Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Young Peruvian family receives the all clear from doctors about TB

Two of our young people, Natali and Hugo, and their family were diagnosed with TB back in March. But, thankfully, they have now been given the all clear by doctors.

Hugo is now officially non-contagious, even though he has to continue his treatment for at least another four months. Four-year-old Luís is also non-contagious and has been allowed to go back to his nursery. He too will have to continue his treatment for several months yet, but he's very glad to be able to see his little nursery friends again.

Baby Lenny hasn't caught the disease and Natali is undergoing regular tests for the foreseeable future to make sure that she's still clear. She has been able to go back to work at her training placement with Wall Luxury Essentials and is coping very well.

The Colour of Hope continues to provide regular financial and emotional support to this young family, mainly thanks to funds donated from Wall staff. This is enabling them to eat a better diet, including fresh fruit and vegetables, vitamin supplements and high protein foods.

Despite all their problems and difficulties, Natali and Hugo are two of our most highly motivated young people. They always put their all into caring for their two children and really deserve the support they are receiving. Once again, thank you to all those who are involved in helping this young family.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Ten thousand Peruvians march through Lima in support of Amazonian people

For two months, indigenous Amazonian people have rallied against laws which they say will open their lands to oil and gas drilling. Violence erupted last Friday in the town of Bagua Grande when more than 2000 native people - many of them carrying spears and machetes - launched a protest over the Peruvian government's drilling plans. About 30 to 50 protesters and 24 police officers were killed in the worst clashes for at least a decade.

After visiting the area, 1400km (870 miles) north of the capital Lima, rights lawyers said hundreds of people could not be accounted for. Indigenous groups are insisting that the government be tried for crimes against humanity. One of the lawyers, Ernesto de la Jara, urged the government to begin an independent judicial investigation.

"Dead bodies may be covered up for now but, little by little, the truth will come out and they (the authorities) will have to respond," said de la Jara. But the government denies any wrongdoing and has launched a publicity campaign portraying the murders of policemen as acts of savagery.

"It has been irrefutably proven that the police were tortured and killed," Maria Zavala, Peru's ambassador to the Organization of American States, said in a speech in Washington.

Approximately ten thousand Peruvians marched through the centre of Lima yesterday in support of the Amazonian people. Riot squads had to use tear gas to prevent protesters from reaching the Congress building. Watch this short clip of the chaos that reigned in Lima's streets.

Text coutesy of the BBC and Living in Peru

Friday, 5 June 2009

Chronic child malnutrition in Peru will drop to 16% in 2011

At the end of 2007, an estimated 750 thousand Peruvian children were suffering from chronic malnutrition in Peru.

Yet in 2011, chronic child malnutrition will drop to 16 percent in Peru, said the executive secretary of the Fight Against Poverty Discussion Forum (MCLCP), Félix Grandez. This reduction will mainly be seen in children under the age of three who live in rural areas.

Grandez added that anemia will have dropped to 20% among children and pregnant women by the same year.

He also remarked that the government is investing approximately 1.2 million dollars in programs to help poor rural populations.

Yet 16% is still an awfully large percentage of the country's child population. It's a reminder that even though Peru's economy is expanding and exports are beginning to increase, the country still has many serious internal problems to deal with.

Text courtesy of Living in Peru

Peruvian Shining Path terrorists recruit child soldiers

Alan Garcia, President of Peru, has said that Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) will be sued for using child soldiers in their armed conflict against the state.

The terrorists are said to use children to kill wounded soldiers. “This is something very serious, horrific and inhuman that even the world's ruthless terrorist groups have never done", said Garcia at a press conference. It is something that deserves to be sued at international bodies such as the Organization of American States (OAS), the United Nations and the European Parliament.

Last week, Peru was shocked by national programme Punto Final's footage of children brandishing weapons as members of the Shining Path movement. The platoon was led by a boy of about 10 years old. The programme, shown on Peruvian television channel "Frecuencia Latina", shows the training of 17 children armed with automatic weapons and wearing military fatigues.

Click the video link below to see a clip of the footage.

Text courtesy of Andina News Agency