Dear Friends of the Chijnaya Foundation
Warm greetings and our sincere thanks to all of you for your continued and generous support of the Foundation. As the recently elected President and the new Operations Manager, we write on behalf of the Board with an update on the situation in Peru and the activities underway as the communities in the Altiplano prepare to deal with the consequences of the pandemic.
Kimmy and I are in close contact with the Pro-DIA staff and have had a number of Zoom sessions to reassess our plans for the spring of 2020. As many of you know Peru declared a state of emergency in early March and closed its borders. Travel within Peru is extremely restricted and to the extent possible Peruvians have been advised to stay at home. The Pro-DIA staff is following national guidelines, while at the same time attempting to maintain contact with the communities in the Chijnaya network. To date few cases have appeared in the Altiplano, yet we are all aware of the potential for the virus to spread and the vulnerability of our communities when that spread occurs.
Fortunately, the annual meeting of the Foundation and Pro-DIA took place in January 2020, in Arequipa and therefore, our plans for the year are in place. While the staff is working from home a number of important initiatives can be advanced. For instance, Rosmery Montesinos, the director of our group savings program is developing a curriculum for financial literacy that will be appropriate both for schools and media broadcasts. Dr. Madelca Aragon is working with a new member of the Pro-DIA Board on an assessment plan for the Dental program, as well as coordinating with local health authorities to prepare training sessions on best practices to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, so that community members are well-informed with prevention measures in case the virus reaches their communities. Lic. Jhuver Aguirre is working with our scholarship students who are facing the challenge of canceled University programs and delayed operations. He is also working on improving the monitoring and evaluation plan for the Economic Development Program in order to better assess the impact of projects on communities. We will continue to work with the Pro-DIA team to adjust our programmatic plans and assist the communities where we work as the situation evolves. In sum, while movement in the Altiplano is restricted, productive work is still underway thanks to the superb efforts of the Pro-DIA staff and the financial support of donors to the Chijnaya Foundation.
During these challenging times, the Foundation’s commitment to our staff and our continued assistance to the communities of the Peruvian Altiplano remain unchanged. We are grateful to the leadership of Ralph Bolton, who, as Founder and President of the Chijnaya Foundation for the past 15 years, has provided the sustained involvement that long term successful development requires. Finally, nothing would have been accomplished without the generosity of donors like you who have invested in the people and communities of the Altiplano. We hope you will continue to support their efforts, especially in the days ahead. The need has never been greater.
Please continue to take care of yourselves and your loved ones during this extraordinary time.
With our sincere thanks and best wishes,
Susan (Susie) C. Bourque, President
Kimberly (Kimmy) Mazza, General Operations Manager