April 2008: Update to the Global Board (Peru)
The Hunger Project works in partnership with Chirapaq to strengthen and empower a network of 30 indigenous women’s organizations. Primarily under women's leadership, these organizations have promoted access to opportunities, the exercise of women’s and indigenous rights, and collaboration with local and regional governments.
Since the Meeting of the Continental Network of Indigenous Women from the South Region, Chirapaq has become a member of the Consultative Body of Indigenous Peoples of CAN (Comunidad Andina de Naciones), which will allow them to have greater influence in regional politics involving women and indigenous peoples.
At an international level, the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples has required more involvement on the part of the women leaders in lobbying and education about policies. Of particular note are the efforts of women from Junín, Cuzco, Puno and Ayacucho. During 2007, the national political arena saw large protests organized by indigenous organizations in the face of state policies which failed to recognize and rendered vulnerable their social, political and economic rights. The greatest conflicts centered on mining and environmental problems, sustainable resources and the management of biodiversity and indigenous knowledge, all related to rights to intellectual property and the lands and territories of indigenous people.
Main Program Achievements
Indigenous Women's Program
With this program, Chirapaq is able to reach 13 regions in Peru: Ayacucho, Arequipa, Cusco, Puno, Ica, Huancavelica, Junín, Cajamarca, Loreto, Amazonas, Pasco, Madre de Dios and Ucayali. Through its work of training and support, Chirapaq is directly involved with 30 indigenous organizations and 993 male and female indigenous leaders.
As a result, indigenous leaders are being invited to contribute in national and international fora on issues of identity and gender among indigenous peoples, effects of climate change and other issues from the point of view of indigenous peoples. The indigenous leaders have participated in more than a dozen national, regional, and international meetings during this period.
During a National Workshop, which took place in Lima on March 12-14, 2008, 33 indigenous women leaders participated to share and evaluate the opportunities and challenges indigenous women will confront in the coming years and draw up the agenda of priorities of indigenous women, which will be presented at the Permanent Forum of Indigenous Issues, which is taking place at the United Nations in New York the week of April 21.
Moreover, two indigenous leaders, who occupy political positions, traveled to Guatemala to better understand the experiences of the Defensoría de la Mujer Indígena (Defender of Indigenous Women). During this workshop the women also had the opportunity to form ties with indigenous lideresas from Japan, of the Aino People.
Through the electronic newsletter, WAYRA, and the radio program, SAPINCHIKMANTA, Chirapaq has raised awareness of the evolution of the commitments of the state, thereby increasing its influence in raising public consciousness of issues concerning women and indigenous peoples. The trained indigenous women leaders, now knowledgeable about international conventions and agreements, then generated their own advocacy campaigns within their local areas, informing and disseminating legal agreements adopted by the Peruvian government and empowering themselves as leaders.
As a result of the leaders traveling to the workshop in Guatemala, the leaders in Peru replicated what they learned there and developed proposals to design the structure of the indigenous women's organizations.
They also developed actions to lobby for the passage of the Law of Preservation, Use and Spread of Aboriginal Languages of Peru. The leaders mobilized to defend the law and demand its approval in Congress. The leaders collaborated with regional governments in Junín and Ayacucho to have official recognition of the use of the indigenous languages Quechua, Ashaninka and Nomatsiguenga in public spaces.
In the region of Ucayali, Yines women continue to monitor and follow hydrocarbon-producing companies, and lead in the defense of their territory and environment, as well as in promoting the creation of a law for indigenous peoples related to these violations. In addition, they have demanded that issues of water, food security, care for the environment and protection of natural resources be included on local and regional agendas.
In the Amazonian region, the leaders of the Aguaruna advocated for provincial authorities to promote the training and visibility of indigenous women to enable them to more purposefully participate in the development of their province. They also demanded their inclusion in participatory budgeting, thus supporting their initiatives to improve the economic circumstances of their indigenous families.
Economic Development Program
Indigenous organizations are succeding in having their municipal governments commit to funding support for their income-generating activities, such as projects for women artisans, and include the initiatives in their participatory budgets.
In Ayacucho, one organization is continuing to develop a program to generate income based on environmental control, the use of organic waste material, and the development of biogardens. Intercultural Education
Indigenous leaders are mobilizing to participate in the creation of intercultural curriculum for rural education.
Promotion of Organizational Viability and Sustainability
In Cusco, 25 indigenous women leaders of FEMCA Cusco, respond to the demands of their communities to resolve internal conflicts.
30 indigenous organizations have created Oversight/Supervisory and Political Impact Plans to address the problem of discrimination towards indigenous women as well as the implementation of bilingual, intercultural education their regions.
65 indigenous leaders developed skills to improve the internal management of their organizations and avoid political interferences, such as how to deal with mining and oil companies.
Indigenous women leaders, with the support of the Women’s Program, continue to take advantage of opportunities to present Project profiles in order to strengthen their organizations, presenting their work to international foundations and NGOs such as Bread for the World.
Food Security Program
Indigenous leaders continue to work towards improving the food security of indigenous families and promoting the recovery of their knowledge, resources and capacities to help shape the formation of public policies. They have assisted 249 children younger than five years, decreasing chronic malnutrition from 29.7% to 24.46%, general malnutrition from 11.33% to 6.53%, and acute malnutrition from 1.3% to .58%.
To eradicate malnutrition and food scarcity, this year we have trained 14 trainers who direct, promote and replicate agroecological techniques that are prominent and important in local areas. In addition, all of the participating communities have organized supervisory committees and plans for prevention and nutritional recovery, which are all currently functioning.
We also have 225 families experimenting with or implementing one or two key techniques in sustainable agriculture.
With respect to women, 56 women in eight neighborhoods and two communities, have increased their participation in communal meetings (workshops, exchanges, assessments, etc.), and 40 of these women have increased their earnings from small business ventures and from the sale of surplus cultivation.
Ñoqanchiq Program: Comprehensive Indigenous Childhood and Youth Development
This program aims to promote quality intercultural and inclusive education. The program involves 472 indigenous students (256 male and 216 female), increasing its reach by 232 students.
This year we were able to design training materials to facilitate the implementation of intercultural bilingual education in the schools, and to develop follow up procedures in coordination with school administration and parent groups. We have also identified student capable of becoming trainers of indigenous rights, who have gathered concepts of their traditions, histories and views of the indigenous world from the narrations of grandparents and elders.
In addition, we have achieved an active participation of 25 indigenous youth in a successful project against environmental contamination by recycling paper; a proposal developed and carried out by the youth themselves.
Cultural and Political Advocacy Program
Through this program, Chirapaq seeks to contribute to the exercise of the rights of women and indigenous peoples, promoting their participation in decision making processes, and in formulating and implementing national and international policies.
We have facilitated the participation of indigenous leaders in national and international fora to address the rights of women and indigenous people, with complete participation in all programmed events – in the Sixth Session of the Permanent Forum of Indigenous Peoples, the Regional Conferences on Women of the Americas and Caribbean, and the International meeting on Climate Change in Latin America.
Chirapaq also participated in the creation of the Campaign of Solidarity with the indigenous families affected by the earthquake in Ica, which occurred on December 22-23, 2007. Chirapaq delivered modules for emergency housing and resources for economic activity to 215 families affected with the assistance of the Ford Foundation and Madre.
We have also published the book “Creation of Our Network,” which compiles accounts from workshops with the indigenous youth of Peru from 2004-2007, and we have put together materials for brochures and flip charts with guides for nutrition and feeding for young mothers.
In light of the advances and challenges raised by women’s participation in political processes, continuing to work towards the realization of the MDGs at local and regional levels, we put forward the following recommendations:
- Open more spaces for the creation and implementation of specific proposals and the implementation of Political Impact plans at the local regional and national levels; for which it is imperative to develop alliances between and at all levels.
- Strengthen our political discourse and reinforce it with technical knowledge.
- Promote greater public awareness/articulation of the work of the indigenous movement.
- Systematize institutional proposals in the process of validation, for their future promotion as/use in official policy.
- Continue monitoring local, regional, national and international spaces and forums of interest to the indigenous movement.