Herzen für eine neue Welt (Hearts for a New World) was founded in Konigstein, Germany in 1998. Their project, Corazones para Peru, works to improve living conditions for children and families in the Peruvian Andes’ Chicon Valley near Cusco. In the past 17 years, Corazones para Peru has established a children’s village, multiple schools and two health centers.

The children’s village, located in Munaycha, Peru, has become home to over 80 orphaned or abandoned children. The village features a healthcare system, schools and a bridge program for college students in need of a place to live. The health facilities service over 400 people a month providing them with immediate healthcare, vaccinations and pharmaceutics.

Volunteers for Corazones para Peru have built 13 schools, allowing 1,000 children to receive an education. Along with these schools, members of the organization established kindergartens to prepare 50 children a year for school.

The village is supplied by an organic agricultural center, and volunteers have planted over 20,000 trees to prevent soil erosion and contribute to the economy of the village. It also features two psychologists, a social assistant, a pedagogue and three trained cooks to help raise the children physically and mentally apt to grow up to be healthy and well adults. Seven live-in dormitory matrons and 16 trained volunteers also contribute to the village staff.

Schools built in the village are equipped with jungle gyms, gymnasiums and recreational centers and all follow Corazones para Peru’s meal program. Many times, children have to walk many miles to reach schools just to spend the whole day learning on an empty stomach. The meal program eradicates this issue by supplying schools with meals for students. Throughout the last couple of years, Corazones para Peru has invested two million dollars to supply schools with basic educational materials like blackboards, books and pencils.

German volunteers teach English, physical education and extracurricular classes to students in the village. In addition, they teach them valuable skills like teamwork and tolerance and provide them with financial and personnel support.

Corazones para Peru’s project, Learning with Heart, strives to help children, especially young girls, receive an education. In Peru, completion of secondary school is a requirement for apprenticeships and attending universities. Many residents miss their chance of receiving an education because the school is too expensive or the family experiences a great financial loss from the loss of labor. Learning with Heart supports families with monthly funds so their children can attend school and become who they want to be.

Hearts for a New World plans to continue working in Peru for many years with the goal of rounding out future generations of Peruvians to create a better living environment and community for Peru’s residents.

Julia Hettiger

Sources: Herzen Helfen, Shoulder To Shoulder, Matador Network
Photo: Flickr

Children of Peru Foundation
In 2006, Edouard and Zaralina Ruelle created The Children of Peru Foundation. The two had explored Peru—witnessing the marvelous ruins of ancient civilizations of the ancient peoples. They stood speechless in the magical places of Macchu Picchu and Chanchan, and discovered the beauty in Titicaca Lake and the dense forest areas.While traveling and exploring, it was hard for the couple not to notice and sympathize for many children walking the streets living in poverty. The children were working, not attending school and suffering with disease. Edouard and Zaralina later found out these children lived in dysfunctional families where sexual abuse was common, were victims of child labor and did not have adequate access to healthcare.The couple created the not-for-profit organization in the United States, and began raising money to help finance NGOs in Peru who were dedicated to helping impoverished children in Peru. The Foundation has a six-person board of directors who meet regularly to develop policies and check on progress.

The organization’s mission statement is as follows: “The Children of Peru Foundation is dedicated to building a better future for poor children in Peru. We raise funds to make grants to a select group of non-governmental organizations working in Peru to provide better healthcare and education for poor children.”

One such organization funded by Children of Peru Foundation is a French organization called Samusocial Peru. This organization has been working in Huaycan, an impoverished neighborhood near Lima, since 2005. They utilize two medical mobile units and do rotations in Huycan, looking for children who need medical services. Their services include educating parents on hygiene practices, and help dysfunctional families aiming in large part to end child abuse. Also noteworthy, the Foundation worked with this organization to develop a program to fight tuberculosis, as well as rebuild the high school in Huycan.

Another organization Children of Peru Foundation funds is called Medical Missions for Children (MMFC). MMFC is U.S founded, and seeks to provide free surgery and dental services to poor children worldwide. They organize an annual mission to Cuzco, Peru to provide free surgeries, including cleft lips and palates, as well as microtia, to impoverished children.

The Children of Peru Foundation clearly impacts the lives of Peruvian children struggling with family issues, poor health care and lack of education, through financial assistance.

– Laura Reinacher

Sources: UNICEF, Children of Peru