Spinning with emotion

November 28th, 2013

Continuing my journey from Bolivia, we arrived back in Cusco, Peru – A city that appears to be a back packer’s paradise.

I have been fortunate to see another number of projects across a very broad spectrum, but one that will stay with me for the rest of my life featured multiple technologies that are benefitting families living in small communities in the high Andes.  At first sight, I didn’t feel terribly comfortable with the sight that presented before me and worried I might get emotional. As a first timer to projects and project sites, no amount of imagination could have prepared me for the reality of the absolute lack of access to basic services that these communities are enduring.  These people have very little, but they do have each other and an understanding of the difficulties their families, friends and neighbours face. They are working together to make life better for themselves and Practical Action is working with them to help them achieve a better standard of living.

Practical Action has provided a number of basic services including toilets, cook stoves, sand bar water filter systems, water harvesting systems, and solar powered energy. These services are transforming the lives for these communities and they couldn’t be more thrilled.

An interesting innovation is the provision of a solar powered spinning machine, which reduces the time taken in spinning Alpaca wool. One machine per community has been installed. The ladies can earn ten times more income through using the machine as opposed to wool spun from the traditional spinning method. The machine also has the ability to spin two ply as well as single ply, allowing for more choice in their sales.  Rivelina, the lady in the photograph is tasked with training the ladies of the community how to use the machine.

spinning wool

The Communities are really appreciative of the support they receive from Practical Action and now have hope for the future. I have seen for myself how charitable donations from generous like-minded people really can make a difference to communities. Thank you to everyone  who has supported this life changing work.




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