BELIEVE Project, Part II
Ecocentro Eutopia is an NGO located in Reque, a rural sector of Peru, which developed a curriculum with World Connect's support in 2011 to tackle the lack of education about the environment prevalent in Reque. The curriculum, called CREER (to believe, in Spanish), is focused on a six small projects (raising small animals, beekeeping, creating natural and nutritious dairy products, creating other food products from natural ingredients, permaculture, and agriculture) with the goal of achieving the expansion of environmental awareness and healthy business practices for a cleaner, healthier Reque.
In 2014, Ecocentro Eutopia is seeking to implement the curriculum in local high schools, though students of all ages will be invited to take part. All of the materials used in the courses will be recycled and natural, generating zero waste. There will also be classes focusing on the importance of recycling and nutrition.
By the end of the course, participating students will gain knowledge to start their own small businesses, for example from the experience they had with growing and selling vegetables, or from their work to create dairy and other food products from natural ingredients. Also, students will be encouraged to start small gardens in their own homes, deepening the impact of the project.
The participants loved the workshops and a few women have starting their own income generating activities using the skills they learned. Some are selling homemade yogurt and other natural food products, some are selling hand-made jewelry, and some are selling natural beauty products. In addition to income generating activities, the participants learned about recycling and proper waste management strategies in order to keep the community clean.
"I am a community health promotor- volunteering in the District's Municipality, and so in my free time I practice income generating activities to make money for food or other things. I learned how to make yogurt at the EcoCenter and am able to sell yogurt popsicles made with sweet potato and sometimes fruits. The money I make is helpful in meeting my family's needs." - Anita, Project Participant
"Our EcoCenter has grown into such a positive place to be in the community. The women and youth that come here are able to learn new things every day and we are growing together because of this." - Jose, Project Leader