By Luz Maria Sanchez Hurtado, General Director, Estrategia
Promoting & Preventing Disasters to Save Lives
Estrategia recently participated in an event we had in Peru, thanks to the support of the United Nations Americas and the Caribbean office related to Disaster Risk Management, and the Peace Boat, which is a partner of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). The event was held on the Peace Boat.
The objective was to promote resilience related to disaster management.
In Peru, Castorina Villegas and I were the organisers. It was a success! We had the opportunity to invite the mayors and officials of the government to share the work they are doing in order to prevent disasters to save the lives of the population. We were also successful in gaining the commitment of the 120 participants and children who were present.
The Quipu of Latin America
As reported on the Peace Boat's website, during the event in Callao, Peru, on January 27, the participants received the 100-meter long "Quipu of Latin America and the Caribbean for Resilience," a special knotted cord that contains thousands of messages from young people in Latin America. The Quipu will be transported to Japan on Peace Boat's ship, where it will be presented at the world conference in Sendai in March 2015.
The Incas used the quipus, to account for the number of animals they had – in this case, the children prepared the quipus to present their desires and accomplishments with the issue of Disaster Programmes. For example, they said we accomplished participation in the simulacres (activities made to prevent disasters, done usually in the schools, work areas) to prevent disasters and to learn about how to found the evacuation areas in time of disasters happened like earthquakes.
The President of The United Nations Regional Office of Americas and Caribbean congratulated me and Castorina, who is the President of Women United for a Better Community; we both convinced the mayors to participate and they did.
Training Grassroots Women for Disaster Management & Rights
The next step will be the training of the grassroots women in disaster management issues. During the Strategic Plan the grassroots women chose this issue for the training.
We are going to elect the National Federation of Grassroots women the in March. We, being those who motivate and sensitize the grassroots women to become a strong organization to defend of their rights of land property and housing.
And we are going to three more regions: Cuzco, Piura and Cajamarca to train more grassroots women and also to visit the local governments to invite the mayors to register their local governments in the resilience campaign of the United Nations.
The Way Forwards
On 7th November, 2014, as representative of the NGO Estrategia working with the grassroots women of Women United for a Better Community, I was invited to participate in the United Nations Habitat Program named Global Land Tool Network (GLTN)
The role I played was to share the strategies and tools that the grassroots women play to start a process of advocacy to the state and local authorities. The UN Habitat Programme wanted to share the strategies and tools that the Latin American grassroots women play with the tools and strategies that the African grassroots women play and learn from each other.
The UN Habitat programme will prepare a global methodology including the strategies and tools to disseminate in other new places taking the women as principal actors of the development required to live with dignity.