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How to Help People in Peru

How to Help People in PeruAn imbalance of power between the government and its citizens continues to burden Peru. Corruption is rampant in the agricultural sector given that Peru’s plentiful natural resources keep its economy afloat, despite widening wage gaps. The country lives in the shadow of a civil war which cost the lives of nearly 70,000 people. Considering the various plights of the Peruvian people, from gender inequality to widespread poverty, it may initially seem difficult to procure a definitive strategy on how to help people in Peru. While modern day Peru faces an array of conflicts, there are many organizations which have formed in response to the various needs of the country.

With its history of autocratic governments, Peru is in desperate need of governmental assistance and foreign aid to protect the rights of its citizens from corruption in the government. One organization whose aim is to prevent further governmental strife is the Peru Support Group. This organization fights corruption through meticulous research of Peru’s current political and social climate and from there uses the information to improve policy as well as provide expedient news on how to help Peru. One can support the ongoing success of the Peru Support Group through donations as well as by familiarizing oneself with the data created by the organization to breed awareness for the conflicts Peru faces today.

Given that a cornerstone of Peruvian culture emphasizes the values of the family unit, this mindset has encouraged families to grow as well as to integrate extended family members into a single household. This results in many people sharing the same roof with very limited resources. In order to meet the needs of their families, Peruvian children often are forced to work on the streets vending an assortment of products from gum to souvenirs.

On a visit to Peru’s capital of Iquitos, Paul and Sandi Opp were deeply affected by how this epidemic of poverty was especially burdensome for children and relentlessly sought information on how to help people in Peru. The two formed the organization People of Peru Project, which has built a crisis center and an administrative dormitory to provide for the poor of Peru from childhood to adulthood. Over the years, the project has seen Peruvian inhabitants grow from poverty to successful careers in fields such as medicine, law and engineering. The organization makes it easy for others to contribute to the organization through means of volunteering and/or donations on their site.

The most recent conflicts which have wrought disaster on Peru are the recurring instances of mudslides that are happening across the country. The current death toll stands at 100 people and countless others are suffering from homelessness after the series of mudslides tore through more than 800 cities. While the Peruvian government has made great strides in doing all that it can to prevent further havoc, the media has not done its part in raising awareness for international funding to counter the incidents.

Fortunately, great mobilization is occurring through grassroots organizations in the United States, such as the Peruvian community living in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia to provide aid. Anyone can contribute to the cause of how to help people in Peru just through sharing articles on social media to gain attention from the media, but especially those living in the above-mentioned areas can donate to local Peruvian relief organizations.

Volunteering, raising awareness, and donating toward social, economic and political relief in Peru is not only an investment in the country itself but also in the future. The inequality, social discrimination, and government instability of Peru do not only affect it within its borders; if the natural resources of Peru are not protected and properly sourced then it jeopardizes the prosperity of several other South American countries. It is not merely a topic of concern in terms of altruism but of international practicality and pragmatism.

Kaitlin Hocker

Photo: Flickr