New stoves, Medical Clinic, and Houses
Harald Leibrecht (President, CEPA Foundation) and his wife Uli Leibrecht (Director of CEPA Foundation) visited our global engagement aid project in Vuelta Grande, Guatelmala this January in order to evaluate the latest developments.
Although a lot was achieved in Vuelta Grande in a short period of time, we are still at the beginning of our development project there. Much more financial and direct support is needed to achieve our ultimate goal – helping these people help themselves.
The village of Vuelta Grande is close to the ancient city of Antigua, which is an UNESCO World Heritage site.
New stoves for Vuelta Grande
Thank you to our generous donars who helped us drastically improve the living conditions of the people in Vuelta Grande. Most all of the families received new smokeless and wood-saving stoves. In the past, the small houses were covered in poisoning smoke since they had no other option but to cook over an open fire. As a result, all children and most of the adults in the village suffered from respiratory disorders.
Vuelta Grande – a village is developing
At least once a year Uli and Harald Leibrecht travel to Guatemala in order to stay abreast of the latest developments in Vuelta Grande. All families are very happy with the new stoves. In order to show their gratitude, the people of Vuelta Grande gave a joyful reception for Uli and Harald.
New shoes and toys for Christmas
Since this last visit was over the Christmas holidays, Uli and Harald gave every child of Vuelta Grande a new pair of shoes and a toy. These presents where sponsored by the local shoe industry and other donations. Thank you to Ingrid Juarez-Brenner, president of the Free Heart Foundation who was able to obtain their gifts in kind and support.
Thank you Techo!
New houses for a better future
Last year Techo a NGO from Chile build many new small houses in Vuelta Grande. This is an impressive example of how development aid can positively change the lives of people. In a meeting with representatives of Techo, they explained that they are not only prepared to build more houses for the families but will help us to build a small community center in Vuelta Grande which will also be used as learning center and elementary school. This building will be used for numerous other purposes such as counseling the people on health and hygiene. CEPA Foundation will co-sponsor this project and will need to secure approx. $3.000 – $4.000 in financial support and donations.
Although the first effort to introduce simple water filters to the families was not successful, we will try again. Clean water is essential and a basic necessity for everyone. We need to educate the people in Vuelta Grande and explain to them how important clean water is. What seems natural to many is something they simply do not know. Due to the lack of a sufficient water supply and wells, clean water remains the main problem in Vuelta Grande. We need to overcome this problem in the near future. All of the children suffer from infectious diseases and parasites such as worms. Dirty water is the main carrier for such life-threatening diseases.
Rotary Club Antigua/Guatemala
Following the great support by the Rotary Club Antigua for our project we will support them from our side in a school project. In the village of Saint Mateo, which is in the neighborhood of Vuelta Grande, a small library is needed. As a sign of thankfulness, the CEPA Foundation, will support this project financially.
Our clinic – small but vital!
The health center in Vuelta Grand is a great success. Every Sunday, the doctor opens his practice for free medical consultations. Our association pays for the doctor, the equipment, and medicine needed. Malnutrition and underfeeding is one of the central problems. In the future, a nutrition specialist will come to Vuelta Grande monthly in order to educate the people on how to eat a balanced diet, healthy food and hygiene. Some of the medicines needed are donated by other doctors from the region. However, most of the pharmaceuticals need to be purchased locally by our organization.
The clinic in Vuelta Grande is small but vital to the people since they have no access to the health system in Guatemala. Although simple, the little clinic is a blessing for the people there.
Projects for 2015
Besides the current projects, we will concentrate our efforts on improving the sanitary situation Vuelta Grande. We plan to purchase over 100 dry toilettes, so called latrinas. Based on money available, we will decide how many such toilettes we will purchase. We need to purchase more stoves in order to provide every family with one. As mentioned above, another goal is to help integrate the water filters into the village. The Rotary Club Antigua will donate these to the families.
Since education is the key to a better future we will keep this topic in mind. We will see more scholarships to provide for a better education. Last but not least, we need to improve the drinking water situation in Vuelta Grande. As in the past, we plan to have several fundraising eventst, such as charity concerts. This summer, we will participate in the cultural concert week at the castle and CEPA Foundation headquarters, in Ingersheim, Germany.