Kusimayo fights anemia and illiteracy in children in Puno, Peru
The Miles de Sueños program provides the children of Puno with adequate nutrition, health and education
Puno is one of the poorest regions in Peru and, as a result, its children, who are among the most vulnerable population groups living there, suffer the consequences of the lack of basic services, the scarcity of employment opportunities for families and the difficulty of maintaining adequate nutrition. In Puno, 76% of children under 3 years of age suffer from anemia.
Anemia not only affects the healthy physical development of these children, but also impairs their cognitive development. Of every 6 children, 1 will not be able to reach their full genetic potential, and 3 will not receive an adequate education.
Kusimayo works in the region to put an end to anemia. Its tools, channeled through the Miles de Sueños [Thousands of Dreams] program, are daily breakfasts, the distribution of school and cleaning supplies, infrastructure improvements such as water pumps, latrines, stoves, gas and adequate furniture, and workshops to empower mothers and teachers to ensure healthy and highly functional nutrition.
The children receive breakfast according to a weekly program. It is prepared with the support of a nutritionist, who ensures the inclusion of a daily protein so that the children are better nourished and develop properly during their first 5 years of life.
Mothers actively participate in the preparation of dishes such as kumquat with liver kebabs, chicken fingers with mashed green potatoes, sautéed sweetbreads with bell pepper rice or cañihuaco pancakes, among others, all of which contain the nutrients needed to overcome anemia and malnutrition.
The program also strives to increase school attendance, while motivating teachers and involving parents in their children’s education.
Kusimayo replaces the spiral of poverty with a virtuous circle, involving the entire community: mothers are in charge of preparing the breakfasts, the school belongs to the community and teachers are assigned by the local education authority (Ministry of Education).
Thanks to this association, today 550 children in 45 rural communities receive adequate food and go to school regularly.