Edith Montero, Country Director for Progressio and Christian Aid in Peru
Here's what Programmes Director Edith Montero has to say about the challenges her new role presents her with...
has lived through some fascinating times.
's new director in Peru studied in Berlin during the dark days when the wall divided the city's people, and later returned to Peru in the late 1980s to work on human rights at the height of the warfare between the Shining Path guerrillas and government forces.
It was a dangerous time, but Edith
always wanted to work with people living through troubles.
"How can you see people suffering and turn your back on them?
We are a country with many needs," she
says of her
comes from a town on the edges of the sprawling city of Lima at the foothills of the Andes - where the two worlds of a rich urban elite and poor Quechua-speaking migrants meet.
While the upper classes water their gardens with drinking water, she
neighbours have access to water only three times a day in short bursts.
It's not as simple as just comparing Peru to poorer countries in Africa," contends Edith
continues: "Inequality results in pockets of poverty.
"It's a difficult cycle to escape," says Edith
, "but international cooperation helps bring about change.
One of the development workers Edith
will be supervising is working with the Peruvian NGO Grupo GEA
to support local government and local communities to work together to reduce pollution and improve the management of the water that flows down the river Rimac - the main source of irrigation for many small farms that feed the city of Lima.
It's an exciting project because for the first time the Municipality of Lima has sponsored an Environmental Fund - with contributions from all the companies and industries that pollute the river Rimac - that will be used to pay communities to provide services to ensure the sustainable management of the river.
Putting what's on paper into practice
"Centralisation, corruption and a lack of respect for people and the environment means wealth doesn't get distributed fairly," says Edith
With challenges like these facing poor communities in Peru, Edith Montero
certainly has her
work cut out for her
But it's clear she
has tons of passion for bringing about change and a wealth of experience to draw on as she
braces herself for challenging times ahead.
Photo: Edith Montero
, Programme Director for Progressio
and Christian Aid's joint programme in Peru. (Photo © Esther Trewinnard/Progressio)