July 10, 2009
Voices of Hope Pew Bulletin Stories
Long after the conflict is over, the tremendous challenge of rebuilding a war-torn community remains. Located high in the Andes in one of the country’s poorest regions, Huancavelica was one of the regions most affected by the internal armed conflict in Peru in the 1990’s.
For more than 25 years, the Project Counselling Service (PCS) has been working with the displaced and refugee populations in the area and recently they have gained some very significant ground. Together with other organizations PCS has coordinated a training project for women elected to political office to equip them with skills to effectively carry out their mandate as many come to the role with no previous political experience. The School for Regidoras (women municipal and regional councillors) has involved 55 women.
The project takes into account differences in language and culture. Quechua, not Spanish is the first language of many of the program participants. It is also the language of political culture and the Indigenous Quechua approach to decision-making and leadership is distinct. PCS is a learning organization and is also evolving in its own governance. It was established initially as a consortium of European and Canadian agencies and has recently transitioned to a Board of Directors made up primarily of Latin Americans. In addition to supporting PCS’s
work in the Huancavelica region, PWRDF is currently supporting this important achievement in the life of the organization.
Standing their own ground: Self-government (PDF)