Protecting the children of Cuatro de Mayo

In the summer of 2017, severe flooding hit the village of Cuatro de Mayo in Piura in the north of Peru. The homes of more than 350 families were flooded. A few people managed to save some of their belongings but many homes were completely destroyed with families losing everything.

Practical Action, through the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance, helped people to cope in the immediate aftermath of the flood.  But one community member Adelaida Tahuán wanted to do more to help her neighbours and rebuild her community.  While helping with the clear up, she had an idea that has done just that.

“After the floods, Practical Action helped us with the process of cleaning and rebuilding our homes. We formed 22 brigades from the whole community and there were many women in these brigades. Then we saw that these women had nowhere to leave their children while they were working on the cleaning and rebuilding of houses. From here came the idea of a crèche.”

With Practical Action's help she set up her crèche in an easily accessible location right in the centre of the village. It is open from 8am until 1pm. Two other women work with Adelaida to look after the children. Organised childcare is new to some of them, but they have undergone training to help them in their roles.

“To be able to do our work in the best way, we learned how to treat children, how to entertain them and how to keep them calm while they waited for their mothers to return from work."

In the critical days following the flood disaster, the crèche housed more than 30 children, from newborns to eight-year-olds.

“Mothers leave their children here, knowing they will be safe and protected,"  declares Adelaida proudly.  

As an additional benefit, she has witnessed a new spirit of solidarity in Cuatro de Mayo since the flooding.

Our work has not only helped rebuild and disinfect damaged houses and provided clean drinking water, but it's also given women like Adelaida the opportunity to take an active role in improving the lives of those around her.

The new skills they’ve learned have also made them better able to cope with the aftermath of disasters in the future


Flood Resilience Programme

Building the resilience of poor communities vulnerable to flooding

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