MMRC Global has found it’s first location to assist in South America. We are quite happy that it is an orphanage as providing health, safety, and education to children has always been part of the MMRC Mission Statement. Our first orphanage is located in Lima, Peru, and was recently assessed and treated by current MMRC volunteers Liz Allison and Jana Mervine. Extreme thanks to Solidarity In Action for placing Liz and Jana in Peru and bringing this orphanage to our attention.
Reports from the field:
The Lima orphanage consists of 15 kids that live there full time, and are all fed three meals a day. Clara is the head of the orphanage, which means she “owns” it, coordinates everything, and lives there with the kids.
There are additional kids (about 30+), that she supervises during the day and are who are also fed lunch at the orphanage. She receives enough food from another NGO to feed all the kids for the first 15 days of the month. After that, she is forced to scrape by on donations.
Longer term, if we can raise the money, we would like to either build another orphanage for her in the same area, or renovate/add on to the space she has. The space she has now is very limited. There is one room inside where the kids play (concrete floor, one picnic-sized table, and a good portion of the area is used for storage). There is no outside area to play in, and very little space inside to play.
A single room upstairs has 15 beds in it, and Clara sleeps there as well. Liz and I spent a lot of time there during our two weeks in Lima. We examined all the children, treated a few with antibiotics, many for lice, and one for scabies.
We also took 10 of them to the beach one day.
The beach is not a cheap place, so in order to be able to pay for it all, we bought two loaves of bread, half a kilo of ham (not a whole kilo, because 1kg=2.2 pounds, which we realized we had gotten backwards when we saw the deli man heaping ham onto the scale in massive amounts), Oreos that were on sale, and bananas/water from the local market because it’s cheaper than the grocery store.
Early in the morning, Jana, Mayra, and I took the bus to San Genaro and picked up the 10 kids. We got cabs (because there were so many of us and the beach is about 30 minutes away) and were on our way.
They were so cute and excited with their little backpacks and flip flops and singing excited little faces.
The beach itself was great. The waves were ginormous. The biggest I have ever seen. You couldn’t get within 100 feet of where they were breaking they were so big. But the kids had fun going out as far as they could and then riding them in. The twin boys that are always crazy and all over everything at the orphanage were hilarious. They were terrified of the waves. They would never stand with their back to the ocean and they would barely let the water go above their ankles. It was pretty cute.
We played with them, fed them, played some more and had them home after about 5 hours. They were exhausted and happy. Good day. And we did the whole thing for about $40.
Not too shabby.
Please remember that we cannot continue here in South America without your donations. Our work here has just begun and every little bit helps. There are hungry and sick children here that need our help.