On June 8th 2022, 11 volunteer employees from all across the Amoria Bond Group travelled to Peru with the Amoria Bond Charitable Trust (ABCT) to help with ongoing building work that supports the community of Las Laderas. During their stay, our group of volunteers lived with the children at Project Peru's Children's Refuge, which made them experience first-hand the impact they and the ABCT have on the lives of these kids.
The ABCT has aided the people of Las Laderas for over 12 years with donations and multiple volunteer trips. This year the group went to help with ongoing building work to extend Project Peru’s Children refuge, do maintenance on the refuge’s building, and build a new soup kitchen in the shanty town area of Las Laderas.
This year’s trip was so impactful as the children refuge provides a safe place to live and learn for vulnerable children from impoverished families and often tragic and heart-breaking circumstances. In recent years COVID has decimated the region and there are more children than ever who are desperately in need of the safety, shelter and love provided by the refuge, which sadly lost two amazing House Mothers who had taken care of the children for many years to the virus. The refuge is funded entirely through charitable donations, and the Amora Bond Charitable Trust has supported its ongoing operating costs for over 10 years.
Lack of space and resources currently means that tragically teenagers are having to leave the refuge as young as 14 years old with nowhere to live, no chance of staying in school and limited prospects. Luckily, due to some incredible fundraising, an extension to the refuge is being built where the older kids can stay past the age of 14. This means they can stay in school and develop skills that allow them to go to university or start an apprenticeship. The team helped with building work to extend the refuge: They dug three holes, for the septic tank, electricity, and water, and they moved many tons of brick and gravel up to the second floor of the extension building site. This is part of what makes the support so sustainable, by giving these kids an opportunity to learn and develop for longer, they are able to break the cycle of poverty and in the future use the skills they pick up to further improve their community.
Another project the volunteers worked on was building another soup kitchen in the shanty town area of Las Laderas. Many of the children come from this area and still have friends or family members living there, which makes being able to support this community even more rewarding. Many of the families who live in the area don’t have the tools or equipment to cook in their own houses. This soup kitchen will be used as a safe space in the community where they can gather, cook, and share with each other. People won’t come there for a handout, but they’ll work together to provide for each other and the entire community.
Before the soup kitchen was finished, one of the families in the area had given up part of their house to be used as a kitchen by multiple people in the community. By building a new designated soup kitchen, not only will over 50 families have a safe place to gather and cook, but this family also gets their house back.
This makes the third soup kitchen we’ve built in Las Laderas. On one of the days, the team visited one of the previously built soup kitchens and the 101 houses Amoria Bond funded in previous years and still supports by delivering hundreds of care packages of essential items every Christmas. They saw first-hand the impact it had on the community and the many families that have used the space for years.
Not wasting a second, our hard-working team also redecorated the refuge! They repainted the walls, sanded tables, did general maintenance work in the refuge and solved some impromptu problems, including cleaning up after a water tank burst.
Most importantly, the team spent time with the refuge staff and children. They walked them to school in the mornings and played sports every morning and evening. Football and volleyball were the favourite sports of the kids and many of them are really good!
On one of the days, the team took the kids on a day trip to a local nature reserve and ended the day with a very rare treat of chicken and chips. Spending time with the kids highlighted the great care, love and support the refuge staff is providing them, and the importance of this project. The connection with the kids and staff makes these trips so impactful and is not something the team will soon forget.
Unless you've been to Las Laderas, it's hard to grasp the extent of the poverty and need, but to get an idea - and by contrast, what a wonderful place Project Peru's Children's Refuge is and why it's so important we help them to extend the support and care they provide - we encourage you to check out some of the projects we've supported there over the years here.
Thanks to the amazing fundraising efforts and generosity of colleagues and supporters globally! Without your generous donations, none of this would have been possible!
Our biggest thank you goes to the 11 volunteers: Daniel Daw, Natasha Crump, Célia Daubagnan, Pierluigi Gaeta, Andrew Bluffield, Eddy Maunder, Jenny Walsh, Michael Lyons, Fabian Frohloff, Jana Strobl, and Denise Riesenbeck for their amazing work and helping us Progressing Lives Everywhere!