grantees » Rebeca Melendez Rengifo

Rebeca Melendez  Rengifo, Peru

This grantee is still in the process of their leadership development with the JWH initiative. This profile will be completed once the grantee has finalised their activities.

Rebeca Melendez Rengifo is a young member of the “Shipibo” indigenous people in Peru. She is currently enrolled at Universidad Alas Peruanas where she studies administration. Rebeca also works at Alianza Arkana. This NGO works with indigenous people from the Ucayali and Loreto regions of the Peruvian Amazon aiming to develop creative and innovative ways to address environmental challenges faced by indigenous populations. Rebeca is responsible for giving environmental educational workshops to Shipibo students and families in 15 Shipibo communities. She also assists in the supervision of 7 waste management projects in these communities, and serves as a cultural bridge and translator for her people. She has proven to be a vibrant teacher, an excellent leader, a great community organizer, and an ambassador for her people.

Rebeca has been a witness to the increasing deforestation and resource use taking place near her community. The soil of her community has become so depleted that very few crops can now grow. This has had a negative effect on the wellbeing of the Shipibo people, who now have had to resort to packaged goods that are low on nutrition.

Rebeca has applied for the JWH Initiative grant to obtain the skills and knowledge necessary in order to create her own youth organization that mobilizes and empowers Shipibo youth around food production, waste management and other alternatives that “support a renewed care for Earth, sustainable livelihoods and cultural pride” according to her nominator. With this grant, Rebecca hopes to finish her studies in administration while also participating in an Eco-Social Entrepreneurship course designed especially for Shipibo people around permaculture and agroforestry.  She hopes to bring a positive change to her people in order to help them to live their traditional lifestyle, while at the same time promoting environmental regeneration and sustainable livelihoods.

Nominated by

Amanda Garratt Alianza Arkana Peru.