BENEFITING: VILLAGE EMPOWERMENT INC
The region around Huarmey, Peru, a desert-like area. has been dealing with the effects of severe flooding due to El Niño rains. People are running out of food, there is no power and a lack of drinking water and transportation. Homes and farms have been washed away in the valleys above Huarmey, which are desperate for assistance. UMass Lowell students, staff, and volunteers have made 29 trips in the past to the area to help install solar water and radio systems in remote clinics and towns. Village Empowerment Inc. is a non-profit created by one of UMass Lowell’s very own faculty members. Professor Emeritus John Duffy of UML, created this program for the development of other communities. Chela, a resident of Huarmey and long-time collaborator with Village Empowerment, lost a family home and entire farm, plus the solar water pumping system the organization helped her family to install. In spite of their own loss, she and her family are helping deliver bags of food and bottled water to residents of more remote villages. It has been difficult for relief to reach the remote villages and farms above Huarmey, where it is the most needed. The prolonging of these overwhelming living conditions puts a strain on security, greatly endangers the people, and stunts economic growth. Village Empowerment (501c) is trying to raise additional funds for more bags of food and water and solar systems to provide minimal electricity. The areas around Huarmey remain without power. Donations will help the people in and around Huarmey immensely, by alleviating the dangerous living conditions these families are currently in.