly woman is being advised by BIPA how to grow organic vegetable at home. She also plants a lot of garlic, which she loves.

Pokhat Seav mischt seinen flüssigen Dünger aus Kürbis, Papaya und Büffelkot mit menschlichem Urin, was sich gut auf seine Pfefferpflanzen auswirkt.

Pokhat Seav is a “fertilizer pioneer”: he produces a liquid fertilizer from a mixture of pumpkin, papaya and buffalo manure with human urine, which has a good effect on his pepper plants. At the beginning, the neighbours were making fun of Pokhat. Today nobody laughs about his fertilizer invention, because Pokhat’s pepper plants are growing excellently.

Neth im Garten einer Bäuerin, die mit der Beratung durch BIPA zum ersten Mal Sacha Inchi anpflanzt.

Neth Prak in the garden of a farmer who has planted Sacha Inchi for the first time on the advice of BIPA. Neth regularly visits the farming families at home and exchanges ideas with them.

Landrechtsforderungen, die Neth gegenüber den Firmen vertritt

Neth talks to a farmer about the current state of the land rights claims that he represents against the companies. The Bunong trust Neth because he takes their concerns seriously and keeps his promises. They respect him as a mediator within their community and as a representative of the Bunong in the official talks with the rubber companies.

Hier werden wichtige Themen wie Anbaupraktiken und Vermarktung von Produkten wie Avocado, Pfeffer und Sacha Inchi besprochen.

The farmers from the surrounding villages regularly gather in the office of BIPA. Here, important topics as for example cultivation practices and the marketing of products such as avocado, pepper and Sacha Inchi are discussed.

Many Bunong grow pepper today, which they can sell well. This gives them security in their vulnerable situation due to the land loss. However, they must continue to diversify their agricultural cultivation. BIPA therefore grows a variety of seedlings that are sold to the farmers at an affordable price.