Following a magnitude 7.9 magnitude earthquake in August 2007, which destroyed close to 95,000 homes, CHF International worked with rural, traditionally underserved communities in the rural towns of Ica, San José de los Molinos and Parcona, southeast of the capital city, Lima.
With the help of local NGOs, community members, university students, and the local government, CHF International provided transitional shelters, classrooms, a day care center, and communal dining halls to help families rapidly transition in the aftermath of the quake. In addition, latrines were built to prevent an impending health crisis, following damage to already insufficient sanitation systems and the region’s few clinics.
As part of our strategy for longer-term development following disasters, community members were trained in construction practices and employed in shelter construction to protect against future emergencies and provide immediate short-term income. Local university architecture students who took part in the training and construction were empowered to form their own locally-registered non-governmental organization, PRODEISO. We provided micro-grants for entrepreneurs, particularly single mothers, to purchase equipment and assets to begin earning income again.
CHF International has been a leader in providing safe, transitional shelter, most recently in post-tsunami Indonesia and Sri Lanka, post-hurricane El Salvador, and post-conflict Sudan. Because of this expertise, we were not only the first organization to begin building shelters in Peru following the disaster, but we also provided training to the Red Cross in best shelter construction practices, in exchange for vital shelter materials. As a result, CHF International completed 700 shelters within three months of the earthquake, and the Red Cross was able to provide an additional 4,000, in part with the help of PRODEISO.