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LVM Grant Recipients 2012

Dear Supporters of Las Vidas Mejoradas,

We at LVM are happy to announce our grant recipients. Our decision was reached after much deliberation. It was important to us to select a project that not only reflected our mission but also affected the greatest number of people, and that our grant go to complete a project rather than fund a portion of an ongoing project.

With that said, we have selected the Abre Puertas Project, “Integrated Adolescent Leadership and Healthy Development Program” as our first choice and as our second, Living Heart’s “Repair and Upgrade of a School Greenhouse”. Both will be provided a $500 grant.

The Abre Puertas Project will take place in the community of Coya, approximately one hour from Cuzco. Their program, one year old, is housed in a building donated by the municipality and functions as a community education center serving all generations. Like many Andean communities, little exists in the way of after school opportunities or academic support, with high drop-out rates, teen pregnancy and adults struggling with the problems of alcoholism, illiteracy, and limited economic opportunities. This particular project will take place over six months and will focus on developing leadership opportunities for adolescents. Plans are to form a youth advisory board of 20 members, ages 12-16 that will meet monthly and create projects benefiting the larger community of 50 children and adolescents,. Monthly workshops and/or roundtable discussions suggested by the advisory board will be held with upcoming topics that range from traditional dance and music, to alcoholism and domestic violence. An English study group will support those studying English in school. And most intriguing, a three month long series on sexual health and prevention will be held weekly.

Our second selection is Living Heart’s proposal of a Repair and Upgrade of a School Greenhouse. This project will take place in a highland community above Pisaq, 4000 m above sea level. Living Heart currently has a nutrition program in this locale and feels residents to be very united. An extremely dedicated school director named Emilio has singlehandedly changed the local school from a drab, ruined building to one of the most modern in the area, with many educational materials, the greenhouse, a modern and efficient kitchen, big classrooms and clean toilets and showers. They propose to train Emilio in organic cultivation, greenhouse maintenance and compost making. The greenhouse needs repair; soil will be improved by organic means; and the plastic replaced. The school will be provided with a water tank, hoses, and water connections for the greenhouse, as well as needed tools and seeds. This program will complement their already existing and successful nutrition program.

We are thrilled at the opportunity to partner with Abre Puertas and Living Heart in programs supporting our mutual missions in education and health in the Sacred Valley of Peru!

We will keep you updated on both projects via newsletter and at our web site www.vidasmejoradas.org .

In closing, please consider supporting these small, yet important projects in education and health by making a donation, or by attending our fundraiser to be held in late March in Eugene, Oregon.

We can create better lives, now and in the future.

Thank you,

Laurie Iaccino, RN

President, Las Vidas Mejoradas

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