Eperara women of Ecuador claim collective health in times of COVID-19

Organization: Aprendizaje en movimiento

Country: Ecuador

Representative: Ana Cristina Benalcázar

Website:

Solution awarded as: Honoree


Description of the project: The project is carried out in the indigenous Ecuadorian community of Eperara de Santa Rosa. Women’s groups organised themselves to reclaim their ancestral medicine culture, while strengthening their climate resilience. Based on a collective decision in favor of the community’s health, they decided to take their own actions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. They carried out a mapping process to identify medicinal plants for use as a resource to protect their health and that of their families. The community thereby realised that the food production and habitat management depend on many factors such as ancestral culture, gender-responsive economy, biodiversity conservation, education and housing.

Climate impact
Establishment of a medicinal bank for the conservation and management of endemic plants
Conservation of 70 hectares of forest
Mapping and identification of fauna and flora with climatic and ancestral relevance
Gender impact
Shifting gender roles in the traditionally male-dominated sector of medicine
Promoting new leadership among girls, adolescents and women within community assemblies
Community task-sharing that eases women’s workloads
Scalability / replicability
Capacity building replicated and scaled-up among women in other Ecuadorian villages
Information sharing on the stages of the process with other indigenous communities in Ecuador
Creation of the Ceremonial Centre for Collective Health to empower the leadership of women and girls

Financially supported by: CEDU, Aprendizaje en Movimiento, MINKA SUR