In Zaña, Flor Reaño is helping people survive this pandemic and stay healthy and safe during lockdown. Flor directs Latidos, one of Heart-Links partner organizations in northern Peru. She wrote us recently about the very difficult conditions in the Zaña Valley right now and the brave actions she and Latidos have undertaken to ensure people in her community are getting the help they need. Will you make a donation to help Flor continue this important work?
“Today I couldn’t rest, what with trying to analyse and see what to do in the days that are coming with the lifting of quarantine, thinking of the most vulnerable,” Flor wrote. “I think about the collapse of the health care system that awaits us because people don’t understand what they have to do to stay safe, and they don’t value their health.”
Although Zaña has so far managed to keep the number of COVID-19 cases low, people there depend on hospital care in nearby Chiclayo, one of the hardest-hit places in Peru. The father of one of Latidos’ volunteers died recently after contracting the virus in the hospital there.
Flor knows the time to act to prevent greater tragedy is now. She is one of many local partners who are helping Heart-Links understand evolving needs in the communities we support. We decided early on to allow our partners to use existing funds from Heart-Links for immediate pandemic needs. Quick action was critical to reach the most vulnerable.
“We are trying to help as much as we can, coordinating with the authorities so as not to duplicate efforts,” she says. “Mostly I go alone, as many of my team members have their older parents or children in their homes, so I don’t want them exposed.” Flor has even given lodging in her home to soldiers who are in town to help with disinfection.
What new and critical projects have emerged? Flor is working with her library team to convert reading material into a virtual format to help parents. For families who do not have access to digital media or the government’s televised learning program, they are delivering print materials and books.
In agriculture, Flor is supplying rural mothers with vegetable seeds and instructions so they can grow healthy produce at home for themselves and their families to eat. She is also helping out farmers in neighbouring rural communities by buying their produce and donating it to families in need.
“It’s let us reach many families of scarce resources and to identify the very vulnerable families we can continue to support in different ways,” Flor says. Latidos is also helping deliver medicines and protective gear like masks to health care providers, front line allies, vulnerable families, and businesses that are helping disinfect streets and homes.
On Mother’s Day, Flor was able to bring some positivity to the people she serves. She joined a police parade on horseback to send greeting to all the mothers in Zaña and went door to door to deliver masks, chocolates and other small gifts “to brighten their day.”
How is Flor coping with the pandemic? “What I value most is the strength God has given me at every moment and the presence of people like you who were put in my path, who enable me to continue helping, and make my family and my team part of this whole social endeavour.”
Flor’s words, her commitment and bravery confirm that Heart-Links’ work in Peru is needed now more than ever. Your support is needed now more than ever. Show your support for Flor’s bravery with a gift today.