Q'ero and Waves for Water !!!
VCF has finally accomplished one of it's original goals for the Q'ero people of the high Andes in Peru.
To find a feasible way to provide clean water, free of parasites. Thanks to Pamela Anderson and the Ellen show, we found Waves for Water, run by Jon Rose. These amazing filters provide clean water for 5-6 years, are easy to assemble, and have no breakable parts. It is amazing how easy it truly is to provide clean water at a very reasonable cost of $50. USD per family!
We still have many families to bring filters to so if you would like to help us, we would appreciate all donations. Our hope is to bring the entire Q'ero Nation filters in September 2012!
A Note From Jon Rose, W4W.
Their eyes widen… jaws drop… and they stand taller – proud like. It is magical.
I forget how magical it really is sometimes because I am so close to it. Here’s a quick snapshot of what this moment usually looks like - we take a local water source that sometimes looks the same color as an IPA beer, run it through the filter system that we built in a matter of minutes (with nothing but a 5 gal bucket and a knife) and viola -- out comes crystal clear potable water. It is amazing… But the best part is that it’s real - no illusions, just a perfect shiny example of technological evolution. And the proof… Well, using the most extreme example, it’s about as simple as this – we go into a community where people are dying… we do our program – they stop dying.
But it’s the “Light Bulb” moment that makes my heart expand every time. Watching people’s reactions when the only water source they’ve ever known, goes from dark to light is priceless.
I recently got the opportunity to do a project with a few of the Q’ero villages in the Peruvian Andes. An incredible woman by the name of Denise Kinch reached out to us and asked if we’d be interested in partnering up with her to provide these villages with clean water. Her foundation, Vanishing Cultures, has been working with these particular villages for 20 years, aiding them on many fronts. She has also studied and practiced their spiritual belief system for just as long and is now a renowned teacher of such ways herself.
She has devoted much of her life to helping this community that most of the world doesn’t even know exists. I’ve done this long enough now to know that there are indigenous communities all over the world that have slipped through the cracks and are literally receiving zero help of any kind. Mostly its due to proximity – just getting to the Q’eros is a feat. The physical difficulty alone cuts down the abilities of many aid groups and if no one goes; then no one knows they exist, let alone the problems they face. There are pockets like this all over the world and ever since starting W4W I have loved finding these pockets. It may just be habit from my days of surf exploration, but really I think it comes from a bigger notion, one that strikes a very deep chord. It’s the notion of the “forgotten ones” – the people around the world that for whatever reason have found themselves in the shadows. There are out there in the farthest corners with the same basic needs as everyone else, but there’s no ears listening to them. I absolutely love my work and no matter who the recipient is, it always boils down to this – humans helping humans with the basic needs we are ALL entitled to. That said, I get an extra level of expansion when we get an opportunity to help the “forgotten ones”.
From a W4W standpoint this journey was right up our alley – rugged adventure + humanitarianism… it’s what we’ve always done and a perfect example of our philosophy in action: Do what you love to do and help along the way.
Thanks to Hurley and badass lens-man, Tom Aiello, this journey was documented. I will let the video do its job at sharing the rest of this epic mission with you. Please check it out… and if you feel inclined to share it, I’m very grateful for it! Also, big ups to Rob Machado for creating/playing the closing song for this video!
W4W Q’ero Project video: http://vimeo.com/41105974
VCF has accomplished one of its original and most difficult goals for the Q’ero Nation. We have been looking for a filter that could be available to everyone, easy to use, have no complicated parts, would not break as soon as we left the village and had a long working life (5-6 years). Thank you Pamela Anderson, I saw her describing this program on TV!
In October of 2011, VCF led by Denise Kinch in conjunction with Jonathan Rose and Waves for Water delivered clean water filters, which remove all internal parasites, to fifty, yes fifty, families in the high Q’ero villages of Chua Chua and Challma Champana!
For the first time in the life of the Q’ero Nation the possibility of not ingesting internal parasites and associated stomach problems from the water sources has ever been possible in the Q’ero Villages!
We had a small group of folks from Washington State, Massachusetts, New York, and Alberta, Canada.
This was a pilot program to test the feasibility of the Q’ero continuing to use these filters. If we have positive results, all Q’ero families will receive a filter.
Our group sat with the people in each village. By hand we bore holes in the buckets used in conjunction with the filters. The inquisitiveness of the people was fascinating, they played with the parts, put the filters together over and over, learned how to clean them to keep them at the highest level of operation, and they assisted each other in the process, we sat back and just watched.
Each village now has a filter representative which will check in monthly. They let us know how things are going, any problems, and what percent of the filters are being used.
We were very excited by the involvement of the Q’ero people for these filters. Watching them work together was a beautiful example of the way of life in these villages…anyi.
VCF also delivered veterinary supplies to treat the internal and external parasites of the six thousand llama, alpaca, and sheep, as well as school supplies toall the students and teachers of the schools in Chua Chua and Challma Chimpana.
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