Health and Prevention Services in 30 Local Communities

Project location: GUATEMALA, Chimaltenango
Project start date: June 2009 - Project end date: March 2010
Project number: 2009-49
Beneficiary: Istituto per la Cooperazione Universitaria Onlus

 In accordance with a UNICEF report published in April 2008 ("La niñez guatemalteca en cifras"), Guatemala is the Latin-American country presenting the highest malnutrition rate among children (49,3%) and this percentage reaches dramatic rates (69,5%) in the indigenous area.
This situation is not only the result of the lack of food but also of the bad food habits (the consumption of fruits and vegetables is low also when those kind of foods are present) and the bad hygiene, that causes gastric diseases with dramatic consequences when combined with malnutrition.
With the support received from the Peretti Foundation, ICU and FUDI will assure to the schoolchildren the improvement of health conditions and train their parents to better feed them in family life. These objectives are coherent with the goal of the Peretti Foundation of improving the future of children.


ICU is an NGO established in 1966, has realized about 350 projects in 32 developing countries for a total of 115M€. The Institute is acknowledged as a cooperation and development NGO by the European Commission and by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs; partner of the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO); registered as International Private Voluntary Organization at the US Agency for International Development (USAid); member of the Board of Directors of the Red Europe-Arabe de ONG de Desarrollo e Integración (READI).
ICU carries cooperation and development projects in the Southern Countries and promotes information and education initiatives about international cooperation and solidarity. ICU carried and carries projects in the following sectors: education and professional training; hygiene and health; rural development; woman promotion; social development and emergency, development of university cooperation. In its programs ICU pays special attention to the training of local people with the purpose of fostering an autonomous and sustainable development. Moreover ICU realizes short time emergency projects in case of serious disasters with the objective of saving human lives, reducing sufferings and preventing further damages. This lead to a strong understanding with the local population and allows to understand primary needs to set up development actions to be carried after the emergency period.
The local partner for this project we are proposing to Nando Peretti Foundation is the Fundacion para el Desarollo Integral (FUDI), a non-profit organization established in 1976 to face primary needs after the earthquake in Guatemala. In 1996 FUDI started to work in the Tecpàn region through the set up of the Rural Promotion Centre Utz Samaj, that means "Good Job" in Cakchiquel. FUDI offers a complete assistance to local cakchiquel population, through training and microcredit services in the rural sector (Utz Samaj centre), health services (Aq'on Jay centre) and woman promotion (Ixoqui' centre). In the health sector, Fudi activities reach 89 rural communities (aldeas and caserios) of the Chimaltenango Department. The objective is to contribute to the integration of the inhabitants in the society of Guatemala, through the improvement of their living conditions. To reach this objective FUDI offers different services to the neighbouring communities through the mentioned centres. FUDI and its centres are economically sustainable, mainly thanks to local donations and international projects.
In the last 4 years FUDI and ICU cooperated in the execution of projects financed by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lombardia Region and CEI (Conference of Italian Bishops). Moreover, FUDI carried other projects through partnerships with the Government of Navarra (Spain) and the Spanish Cooperation.
ICU cooperated with FUDI from 2005, especially in health and nutrition sectors, and at the moment this activity is the core of their relationships.

This project co-funded by the Nando Peretti Foundation will operate in 30 indigenous (Maya Cakchiquel) communities (30.000 people) that are not reached by the Guatemala's public health system. FUDI has an agreement with the Government of Guatemala to avoid overlapping and complement respective efforts. Those 30 communities addressed by the project will be reached through an extension of the service that FUDI already offers to other 57 communities (60.000 people) from the end of the ‘90s on in a fully sustainable way.
The activities of the whole project are:
- Medical assistance in the communities through regular visits of two medical teams composed by a doctor, a nurse and a dentist which directly go to the communities, and through medical and dental assistance offered by the medical centre of the Foundation in Tecpan (Clinica de dia Aq'on Jay).
- Training of 60 health promoters and 60 midwives (2 for each community), trained by doctors and midwives.
- Supply of drugs to the trained health promoters; this allows to successfully attend ill people in the community itself, where the patient can receives a first diagnosis and the essential drugs for a basic care (antibiotics, vitamins and minerals, etc.). This activity is the key success and sustainability factor in the other 57 communities that FUDI already serves.
-Training of schoolchildren and their mothers on hygiene and nutrition.
- Installation of filters for drinking water in 30 schools and 300 poor families in the 30 communities.
- Providing kits for personal care and school maintenance in 30 schools
- Providing sanitary equipment and sewage installations in 30 schools and sewage systems for 150 families
With the specific contribution of the Nando Peretti Foundation for this project we can reach the 30 new communities with the following services that already had a positive and sustainable impact in communities that were previously reached:
- Providing kits for personal care for schoolchildren and school maintenance equipment in 30 schools;
- providing drugs in 30 communities;
- providing sanitary equipment and sewage installations in 30 schools and sewage systems for 150 families;
- providing bathrooms with sewage systems in 15 schools, rehabilitating bathrooms in 15 more schools and providing bathrooms and sewage systems to 150 households.
The project is coordinating with public health services of the Government of Guatemala through an agreement for the geographical areas and the offered services. This agreement guarantees the synergy of the respective efforts and avoids overlapping and duplication.

Expected results of the project: for the 30 new communities, the expected results are:
• Each person of the 30 communities will have access to a basic medical service in his community through the continuous assistance provided by health promoters and trained nurses, through the availability of drugs (managed by the health promoter) and the continuous phone consulting with the doctors of Aq'on Jay medical centre.
• Each schoolchild of the 30 communities will have access to a healthier school environment thanks to the new courtyards floors that will prevent infections.
• The 300 poorest families of the 30 communities will have access to a healthier familiar environment thanks to the Onil stoves that will prevent respiratory and ocular infections thanks to the smoke production decreasing due to a better stove efficiency and to the correct smoke evacuation by the houses.
• The schools and the 300 poorest families of the 30 communities will have access to drinkable water thanks to the installation of filters. This will also contribute to the decrease of illness rate.
• The schoolchildren of the 30 schools will have better habits and knowledge in terms of personal and environmental hygiene thanks to the training and to the constitution of a student committee inside the schools to foster the respect of the rules of hygiene.


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