The Matthiesen Foundation
The 'Arboles Patrimonial' Project goes on line03-Apr-2021

The Arboles Patrimonial aims, with the backing of the Peruvian Government, to list magesterial trees for conservation. At least one tree in each district or province will be so listed and used as an instrument to increase awareness of conservation.

The seed money for this endeavour was provided by this Foundation working once again with ANIA, Peru, with whom over many years we have collaborated on the Children's Lands Projects. Please see the more extensive posts on 22 and 23 November 2020.

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The Beginning of Life223-Nov-2020

As an adjunct to our 'Monumental Trees Project' I am sponsoring links to films which ANIA have produced which follow on from The Children's Lands Projects and a film launched in 2016 titled 'The Beginning of Life'. The new film is part two and can be viewed on Netflix. Duration is about 90 minutes. It can be accessed here:-


On the access page there is a multilingual trailer lasting two minutes which can also be found here: by pasting into your browser

A New Environmental Project in Peru for Tree Preservation 202122-Nov-2020

The Foundation in association with The Orbis Pictus Trust and ANIA is embarking on a pilot scheme in Peru which is an extension of The Children’s Forest and Children’s Lands projects which we piloted since the late 1990s. Those schemes and their associated manuals were translated into three languages and placed open access on the web encouraging youngsters to take and interest in nature and safeguarding the environment. The projects were a notable success being recognised by UNESCO and being awarded prizes and spread across S. America.

The new pilot project compliments The Children’s Lands. It aims to denote  mature and aged trees across Peru as ‘Mother trees’ based on the figure of MESHI, the talking tree representing mother earth in the illustrated cartoon series which illustrated the previous projects across S. America and in the fairy tale book NATURE’S GREATEST GIFT - THE CHILDREN'S LANDS [accessible here: ]. MESHI has always figured in the ANIA logo. We have a goal that by end of 2021 every province of Peru will have a monumental tree declared as a symbol of a change of consciousness towards sustainability! We are losing forests, but we cannot afford to lose mother trees! The trees will serve as a reminder and monument towards environmental sustainability. An illustrated children’s book about MESHI and the ‘Mother trees’ is in the future pipeline.

The aim is now to create a website that includes,  a) information and steps for local governments to declare trees as natural monuments, b) a geo-referencer for the location of the trees, c)  Images and information of every tree declared, and d) a section for children with information about mother trees. In the future the aim is to have a marked tree/monument or local MESHI in each and every province totalling some 2000 trees but the initial stage is for 196 trees.

The accompanying illustration shows MESHI and the first eight ‘Mother trees. The accompanying PDF in Spanish is the proposed plan as agreed with the Peruvian Ministry.


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2019/2020 update02-Nov-2020

Activities this year were dominated by the failure  of the Kirkman harpsichord to perform satisfactorily. Built in Genoa, many deficiencies were found which needed to be rectified. After almost a year of investigation and negotiation, Michael Parfitt, the conservator of the early instruments collection at the Royal Academy of Music, will undertake a rebuild which among many other things will result in an entirely new keyboard and mechanism. It is hoped that the instrument can be presented to the National Gallery later in 2021.

Grants were made to the following music charities: La Nuova Musica, La Serenissima, ENO Harewood Artists,The Purcell School of Music, The Royal Academy of Music, English Touring Opera.

Further small grants were given to support individual musicians, to the HandsUp Foundation, Syria, Listening books, Homeless Children and the Otter Survival Fund as well as to TREES Amazon Conservation.

Harpsichord Concert sponsored by the Foundation06-Jan-2020

The attached tweet documents the concert which was previously announced in news



Three years ago, this Foundation gifted a concert grand Bluthner piano to The National Gallery in order to revive the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts. Since then several international pianists have performed including Imogen Cooper and Anne Queffelec. At the time of the inaugural concert the Foundation suggested that for baroque music a harpsichord might be more appropriate and once discussed we proposed commissioning an instrument to donate to the Gallery. After much research it was decided that the most appropriate instrument would be an English Kirkman. This was commissioned from Mario del Grosso in Genoa, Italy.

Since accurate detailed drawings were not available the task was complex, laborious and slow. Much assistance and advice were obtained from Huw Saunders in London whom, as chance would have it, was in the process of completing a similar instrument. Much time was spent in sourcing authentic materials. The veneers were hand chosen, the brass fittings ordered from Traditional Brassware and bone substituted ivory for the keys. The harpsichord is modelled on a 1786 Kirkman double manual instrument. It will be shipped to London by the end of November.

The inaugural concert will be at The National Gallery on December 13th at 7pm. The musician will be Katarzyna Kowalik. A CV is attached as a PDF if you click the PDF symbol below.

The programme for the concert is as follows:-


Cantabile op.4 (5.20)


Sonata in C major K 159 (2.30)

Sonata in A major K 208 (4min)

Fandango (8 minutes)


The Italian Concerto (13 minutes)


Suite no.1 Z660. (3.30)



Air and variations "Harmonious Blacksmith"

from the Harpsichord Suite No. 5 in E major (7min)


Les Barricades Mysterieuses

Le Reveil Matin



Le Vertigo  (7.30)


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The Foundation is actively working with |The Glacier Trust on a new project with hill farmers to improve coffee production and soil concervation as well as re-afforestation. Please see the attached PDF for the very latest update. Click on the PDF letters below


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Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert at The National Gallery01-Nov-2019

On October the 10th, the 70th anniversary of the first wartime concert that Myra Hess organised, a concert was held in the |Barrye Rooms on the Bluthner piano donated by this Foundation. This was the third concert in this new series. The Foundation had arranged for Imogen Cooper to play at the first two in 2017 and 2018. This year the Foundation arranged for the eminent French international pianist, Anne Queffelec to perform. She played amongst other things works by Bach, Handel and Beethoven, gave a talk and received a standing ovation from a full house.

SAVE THE DATE-OCTOBER 16th 6.30 pm13-Sep-2019

The Foundation has sponsored the hire of St. John's Smith Square London SW1 for a concert by Nafis Umerkulova and the Purcell School Chamber Orchestra. The programme includes music by Stanchinsky, Scriabin, Tchaikovsky and Beethoven, an exciting mix. The concert serves to highlight the launch of Nafis' first CD albumn dedicated to the works of Stanchinsky, an undeservedly unknown Russian composer of merit who died under mysterious circumstances in 1914 cutting off short a very promising career. This will be an exciting concert. Nafis has a remarkable delicacy of expression in her performances and you are urged to come and enjoy the evening.

Further music sponsorship 201906-Jul-2019

In order to support Nafis Umerkulov's launch CD the Foundation has hired St. John's Smith Square for her to perform together with the Purcell School of Music's Orchestra. A notice and programme will be posted later in the year.

The Foundation made a grant to Frances Gregory, mezzo soprano, to support her accomodation costs throughout the month of August at Weimar Opera in Germany.

The Foundation was also instrumental in arranging a grant of £1000 to the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra to support tuition of a student throughout a year.

The double manual harpsichord is progressing steadily and should be delivered to the National Gallery, London  around the end of November. Intarsio inlays and ebony have been selected for its decoration. The strings will be ordered from Fortepiano inc. in Vancouver. The soundboard and manuals are fitted and the veneering is progressing.

Sponsorship of a seat at the Sainsbury Theatre, RAM, London08-Feb-2019

In 2018 the Foundation sponsored a seat with a memorial plaque dedicated to the great Bach pianist, Edwin Fischer 1886-1960 in the new Susie Sainsbury theatre (see image). For 2019 the Foundation will sponsor another seat this time dedicated to the incomparable contralto so beloved by the British public, Kathleen Ferrier 1912-1953. ‘Kathleen Ferrier was (and still is) one of the world’s great singers. Her appeal transcends all ages and seemingly all generations, more so perhaps than any other singer. She died more than fifty years ago, yet she is still remembered and her voice is still heard and loved by millions around the world.’ []

This seat is dedicated next to another sponsored by our associate charity, The Orbis Pictus Trust, in memory of the supreme diva, Maria Callas. Both were vocal musicians who influenced the writer's earliest memories of classical music as did his heros Heifetz and Fisher, mentioned above. (See the attached PDF).

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The new Kirkman Harpsichord08-Feb-2019

In 2017 it was decided to commission a 1782 Kirkman double manual harpsichord for presentation to the London National Gallery. The builder is Mario del Grosso in Genoa, of international renown. Since there are no complete drawings for this Kirkman instrument a certain amount of research had to be carried out as there are subtle differences from a Ruckers or Tasquin. Fortuitously it was found that Huw Saunders, in London, was building a sister instrument and he has been most forthcoming and helpful with advice. 

Construction of the Kirkman started in the Spring of 2018. The accompanying PDF shows the earliest stages. At the time of writing the case and keyboards are complete and await veneering. This will be in Flame Mahogany and lacewood with ebony banding. The veneers were sourced at Capital Crispin in London and shipped to Genoa. The period brass hardware is being cast by Traditional Brassware in Warwickshire who specialise in fittings for period instruments. Further photos will follow shortly.

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A concert in the Casa della Musica, Arezzo, Tuscany05-Oct-2018

The Foundation has sponsored a concert in CAMU [the Casa della Musica in Via Vasari, Arezzo] featuring NAFIS UMERKULOVA. The programme includes Beethoven’s Tempest Sonata Op. 31, Schubert Impromptu no.1 Op.142, D935, a sonata by Scriabin no.4, Op.30 and 4 Preludes, Op.22 by Stanchinsky. The CAMU was opened this year primarily to promote music for children and is located on the first floor of the imposing Palazzo della Fraternita... the full house audience enjoyed the performance enormously.

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Updaters on our Peru Childrens Lands projects as of April 201824-Apr-2018

The attached PDF documents the updates on our three projects in the Iquitos region of the Amazon basis which we initiated in 2016. All projects are running extremely well and indeed are expanding.The kids have been taught their native Kkukuma traditional Indios language which otherwise was dying out. The children are whole heartedly embracing environmental conservation and rubbish recycling which is being taught by GATIA. Please take a moment to to browse the PDF

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Sponsorship at The Royal Academy of Music, London23-Apr-2018

This Foundation has co-sponsored two seats in the new concert hall at The Royal Academy of Music, London. The seats are dedicated to the memory of two prominent musicians - Jascha Heifetz, the famous Lithuanian born Russian violinist 1901-1987 and to Edwin Fischer, 1886-1960, the pianist who was born in Basel and who rivalled Schnabel in his interpretations of Beethoven.

The Dame Myra Hess WW2 concerts recalled on BBC2 tonight17-Mar-2018

BBC2 televised a programme celebrating the Dame Myra Hess concerts tonight with a Live Performance of Dance and music recreating the journey of one of the paintings from the slate mine storage in Snowdonia to the National gallery. The programme is titled Live Performance: Winged Bull in the Elephant case and can be seen on BBC IPlayer:

This Foundation is proud that part of the performance is a Beethoven Piano Sonata performed by Joanna MacGregor on the BLUTHNER pianoforte gifted by this Foundation in 2016 for the purpose of recreating the Myra hess concerts. There is also a trailer that may be viewed here

See the PDF


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The Florence Concert January 22 2017 - Nafis Umerkulova24-Jan-2018

The house was full and there were no less than five curtain calls.

Works by Stanchinsky proved a revelation to the audience who demanded a return performance. Plans are afoot for a concert in the future at the Fondazione Scuola di Musica di Fiesole in the Casa della Musica in Arezzo.

A Concert in Florence23-Nov-2017

The Foundation is sponsoring a piano recital to be held on the 22nd January 2018 at the Lyceum Club Internazionale in Florence. The pianist is the renowned Uzbeck-British musician, Nafis Umerkulova. The programme consists of works by Haydn, Schumann and  Stanchinsky.

The location is Palazzo Giugni, Via Alfani 48, Florence and the time 6.30 pm

10 October 2010 Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert08-Oct-2017


Dame Myra Hess was famous for initiating the renowned wartime concert series held in the National Gallery, London. The first was held on October 10th 1939. You may read about Myra on the National Gallery website.

For information and biography of Myra Hess:

In order to commemorate the first concert 78 years ago this Foundation gave a Bluthner pianoforte to the Gallery to promote a concert series. The Foundation felt that the first memorial concert should be performed by a prominent lady pianist and so Patrick Matthiesen invited the participation of the leading such pianist in the UK - Imogen Cooper who very graciously accepted. The concert programme containing works by Haydn and Beethoven will be performed at 1pm on Tuesday October 10th.

 From the National Gallery flyer:

 ‘This concert is dedicated to Dame Myra Hess who, against insurmountable odds, arranged concerts in the National Gallery every day of the week throughout the Second World War.

The first concert took place at the National Gallery on 10 October 1939. Dame Myra Hess and her team had only a few weeks to make the arrangements and busied themselves booking performers, equipping the venue and organising publicity.

Director, Kenneth Clark, began by winning the blessing of the Gallery’s trustees for the project, he then turned his attention to convincing the Home Office and Ministry of Works to grant the concerts dispensation from the ban on public gatherings. ‘’The sooner we can start the better’’, he wrote, ‘’As this is the period when people are beginning to feel the want of nourishment for mind and spirit and it would be a great thing for the National Gallery to give a lead’’.

The concert of 20 February 1941 featured the singer Lisa Perli, Howard Ferguson, Sidney Griller and Colin Hampton from the Griller Quartet, and Ivor Newton.

Today’s concert programme celebrating Dame Myra Hess’s legacy is:


7 Bagatelles op 33 (20’)                                      Beethoven

Sonata in C minor Hob. XVI/20. (22’)            Haydn

Sonata in A flat major op 110 (20’)                   Beethoven’

Myra Hess organised over 1000 concerts which took place daily from October 1943 until the Spring of 1946, an incredible achievement.

Peru projects 2017 update28-Jun-2017

Attached is an update on the several projects we sponsored in March 2016.

They are all proceeding exceedingly well. GATIA goes from strength to strength under the able guidance of ANITA and they are now considering launching a cartoon to promote their work much as ANIA did 7 years ago with immense success. We may participate in funding this project. CREA has mapped out and surveyed the Animal Sanctuary with our sponsorship and the photos of the children speak for themselves. The Foundation is considering sponsoring solar lighting or the remaining 17 houses in Puerto Prado on the Amazon.

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2017 Charity concert on behalf of Doctors Without Borders28-Jun-2017

The Parish Church of the SS Trinita at Rollo di Andora, Liguria, Province of Savona

For the last 13 years the Foundation has sponsored a charity concert of classical music in the baroque church of the SS. Trinita in Borgo di Rollo, Andora, Liguria. This year the concert will be held on July 29th at 8.30pm. The concert with interval lasts about two hours. The programme this year is ambitious and contains rare baroque music for Soprano, Mezzo Soprano, strings and chamber organ. The concert is entitled THE LAMENT IN ITALIAN BAROQUE MUSIC and contains a variety of rarely heard pieces of great beauty including a Stabat Mater by Brunetti and cantatas by Porpora, Landi and Conte.. The programme may be viewed in the accompanying PDF.

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A New Harpsichord for the National Gallery, London28-Jun-2017

Following on upon the success of the Bluthner concert grand piano this Foundation in conjunction with the Orbis Pictus Foundation gifted to the National Gallery in Autumn 2016 the Foundation has now commissioned a Kirkman 1770 replica harpsichord also to be gifted to the National Gallery. The instrument will be built over the next 9 months by Mario del Grosso who has created over 80 such instruments which are being played worldwide.

The National Gallery has arranged several concerts using the new bluthner piano with great success but one of these concerts in conjunction with the ENO was of Monteverdi operatic arias. Patrick Matthiesen observed that accompanied on a piano this was a less than ideal solution and hence the offer of a baroque instrument was made. Several other institutions in London have also expressed interest in having a harpsichord.

The Childrens Lands book10-Apr-2017

I attach an image of the book and the introduction in pdf (in Spanish)

We have printed 1000 copies of which 500 will be given to opinion leaders in Peru (media people, CEO, School directors, deans of universities, artists, politicians, among others)

The book has 230 illustrated pages and has the format of a “coffee table book”.


The Foundation co-financed the printing of this book. The manuals have been distributed to every school in Peru by the Government.


This is a de luxe follow on to the printed manuals and on line manuals which are now ditributed by the government to every school in Peru.

The Foundation co-financed the printing of this publication

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Music sponsorship 201720-Feb-2017


Last July the Foundation discussed the possibility of sponsoring a young musician from Tashkent. We are pleased to announce that we are sponsoring the travel and stay of Alina Pritulenko who is a pupil of Mrs Gulnora Umarova.

The latter is the mother of Nafis Umerkulova, the very successful young pianist and graduate of RAM who has performed at two of the Foundation\'s charity concerts. Alina Pritulenko is 16 and will audition at the Purcell Music School, London.













End of year update on projects in Peru December 201610-Dec-2016

Attached you may find a PDF report on the 4 projects we sponsored near Iquitos as a result of my visit there in March this year. All projects are a great success going forward as you can see from the happy smiles of the children at Padre Cocha and Puerto Prado. The project survey and business plan for CRIA\'s animal sanctuary will be completed early next year. Claudia who has been sponsored at university is progressing with her studies with good marks.

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The Foundation acquires a concert grand piano for The National Gallery, London07-Dec-2016

The Foundation has been working with two directors of the National Gallery in order to gift a Bluthner concert grand piano. This has taken some five years of nefotiation but December 2016 the piano will be installed thereby allowing for a much greater flexibility in the National Gallery\'s concert plans. The idea behind this gift was to comemorate the wartime concerts given by Dame Myra Hess. The funding of the piano has been arranged in partnership with the Orbis Pictus Trust.

Peru 2016 updates for Porto Prado and Padre Cocha projects 1201-Jul-2016

Following on Patrck Matthiesen\'s visit to the Amazon in March 2016 and the development plan for several projects recorded in an earlier blog I am pleased to announce that great progress has been achieved. Solar lighting has been installed in several houses but above all at the Primary School and kindergarten in Porto Prado. This has been a huge success as you can see from the accompanying PDF below.

In Padre Cocha the children\'s play areas have been initiated, a \'football field\' put at their disposal and the kids are relating with the animal sanctuary adjacent run by Gudrun. Again see the PDF for delightful images.


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Report of the activieties undertaken by the Foundation 2015-1614-May-2016







The Foundation made ex gratia payments to the following beneficiaries:


Glacier Trust Nepal earthquake relief


Listening Books


The Courtauld Institute of Art Fund


The Microloan Foundation


English Touring Opera


The Bach Players


Crisis Homeless


Children with Cancer


Happy Days Children Holidays


Woofability Guide Dogs


Rollo Annual Concert/ Médecins sans Frontières




The main area of activity was once again concentrated on the education of young children with regard to ecological sustainability in Peru in conjunction with ANIA.


Projects which were announced during the year, and which can be accessed in greater detail on the Foundation website were the sponsorship of the publication of Nature’s Greatest Gift and a New English Manual for the Children’s Lands project worldwide. These illustrated publications have been made accessible online on the Foundation website (Homepage and under NEWS).


Again, as reported on the website, a TV aerial has been connected to the Micro Hydro Electric Scheme in the Andes sponsored by this Foundation at Chambomontera allowing the use of TV as an educational tool in the school, which services four villages.


The Foundation participated in raising funds for a project by the Greenshoots Foundation to train local farmers in improving agricultural practices on the northern Cambodian frontier with Thailand.


The Foundation was also instrumental in raising funds to sponsor the final catalogue completing the publication of the collection at the Museo Di Capodimonte; this was the volume relating to non-Italian artists. This publication was carried out in conjunction with the Amici di Capodimonte.


In addition to the projects previously initiated in Peru, in previous years, the site at Porto Prado on the banks of the Marañon River (the main tributary to the Amazon), which is inhabited by indigenous Cucuma Indians, was expanded by an additional 4 Ha. The Children’s Land territory now totals 12 Ha or about 30 acres.


In March 2016, Patrick Matthiesen travelled to Peru to investigate progress on some of the various sites that the Foundation has sponsored since 2009. On this occasion he travelled to Lima, the Ica region and to the Iquitos region on the Amazon. In Lima he visited the Natural History Museum where the Foundation had sponsored a didactic project to teach school children from the capital, the importance of the Children’s Land concepts which are shown on a restricted scale. These are visited by about 20 000 school children a year and a guide is available at all times to explain the concept to the visitors. In view of the success of this concept it was decided with ANIA to update some of the didactic signage. There is a bamboo Maloca or garden house full of artefacts and information which is very popular with visitors and there is notable bird activity in the enclosure. A visit was made to the Favella of San Juan de Miraflores where sadly the living environment has not improved over seven years. The children’s projects in front of the shacks have survived and expanded. It was learned that Claudia, who promoted the scheme aged 11, now aged 18, did not have the funds to go to university to complete a degree in psychology. A ‘scholarship’ is being arranged over a period of four and a half year in conjunction with the Orbis Pictus Foundation. In addition, in view of the fact that six people appear to be living in one room, a grant of $1500 is being made to improve conditions so that they are more suitable for study purposes.
The visit to Santa Cruz, which is located in Ica province in the south was rewarding. This project was started in 2009-10 when the piece of land that was donated was a rubbish dump. This was cleared by the children and a TiNi Children’s Land was instituted and trees and flowers planted and a playground area created. At that time there were 200 children in the local school. The success of this project over the last seven years has drawn many more children to the immediate facility so that the school now has 700 pupils. Local town officials recognised that this is almost entirely due to the project which had the benefit of a particularly gifted supervisor or ‘Promoter’ whose success was recognised by the regional Authorities so that he is now in charge of 150 schools. On the occasion of his visit, we toured 4 of these schools together. Local corporate sponsorship has improved the play facilities and may also pay for drip irrigation. In addition, we went further south to the Paracas National Park which is a desert boarded by a sea coast line which has the highest variety of marine species of anywhere in the world. The Foundation was invited to sponsor a micro-project, but as there were only 8 to 10 children present in the hamlet and there were extraneous workers in the fishing industry visiting the site daily, who could not be controlled by the village Headman, Mr Matthiesen considered the project as unviable and has declined to support it.


Mr Matthiesen travelled to Iquitos to inspect the Children’s Land project of 2013-14 in conjunction with CRIA and the Animal Rescue Centre with particular reference to river manatee rescue and release. The present rescue site and Children’s Land is on land owned by government Fishery Research Centre and may no longer be available in two years’ time, consequently CRIA has located an alternative forest site a few kilometres away, on land owned by one of the directors uncle. This plot of 10 Ha harbours a relatively rare sand forest type known as Campinaranas which is well known for its unique biodiversity and high levels of endemism, hosting up to 2 500 species, and many unique types of birds. The plot also contains three very large ponds, at different levels, fed by a spring which might be suitable for the larger manatees awaiting release. The Foundation will fund an in-depth business plan for the development and promotion of this site as ‘Huayolandia’ both for conservation and tourism, (Huayo is the mascot and emblem of CRIA-a Muppet-like creature).


While in Iquitos, Mr Matthiesen met with two highly active young women who founded an organisation known as GATIA. Both of the founders have a background in ecological studies and not only have they worked with the ANIA Children’s Land concept, but for the last three years they have been active in developing schemes for the recycling of plastic refuse to create fashion items, jewellery, clothing and other artefacts, to a high degree of sophistication. They promote recycling and civic cleanliness on a TV-slot once a week. As he was highly impressed by this organisation’s proactive role and ingenuity, it was proposed that the foundation shall sponsor a project at Padre Cocha with GATIA during 2016-17 (see below).


Mr Matthiesen also visited by boat the project at Porto Prado where he was greeted by the entire population made up in war-paint and singing native songs. The project has developed beyond one’s best expectations; both village elders and children are fully committed and knowledgeable. Children delighted in showing each and every species of tree, and in describing their role in protecting the environment. Their requests were for solar energy to light the school house and the Maloca and to have a swing(s) for the children in the play area, and if possible to improve the provisional rustic dam across the stream which creates the children’s water-play area. The Foundation is attempting to fulfil all these requirements. Mr Matthiesen travelled by river boat to three further locations, namely El Milagro (the miracle) where GATIA hopes to promote a Children’s Land and to El Arenal (the sand land) where there is an existing Children’s Land project. On the final day, a visit was made to Nina Rumi where three large plots of land, totalling 15 Ha were promised as a Children’s Land project, but because it was over 600 m on foot to the nearest plot from the school, Mr Matthiesen considered this too far to be viable over the long term to retain the children’s interest and activity.


Finally he visited by boat Padre Cocha, a community again close to the river, which is also well-known on account of a butterfly farm and animal rescue centre for multiple species, run by Gudrun Sperrer and known as the Pilpintuwasi Amazon Animal Orphanage. Gudrun has for 30 years owned some 30 Ha and is putting a proportion of this land at the disposal of ANIA for a Children’s Land project which the Foundation may sponsor. GATIA will also propose a collaboration with the Foundation for us to sponsor teaching the locals plastic recycling and reuse.


The Children’s Land concept has now been embraced by the Peruvian Ministry of Education which has directed that a cloned project should be rolled out in every school.






It is proposed that a Trustee’s meeting should be held at 7-8 Mason’s Yard, London SW1Y 6BU at 6.30 to 7 pm Wednesday the 15th of June followed by supper. RSVP.





Patrick Matthiesen,




For an illustrated version of this report please open the PDF below

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Ania`s story: Nature Greatest Gift

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The Childrens Lands concept and projects have been sponsored by this Foundation since 1999 since they were first conceived together with Joaquin Leguia and ANIA. The concept has been recognised by UNESCO and awarded a Prize of Excellence. Attached here in a PDF is the latest illustrated manual aimed at children themselves rather than organisers. We hope that any reader here will show this to his children.....

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Agriculture in Cambodia20-Oct-2015

In 2015 the Foundation sponsored through the Greenshoots Foundation a project to train young people in farming techniques in northern cambodia close to the  Thai border. Full details are explained in the accompanying PDF.


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Academic sponsorship20-Oct-2015

The Foundation together with the Orbis Pictus trust underwrote 50% of the publication costs at Electa of the final volume cataloguing the collections at Capodimonte, Naples. This volume contains a catalogue of all the paintings by foreign non-Italian artists in the collection.

New English language manual for the Childrens lands29-Jul-2015

A new brochure outlining the scope of the Childrens lands projects has been produced in English by ANIA. It is here attached in PDF form. Click the logo below to open. New links will soon be loaded on the Home Page to the three user manuals instructing how to start and run a Childrens Land project. Several new illustrated books are described in this PDF

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Poster for the Eighth Mid Summer Concert in Rollo August 0202-Jul-2015
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Chambomontera [Peru] furthur update02-Jul-2015

In 2009-13 this Foundation sponsored and oversaw the construction and commissioning of a Micro Hydro Electric scheme. The original scheme was fraught with problems and failed and under the guidance of this Foundation was radically altered and rebuilt since which time it has functioned without flaws. The lengthy history is recorded in previous posts.

The scheme services the village of Chambomontera and its school which itself hosts education for 4 or 5 outlying villages. The scheme also subsequently was extended to bring electricity to an outlying hamlet.

At the time that Patrick Matthiesen was \'on site\' he expressed the desire and conviction that now that there was electricity available a TV antenna must be erected to bring TV to the school. Telephony would also be desirable. Now, under the guidance of Rafael Escobar or Soluciones Pratico [Practical Action] these elements are now in place dramatically improving education and extensing the horizions of the local inhabitants.

Ninth Midsummer concert, August 02 in the Church of SS Trinita, Rollo10-Jun-2015

This year the Foundation organises and sponsors the eighth Midsummer Classical Concert in Rollo di Andora, Liguria on August 02 at 9pm. this is a major concert of almost two hours with an interval for regreshments. The soloists are the renowned Uzbekistan pianist, Nafis Umerkulova and the American cellist and Professor of Music, Peter Lewy. Mario del Grosso will make a guest appearence on a harpsichord he has built.

This year the concert benefits victims of the Nepal Earthquake.

Everyone is welcome. Tickets at the gate. Here is the programme:


 in Aid of

Médicins Sans Frontières – Nepal Earthquake victims

Church of SS Trinità, Rollo di Andora, SV 17051, Liguria, Italy.

Organised & Sponsored by

The Matthiesen Foundation

August 02 2015 at 2100.



Peter Lewy, Cello

Nafis Umerkulova, Pianoforte

Mario del Grosso, Harpsichord.



J.S.BACH, (Eisenach 1685-1750 Leipzig) Prelude Suite No. 1 in G major, BWV 1007  1717-23 [cello solo]  2.75 minutes


JEAN-PHILIPPE RAMEAU (Dijon 1683 – 1764 Paris) Gavotte et six Doubles 1728 [harpsichord solo]  7 minutes


H. ECCLES, (London & Paris 1670–1742) Sonata in G minor c. 1723 [cello and piano]  8.5 minutes


L. BOCCHERINI, (Lucca  1743-1805 Madrid) Sonata no 6 in A Major 1773? [cello and piano]  8.5 minutes 


GEORG PHILIPP TELEMANN (Magdeburg 1681 – 1767 Hamburg) Fantasie  no. 6 in F Major  TWV 33:6 and  Fantasie no. 12 in E flat major, TWV 33:12  1732-33 [harpsichord solo]  11 minutes


PETER LEWY, Caprice in G Major  3 minutes


F. SCHUBERT, (Himmelpfortgrund 1797-1828 Vienna)   Impromptu No 3 in Gb  major, op 142/13, D. 935 1827 [piano solo]  10 minutes





F. CHOPIN, (Želazowa Wola 1810-1849 Paris) Polonaise brillante Opus 3 in C Major 1830  [piano and cello]    9 minutes


S. RACHMANINOV (Semyonovo 1873-1943 Beverly Hills)  Etudes Tableaux op 39 1-3 1916-17 [ piano solo]  12 minutes


C. SAINT SAËNS, (Paris 1835-1921 Algiers) Allegro Appasionato Opus 43 in B minor 1875 [cello and piano]   4 minutes


 F. LISZT (Doborján 1811-1886 Bayreuth) B minor Sonata S178  1853 [piano solo] 30 minutes







2015 New Projects in Peru10-Jun-2015

The Foundation has embarked on three new projects for this year. The Childrens lands Porto Prado project in or near Iquitos is being expanded. it was started last year and has proved a big success. After extensive negotiations over the last year we have managed to get the authorities to deed to the Iquitos children an additional 4 hectares [ten acres] of forest land. This is a big advancement and will help the project which is adjacent to the Amazon river manatees rescue project. Both projects have become aan eco tourist attraction.

Two furthur projects are in the favellas of Lima: one of these is at Villa Clorinda Malaga de Prado, the other on a landfill tip without a single blade of grass. Please click the PDF symbol below to open a report and images

For those of you who are interested I attach details of a series of videos you can watch on line outlining the concept of the projects we engage in..............

The Ann Sullivan Association is an educational organization nonprofit founded in Peru in 1979 by Liliana Mayo, Ph.D., to serve the community of people with different skills (such as autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy or delayed development) and their families. Our own Matthiesen supported TiNi \"Land of Hope\" has helped place children to connect with themselves and with nature.


 In 2009, ANIA recognized the work of 10 children nationwide in the TiNi program, as symbols of hope for their commitment and love of nature. This video tells the story of Zinnia Gomero, one of the girls.

These videos tells the story of TiNi Chavin de Huantar in Huaraz in the highlands of Peru. This is one of the most important experiences of ANIA.




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2015 The Childrens Lands - Sonene news10-Jun-2015

Fifteen years ago the Sonene project in the Madre de Dios region of Amazonia [Peru] was our first attempt at an eco project with ANIA and Joaquin Leguia our Lima associate. The money we provided was the seed money for four projects two of which have evolved down the years. We produced later nutritional guide books, a local knowledge medical handbook and a three volume guide, later upload to open access on line, as to how to set up and run a childrens land. in the interim the ideal has persevered and multiplied, been awarded prizes and has been officially recognised by UNESCO.

I am delighted to attach here a link to a YouTube video dedicated to Sonene and Boca Amigo, our earliest projects. There have been many more since and this year we are embarking on three new ones.


To see the video paste this liknk into your browser:

The Iquitos Project Childrens Land Amazonia update08-Nov-2014


The Iquitos project modelled on the plans established over the last 14 years which have won a UNESCO seal of approval is already a huge success although only conceived early this year.  Run in conjunction with CREA and ANIA and financed by The Matthiesen Foundation it is receiving 20,000 visitors annually and 8000 school children. The attached photos illustrate the project. We have already cloned a smaller sister project a half hour away. A children´s forest has been created in an Kukama native community, called Puerto Prado, located in Nauta, one an half hour south of Iquitos). The children´s forest extends over 12 hectares of rainforest and more than 20 children and their families actively participate in it (90% of the community) .

The community has created a private conservation area in 100 hectares of their territory and they consider of vital importance the children´s forest “because it is the place where our children will learn how to manage our natural resources in a way that benefits us and nature”


The projects are linked to the CREA project. to protect and save the threatened Amazon river manatee. Rescued manatees will be released after treatment in conjunction with the children at the Iquitos Childrens land site.

To view the images click on the PDF symbol below left

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The early wheel window at St Mary\'s Patrixbourne c.1170-9006-Sep-2014

The project to restore the early wheel window and nineteenth century glass has now been completed as can be seen in the attached photos. The project was sponsored by The Matthiesen Foundation in memory of the late Olga Matthiesen states: This church is well-known because of its fine late 12th century south doorway under an unusual contemporary south tower-porch. There is also a fine wheel-window in the east gable of the chancel of the same date, as is the chancel arch and other windows in the chancel.

A full description of the church may be found on line at

Canon Jonathan LLoyd has arranged a thanksgiving service for the completion of this project at this time. The Dean of Canterbury Cathedral has been invited to preach on 21st September at 6pm.

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Seventh Midsummer Classical Concert in SS. Trinita, Borgo Rollo, Andora, Liguria, Italy11-Jul-2014

You are cordially invited to attend a concert of Baroque music 1700-1740 from Vivaldi to Bach at the baroque church of the SS Trinita in the mediaevil village of Rollo, above Andora in Liguria, Italy. This is the seventh concert arranged by the Foundation.

The concert raises money destined this year for orphans in South Sudan and Syria who have lost their homes and parents due to the current warfare. Funds will be distributed through Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF). Click on the accompanying image to see the programme. The concert is on 26th July at 21.15.

New Amazon Manatee rescue programme and Childrens Forest Project29-Apr-2014

The Foundation is continuing its UNESCO recognised co-sponsorship programme with ANIA this time in Iquitos in the Amazon basin. A Childens Forest project will be initiated combined with the CREA sponsored Amazon Manatee Rescue Programme already in existence since 2008 and which is run with recognition from the Dallas Zoo and other environmental bodies. The educational programme is expected to host up to 25,000 visitors many of them children. A plot of about 1 1/2 acres will be dedicated to this project which will include the classic Childrens Forest aims of instilling conservation, environmental knowledge, recycling etc with turtle and otter conservation and above all a rescue centre for the endangered AMAZON MANATEE, a smaller cousin to the Gulf of Florida manatee. These friendly animals which graze on weed are hunted by some Indios villagers for food, captured as pets and injured by river traffic.

\'Today, it\'s among the most endangered marine mammals in South America, classified as Vulnerable (VU A1cd) on the 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Illegal hunting is considered to be the main threat to the survival of this specie both for subsistence and commercial hunters - the use of harpoons is the most widespread technique for hunting.
In dry season, when water recedes, they become stranded in lakes, an easy prey for hunters.

Other threats include incidental capture in commercial (gill) nets, degradation of food supplies by soil erosion due to deforestation and other environmental impacts such as drought.

It\'s prohibited to hunt the Amazonian manatee since 1972.\'

For furthur information on river manatees  please paste these links into your browser|:


It is hoped that the initial plot will be extended by up to two hectares to include a natural deep water pond. Rescued manatees are rehabilitated, pampered until fit, even bottle fed and subsequently released into the Amazon

To see full details of the manatee rescue project click on the PDF symbol below





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Work starts at Patrixbourne, Kent29-Apr-2014

Work has finally started on the restoration and conservation of the early Romanesque wheel window sponsored by this foundation in conjuncrion with Orbis Pictus Trust. To see details of the programme of repair at St. Mary\'s please click the PDF symbol below.

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Wide Publicity for The Childrens lands15-Nov-2013

The biggest media company in Peru, El Commercio, owner of newspapers and TV channels is to publicise The Childrens Lands projects sponsored by ANIA in conjunction with The Matthiesen Foundation thereby reaching a regional population of ten million.

St Mary\'s, Patrixbourne, Kent27-Oct-2013

The Foundation was instrumental in raising funds and making a donation for the conservation of the wheel window which is among the earliest in Britain. The work has now commenced. The attached photo shows the window before conservation.

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Photo update on the Santa cruz project23-Oct-2013

The attached pdf will give an idea of the significant progress at the Santa Cruz site where a large group of children are fully engaged.

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Update on the Botanical Gardens in Lima Project23-Oct-2013

Early this year in association with ANIA and JP Morgan we funded an educational programme at the Botanical Gardens in Lima, the oldest in S.America, which receives 60,000 visitors a year.

The exhibit was to educate the public on the environmental and educational benefits of the Childrens Lands projects we have been associated with for 13 years and which put children in direct contact with nature. Much has been written about this on this site and the project idea is now backed with UNESCO approval. We have now launched an educational brochure for the kids for use both in an urban and country environment.

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Donations update for the year 2013-201426-May-2013

The Foundation has made grants to a variety of charities including London Southbank  Sinfonia; English National Opera to increase the awareness of opera among children; The Otter Trust; Conservation of the Romanesque Church of St Mary's in Patrixbourne, Kent; restoration of the organ at St George's Hanover Square; Harrow School Development Trust for a sculpture court; The Pantin Library, Oxford; International Refugee Trust towards the rebuilding of a nursery school in the South Sudan; Listening Books, The Courtauld Institute of Art and other projects. The Foundation also engaged in sponsorship of the exhibition Nash, Nevinson,Spencer, Gertler, Carrington. Bomberg: A Crisis of Brilliance 1908-1922 at the Dulwich Picture Gallery.

Santa Cruz, Peru - The Childrens Land update 201306-May-2013

The attached pdf shows the huge strides that have been achieved with this project in the desert in southern Peru which has become a showpiece linked to our current project at the Botanical Gardens in Lima. A small stand of threatened Huarango trees is being preserved and the children are enjoying their contact with nature causing the desert to bloom. The project has been so successful that the director of the local school reports that as a result of our project with ANIA the number of pupils attending the school has risen from 500 to 700. The smiles on the childrens faces tell the whole story. A supply of clean fresh water has been constructed as can be seen in the accompanying photo.

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The Lima Botanical Gardens Project21-Apr-2013

The second phase of this project which is designed to raise the awareness of children in Peru to the problems of ecology and conservation has just been completed. A fuller report will be posted shortly.

The Children's Lands concept has just been adopted by the Six nations of The Grand River in Canada and is undergoing evaluation.

The Foundation is partially sponsoring a new publication recounting the story of ANIA, the cartoon figure that illustrates the three instruction manuals. The Peruvian Ministry of Education has undertaken to circulate 127,000 copies to all classrooms once this is completed in June 2013.

Open access to the online manuals for The Childrens Lands27-Dec-2012

Owing to a reorganisation of websites the new link for the open access to The Childrens Lands instruction manuals in 3 volumes in English, Spanish and Portuguese now is

Lima: A New Project for the Natural History Museum - UPDATE31-Oct-2012

The Foundation sugggested to the natural history museum and ANIA that this project should be linked to our Ica project and to the promotion of interest in the fate of the Huarango tree. we suggested that an area be dedicated to a live exhibit of huarango in a micro environment and this idea has been accepted as well as the link to Ica.

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The Childrens Lands Didactic Pavillion at Lima Botanical Gardens21-Oct-2012

A proposal is being examined to contribute to sponsorship of this project that will be viewed by 70000 visitors a year. Full details of the outline proposal are in the attached PDF

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Music Sponsorship+ - The Organ at St Mark\'s, Hamilton Terrace, London, NW821-Oct-2012

The Foundation remains committed to the restoration of the organ at St. Mark\'s Church. This was moved in the early 1950s from the chancel to the back of the church and has not had serious maintenance since. Aidan Platten, the vicar, has done wonders in renewing seals and cleaning out accumulated detritus which has made a huge difference. However, the organ needs a couple of hundred thousand for a full rebuild to its former glory. This Foundation has been involved in fund raising and as a result new humidifiers have been installed which have already made a difference. The church has found money to renew and restore two draw boxes and this Foundation will provide the wherewithall for renewal of the third box to take care of the remaining fifty per cent of the organ. Donations towards the Organ Appeal should be sent to Aidan at the Vicarage.

\'St Mark\'s Hamilton Terrace first had a pipe organ installed on the west gallery in the 1850\'s by the Organ Builders Gray and Davison. 

When the Chancel was enlarged in the 1870\'s J.W. Walker and Sons was commissioned to rebuild and enlarge the instrument to a design by Frederick Bridge the then Assistant Organist of Westminster Abbey. 

With changing fashions, that organ was removed from the North Transept and rebuilt and enlarged in two cases at the west end of the church in 1950 again by J.W. Walker and Sons. It was reputed by many as one of the finest instruments in London. 


It is designed in such a way that an organist is able to play both baroque and romantic music convincingly. It is also powerful enough to lead a congregation of 900 and to accompany choral services with ease. 

This instrument is now in need of a rebuild through both age and also through an unreliable church roof. 

It remains an instrument that is exciting both to play and to hear. \'


The Billy Pantin Library, Oriel College, Oxford19-Oct-2012

The Foundation has made a gift towards the raising of £100,000 for the expansion of the College Library to be renamed The Pantin Library in honour of the late Prof. Billy Pantin, Professor of Mediaevil History. In addition the Foundation has raised a further sum of £18,000 from independent charitable sources.

UNESCO Official Recognition for The Childrens Lands Projects02-Jun-2012

The Division of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development of UNESCO has officially recognised The Childrens Lands projects as 'an official activity within the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. This is a quite timely initiative and helps in promoting a new vision of a more just and sustainable world. It offers a very creative way to get key sustainability messages to children and young adults, and to exchange ideas around sustainability issues'. The projects are  fully in line with the objectives and priorities set out by the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD, 2005-2014), co-ordinated by UNESCO.

This is a great step forward and will make diversification into additional countries easier. It will also help fund raising. The Matthiesen Foundation is proud to have provided the seed money for four original schemes in the Tambopata Rain Forest Reserve in Peru 2000-2001 and to have worked on successive schemes and multiple publications since then with Joaquin Leguia and ANIA. The letter and authorisation to use their logo is contained within the accompanying PDF.

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Childrens Lands manuals \'sell out\'!25-Feb-2012

Such has been the popularity of the Spanish edition of the three instruction manuals for forming a Childrens Land project that the first edition has sold out. The Foundation has therefore decided to sponsor a reprint of 500 copies of each of the thre manuals in march 2012.

The Childrens Lands/Forest/Mountain - instruction manuals free on line25-Dec-2011

As announced in October 2010 it was our intention to place the Instruction Manuals in open format on line for anyone to upload . The manuals have now been perfected illustrated with cartoons using the ANIA cartoon personality to promote 'greeness'. The manuals themselves (3 of them) are too large for this site so I am posting the direct links so that anyone worldwide can download the 'open' manuals for this UNESCO approved project now adopted also in 5 countries. More are considering it.

I would like to record here my thanks to Joaquin Leguia of ANIA who has been the driving force for this project and many others we have sponsored over the last eleven years. The Manuals are avialable in three languages: English, Spanish and Portuguese. These may be accessed on the bottom of the Foundation's HOME PAGE



Christmas at Santa Cruz Peru24-Dec-2011

The Foundation received its best ever Christmas present - a letter signed by all the children at the Santa Cruz project thanking for their Magic Forest, the fresh water well, the planting and all the other things apertaining to the project. The smiles of the children say it all.............

Enlarge the photo and click on the PDF letters to read the letter.

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Grants to the Arts11-Sep-2011

In the summer of 2011 the Foundation made a grant for educational fees to a promising Spanish cellist at the Guildhall School of Music. The Foundation also made a grant towards the publication of a catalogue raisonne on Goltzius by Larry Nichols due to be published in 2012 by Davico in the Netherlands.

Latest images from Santa Cruz, Peru Children\'s land project06-Aug-2011

Please open the attached PDF to see the progress on the site of this project and scroll down to the second page.

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Chambomontera Micro Hydro Electric Scheme update June 201113-Jun-2011

The scheme has been up an running for four months now since reconstruction. The following message was received on June 13th:-

Dear Patrick and Warwick


To communicate with great joy that after 4 months of interrupted operation of the micro hydro scheme of Chambamontera.


This ceremony has been organized with the people and authorities of the Municipality of Jaen, hoping it will be an important moment for the community and evidence that things are going well.


It is also necessary to say that after this ceremony, Will sign the transfer documents of the operation and management of the micro hydro scheme to the company formed in the community and to the supervision of local authorities began the period in which Practical Action only support in a specific way, as we consider important to be exercising their autonomy in the management of micro hydro scheme.

I share the press release prepared for dissemination at regional newspapers and TV.

And I will report on events





Santa Cruz infrastructure update05-May-2011

By May 2011 much of the groundworks to the children's enclosure had been completed including the new freshwater tank and ground tank. Please see the attached PDF for illustrations.

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Childrens Lands - Santa Cruz, Ica PERU30-Apr-2011

In order to see the scope of the new project please click on the PDF link below for a full expose in Spanish

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The Childrens Lands - A new project at Sta. Cruz, Ica, Peru30-Apr-2011

The success of the previous projects, the adoptation of the scheme in several other countries worldwide and the success of the multi-lingual manuals has led the Foundation to back what promises to be a new show project in tandem with the Orbis Pictus Trust. The scheme after extensive planning with Joaquin Leguia was commenced early in 2011 and should be complete by this summer. This scheme will bring improved play and education facilities to highly impverished children, will teach them to preserve the environment, will provide clean water and latrines and at the same time will adopt and maintain and replant a small grove of the threatened Huarango trees. The childrens play centre may be constructed of recycled plastic bottles covered in adobe and whitewashed as an ecological and highly efficient ecological and thermal solution. To see more about the Huarango click the PDF link

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Chambomontera march 2011 update and progress report20-Apr-2011
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Chambomontera Micro Hydro Electric February 2011 update25-Feb-2011

I am delighted at long last to announce that as of mid-February the totally rebuilt and re-installed electrical scheme in Chambomontera and El Eden is up and running between the hours of 5pm and 11pm Mondays to Fridays and 10am to 11pm at weekends. The whole system was rebuilt and upgraded to three phase with new transformers, generator, controller, pilons and wiring in fact everything except the original hydro electric generation hardware and groundworks. For a full and detailed reports with photos please open the PDF by clicking the symbol.

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The English on line manual for The Childrens lands16-Oct-2010

We are pleased to announce that the English language version has now been completed and may be viewed at