Simone Heemskerk is a 48-year-old woman from the Netherlands, who studied filmmaking and worked as a journalist. After traveling to Peru eight years ago, she and her friend Jolanda Buets founded “Por eso Perú!”, to promote the recovery of the pachamama and offer a natural pantry of vegetables and grains.
Simone had arrived in Peru, specifically Cusco, to attend a friend’s wedding. On that occasion, she was invited to visit the community Sasicancha, which inspired her and Jolanda to create their foundation.
“They started to set up the first of the many orchards that they now have distributed in 11 communities above 3,700 meters high”, said RPP Noticias.
The surplus of the vegetables they grow also serves as a source of income to the community and offers them remarkable improvements in the medium term. The idea is to offer training to the people so that the association can become self-sustainable in the near future.
“We are far from welfare because that affects self-esteem. They have to change their lives”, said Simone. She also believes that if you just give everything for free, as gifts, you will never be able to change anyone’s life. “At first, I wanted to give everything away, but that is not the solution”, she adds.
To Simone, the most complicated part of the work is to keep the focus on the project’s objectives, which is achieving a healthy nutrition in the communities.
To guarantee food security, they work with the community who build greenhouses and plant in the gardens. In addition to the agriculture and cooking classes, they often remodel the school’s kitchens or install new ones.