Regular Donor Report: Asháninka
Summer 2016

Knowledge is even more powerful when it’s shared. This simple fact underpins Cool Earth’s rainforest partnerships. Whether it’s new sustainable methods of fish farming, clever water storage, or the smartest school toilets you’ve ever seen, neighbours sharing bright ideas saves rainforest.

Thanks to you, we’re taking skills sharing to a new level. There is a miracle tree called ‘Inga’ that can improve crop yields sustainably. Asháninka growers wanted to learn more about this revolutionary approach to food gardens. So they went on a very special trip to visit the Inga Foundation in Honduras.

Ashaninka and Awajun on the beach

It was a week of firsts. The first time the growers had been on a plane, and for most of them the first time in another country. It was the first time that the Awajún and Asháninka communities had met each other – a landmark moment in Cool Earth’s history. But it certainly wasn’t the first time we saw local people working together to secure the future of their community.

We realise that our village partners know far more about how to protect their forest than we ever will. That’s why we put the control back in their hands. It’s why the model that you’re backing is the most effective way to save rainforest.

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Fighting child death in Oviri

Cool Earth is obsessed with data. With each new partnership, we collect information about everything, from causes of death to how much hope people have for the future. Collecting data means that we can assess the impact of your funding and constantly improve what we do.

Last year we launched our newest rainforest partnership: Oviri. This village in the central Peruvian rainforest is home to 90 families who are fighting to save their forest from loggers and miners.

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As with all of our new partnerships, we ask people lots of questions about their families, their fears, and their ambitions. In Oviri, access to healthcare is a real concern. It’s often the reason quick cash deals are made with loggers, as emergency evacuations and medicines can cost hundreds of dollars.

Even if there’s enough cash and time to get to the hospital, the Awajún often face racial discrimination from doctors, who may be reluctant to carry out complicated procedures, or even delay simple ones. Having healthcare closer to home, run by the community themselves, could mean better care for everyone.

So we’ve spent some time looking at healthcare needs, particularly for children. Like many of our rainforest partnerships, the most common causes of death are entirely preventable. These stats show the cause of the most recent thirty child mortalities, and they are a tragedy.

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The great news is that we can easily address the reasons for these deaths. So one of the first things the community association in Oviri decided to do was invest Cool Earth funds in training local women to be healthcare promoters. These women are now showing all the families in the partnership simple steps to help prevent diseases. Similar investments have halved the number of child deaths in other areas, and we’re confident they will in Oviri too.

By collecting health data every year, we hope to see that far fewer children will have died needlessly from preventable illnesses. And the Cool Earth model will just get smarter and smarter.

Ashaninka Children from Oviri in Cool Earth's Peru Partnership
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