Greetings received in Peru

Hector and William reading some of the messages

Hector and William reading some of the messages

Towards the end of the summer term, Marie Molloy visited St John Houghton School in Kirk Hallam for a morning Act of Worship and told pupils about Warmi Huasi, a CAFOD supported project in Peru. Warmi Huasi means “the House of Women” in the local Quechua language.

Warmi Huasi works with low income families in the shanty town of San Benito in northern part of the capital city, Lima. The community is right on the edge between the city and the countryside, on one side is urban sprawl, on the other are green fields and hills. Many people in San Benito work far from home during the day and have to leave their children to look after themselves until they get home in the evening. As a result, many of the older children play a parenting role to their younger brothers and sisters, cooking for them and looking after them when they come back from school.

Warmi Huasi, an organisation set up by the Columban Fathers, tries to provide safe spaces for the children and their younger siblings, where they can play, do their homework and learn to be more confident and assertive. There are three homework clubs in different parts of San Benito and a larger building where Warmi Huasi has a cinema club, a reading club and workshop activities including art and games. A group of 5 women volunteers visit the families of the children to give advice about parenting and childcare and they also run nutrition classes for the parents of the youngest children.

In response to Marie’s presentation, many students at St John Houghton gave up part of their lunchtime that day to write a message of friendship, in Spanish, to the young people and children they had heard about. The messages were duly delivered in August to the delight of everyone at Warmi Huasi. The photo shows Hector and his cousin William reading message from Olivia and Louise.

Thank you to everyone involved in this act of solidarity.

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