This year, I am more grateful than ever for your support. Your ongoing generosity to The Denan Project during these difficult times has made all the difference to the communities we support — some of the world’s poorest and most isolated people who need continued aid now more than ever. Through improved medical care, education, agriculture, and water accessibility, as well as economic development via micro-loans, our projects made meaningful advances in 2020, even with the restrictions of the Covid-19 pandemic. We are indebted to our incredible on-the-ground partners at each of our locations and the strong relationships we have in place. These partnerships have allowed us to continue to provide uninterrupted, high-quality services, even while our in-person site visits have been suspended due to travel restrictions. Read below to learn more about some of the incredible work and accomplishments that have taken place at each of our project sites in the past year.
We thank you for your past donations and humbly ask you to consider The Denan Project in your 2020 charitable-giving plans. As always, because of the generosity of several Members of our Board of Directors who cover our overhead costs, we promise that 100% of every dollar you donate goes directly to the people and communities we support. In a year when so many are in need, we are particularly grateful for your support now. Your gift will continue to bring real, positive change to some of the poorest people on our planet.
President/Founder, The Denan Project
In response to the spread of the global Covid-19 pandemic, we purchased Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for our medical team at our hospital so that they would be prepared and protected. Currently there are about 90,000 cases in the country of Ethiopia, with a few but increasing number of cases in the Somali region. As a way of encouraging people to stay closer to home during the pandemic, we re-established our medical outreach program to distant villages, with a medical team and ambulance bringing medical care to people in remote villages. UNICEF has supplied all medicines for this program. The effort has decreased the number of people coming to our hospital each month, without impacting the total number of people we treat overall. In addition to Covid screenings, we are also seeing an increase of cases of malaria, pneumonia, and gastrointestinal diseases because of the current rainy period.
While impacting health to a degree, the strong rains of the fall season will have a positive impact on crops and the region’s agricultural development. The Elders micro-loan group is running the tractor program, and we are pleased that the community has taken over this important initiative.
The economic benefits of our micro-loan program also continues to bring important improvements to Denan. We have distributed 48 micro-loans to date to groups of 10 people or more, benefiting approximately 500 families, and we continue to have a perfect record for repayment in this community.
The Covid-19 virus has hit Peru quite harshly, and the country is second only to Brazil with more than 890,000 cases reported. No cases have been reported in the communities we support in Uratari and surrounding villages, likely due to the quarantine imposed by the government. The government has supplied protective equipment to our health center and medical staff, and we continue to see many patients each month. We feel fortunate to be able to provide critical health-care services to these communities at this time.
All schools are currently closed in Peru, but the students in our area are receiving lessons at home via radio from 4-7pm each school day. The Denan Project provided the funds to purchase radio time for this innovative project, and we are hoping to continue to do this through the end of this year.
Our economic development programs continue to bring much-needed funding and entrepreneurship to the community. Most of our microloans are given to women’s groups and focus on the raising of cuyes, a delicacy and a vital source of protein in the region. In addition, we now have two programs focused on growing the grain quinoa. Both these initiatives allow the villagers to add new sources of protein to their diets, while simultaneously bringing in a source of income. A third recent program will focus on growing tarwi, a local legume, and a separate group is focusing on bee-keeping. All current micro-loans are scheduled to be repaid in full and on time.
In Mongolia, there have only been a few hundred cases of Covid so far, as international borders have been sealed. Luckily there have been no cases as of yet in the areas in which we work, and The Denan Project has provided complete PPE and sterilization supplies to the hospitals we support. We will keep close watch on any news of the virus, as it is unlikely the government would be able to adequately provide additional protective equipment if needed.
Our two hospitals in the remote towns of Tariat and Erdenemandal continue to serve their communities well. Because of the improvement of medical care and facilities we have been able to provide, we are seeing fewer overall cases per year, which is a positive development. The hospital is currently in need of various anesthesiology equipment, and we hope to be able to make these provisions in the near future.
We also continue to provide essential advanced training in various specialties, as well as equipment to traveling doctors, including an ambulance. The mobile medical tools we supply allow members of local communities and distant herder settlements to receive earlier diagnoses and prevent disease by delivering treatment in their homes.
One of our areas of continued emphasis continues to be medical and dental education. The dentists and dental facilities at each hospital have greatly improved oral health for the communities and the remote herder encampments. The hospitals also work with schools to better educate students about dental health, and the high-school student health club we support provide important basic medical information to other students and their families. Happily, eight student health club members from the previous year have chosen professions in the medical sector and are now studying health sciences at universities. It is our hope that our investment in early education will pay great dividends for the community on their road to self-sufficiency.