Our work in Peru
Helping families adapt to a changing world
The third largest country in South America, Peru is a land of geographical and cultural contrasts. Peruvian culture is a brightly woven tapestry that incorporates the influences of 40 indigenous groups, including the majestic Incas, the builders of the architectural marvel Machu Picchu.
Unbound's Lima project is bringing benefits to children, youth and elderly members who find themselves on the margins of a rapidly advancing world.
The program is working to strengthen family and community bonds as Peru transforms from a rural to an urban society.
Children in the sponsorship program receive education assistance such as school fees and supplies. Benefits to sponsored members also include nutritional support through periodic food baskets and participation in lunch programs, and access to health and dental care.
Staff members of the Lima project have helped sponsored friends develop a sense of community through the creation of community groups, workshops, skill training, and birthday and holiday celebrations.
Families empowered to make decisions
A key characteristic of the Unbound program is empowering families living in poverty, so that they are able to make their own decisions about their future.
The project has focused on building partnerships with families to determine program benefits, activities and priorities, in short, truly owning the program instead of being recipients of charity.
The small staff encourages individuals to develop skills and talents that will benefit not only their families, but ultimately their communities.
"We truly consider that the families have so much value and wisdom to help contribute to certain facets of the program's development," said Henry Perez, Lima project coordinator. "The families, through their everyday life, have gained so much experience through making sacrifices out of love. They are a great source of knowledge."
Mothers groups create cohesion
Recently implemented mothers groups are helping to shape the face of Unbound in Peru.
Through the groups, the women have developed supportive relationships with each other, and helped to strengthen the identity of the Unbound community among the families of sponsored children.
In addition to advising the project staff about benefits and program activities, the mothers identify creative ideas to help move their group forward, like the group in the Pedregal area.
They designed and organized a knitting workshop for their group. Through the workshop, women were able to learn from the more experienced knitters in the group, while everyone benefited from the creative group environment.
The mothers also band together to help those in need. The United for a New World group built toilets for an aging woman and her handicapped son. Another group contributed money toward sheet metal for a fellow mother's roof.
Mothers groups offer a way for the women and their families to see themselves as agents of positive change in their local communities. Their sincere desire to contribute to the collective well-being helps unite their local community.