The Borgen Project begrudgingly gave up a great International Affairs intern, Karen Lee, in January. After her internship, Karen moved to Peru to work at a nonprofit. She was a wonderful addition to our Seattle team and her enthusiasm is missed here everyday. Karen stays in touch, however, and she sent us these photos to show that The Borgen Project is still on her mind even as she travels the globe. It’s great to see The Borgen Project in Peru!




Whitney Garrett

Children of Peru Foundation
In 2006, Edouard and Zaralina Ruelle created The Children of Peru Foundation. The two had explored Peru—witnessing the marvelous ruins of ancient civilizations of the ancient peoples. They stood speechless in the magical places of Macchu Picchu and Chanchan, and discovered the beauty in Titicaca Lake and the dense forest areas.While traveling and exploring, it was hard for the couple not to notice and sympathize for many children walking the streets living in poverty. The children were working, not attending school and suffering with disease. Edouard and Zaralina later found out these children lived in dysfunctional families where sexual abuse was common, were victims of child labor and did not have adequate access to healthcare.The couple created the not-for-profit organization in the United States, and began raising money to help finance NGOs in Peru who were dedicated to helping impoverished children in Peru. The Foundation has a six-person board of directors who meet regularly to develop policies and check on progress.

The organization’s mission statement is as follows: “The Children of Peru Foundation is dedicated to building a better future for poor children in Peru. We raise funds to make grants to a select group of non-governmental organizations working in Peru to provide better healthcare and education for poor children.”

One such organization funded by Children of Peru Foundation is a French organization called Samusocial Peru. This organization has been working in Huaycan, an impoverished neighborhood near Lima, since 2005. They utilize two medical mobile units and do rotations in Huycan, looking for children who need medical services. Their services include educating parents on hygiene practices, and help dysfunctional families aiming in large part to end child abuse. Also noteworthy, the Foundation worked with this organization to develop a program to fight tuberculosis, as well as rebuild the high school in Huycan.

Another organization Children of Peru Foundation funds is called Medical Missions for Children (MMFC). MMFC is U.S founded, and seeks to provide free surgery and dental services to poor children worldwide. They organize an annual mission to Cuzco, Peru to provide free surgeries, including cleft lips and palates, as well as microtia, to impoverished children.

The Children of Peru Foundation clearly impacts the lives of Peruvian children struggling with family issues, poor health care and lack of education, through financial assistance.

– Laura Reinacher

Sources: UNICEF, Children of Peru

A mother’s typical question to a child, “did you wash your hands?” may have seemed like a pesky reminder when growing up, but research shows that hand-washing is one of the most important and live-saving habits that can be instilled in a society. Hand-washing with soap has been shown to reduce the incidence of diarrhea by almost one half and of acute respiratory infections by roughly one third.

Since hand-washing is one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce deaths of children under five from diseases like diarrhea and pneumonia – possibly by up to 70% -, the global health soap brand Lifebuoy is teaming up with USAID to create a neonatal program designed to raise awareness of the link between newborn survival and hand washing with soap.

The program targets new mothers and birth attendants through antenatal clinics and health workers. The campaign also uses innovative videos to appeal to the mother’s maternal instinct by communicating the message “hand-washing helps your child survive.” Persuasive advocates such as the Indian actress Kajol also support the cause and help generate awareness of the importance of hand-washing, especially after having used the toilet or before preparing food.

Another initiative which aims to modify everyday behavior is the Global Scaling Up Hand-washing Project, supported by the World Bank in countries such as Peru, Senegal, Tanzania, and Vietnam. These interventions found that while will and motivation to change habits might be present, hand-washing is also dependent on the ease of access to both water and soap. In this way, the program has aimed to make changes in the way soap and water are accessed in households.

The initiative has also found that in countries such as Senegal, men can also play a critical part in the behavior-changing process. Since they are seen as the role-models or leaders of their households, future interventions will also incorporate campaigns that include or are aimed at men.

– Nayomi Chibana
Feature Writer 

Sources: USAID, World Bank
Photo: Old Picture of the Day

Jim Yong Kim
CARABAYLLO, Peru — This week, the President of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, returned to the small village of Carabayllo in Peru, where he has been working for many years to reduce Tuberculosis. Kim co-founded the health NGO, Socios en Salud (SES), in 1994, and has since served an estimated population of 700,000 inhabitants of small shantytowns around the capital, Lima. A sister organization of Partners in Health (PIH), the history of SES provides a poignant lesson on fighting poverty.

When SES was founded, its main focus was primary healthcare, but this changed when a Boston priest working in Carabayllo died of multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB). President Kim launched an investigation, which soon found many others in the region suffering from drug-resistant TB. From there on, the organization came up against many challenges.

The government initially refused to treat the TB patients, and when they did agree, the costs were huge. After securing funding from a Boston philanthropist, 75 people suffering from MDR-TB were treated. In such a poor community, this was almost unprecedented. Only in Haiti had a small group of people been successfully treated in a similar setting. But, after four months of treatment, 90% of the patients in Carabayllo no longer had infectious TB, and it was this success that led the World Bank to support MDR-TB treatment in the developing world.

President Kim visited the small village in Peru, and made acute observations about the needs of the community, acknowledging that the fight against MDR-TB was not only a medical problem, but a social justice problem, too. Jamie Bayona, co-founded of SES, said of President Kim “his approach was fixing the problem from the root, not just from what was bothering them on the surface. Socios treated people, and also offered counseling, job training, and food packets.”

This represented a learning curve for both President Kim and the World Bank. Kim said in an interview that the World Bank is not just about financing and macro-economic policy, but also about working in communities like Carabayllo to address issues of poverty, and find lasting solutions. In addition to treating people with MDR-TB, SES took the decision to go one step further – to provide food, shelter and emotional support. “Doing all those things was a litmus test, a test for society. If [societies] could do that, my goodness, what else could you do for people and for the world?” Kim concluded.

– Chloe Isacke

Source: World Bank