Munaychay, Peru – Week two in the children’s camp

The rest of the 70 children arrived, because tomorrow’s Monday school will start. 70 pupils between six and 17 years live in the children’s village, 10 children and adolescents each in altogether seven houses with a “mother” each, called tia, aunt, and some substitute aunts. The children are orphans, semi-orphans, or other cases allocated to the facility by social security office or court. The children get a home here, food, clothing, and education, everything they need for a future. Some of them go home to relatives during the vacations, but others don’t have a home or nothing they would call so. There is a separate home for infants and another one for adolescents from 18 years on who are still in training. The public schools attended by the children are supported by the responsible body Corazones para Perú financially with food, materially e.g. with furniture, and personnel with teachers and psychologists.

Half of the aunts are nurses, the other half teachers. Not an easy job though, because they have to spend 24 hours daily with the kids for three weeks, and are a week off then. Most of them have own children who are big enough to care for themselves or a husband or grandmother who cares for them. And of course kids from a home aren’t automatically well-behaved, especially if they partially come from difficult social conditions. Here teeth cleaning is left out, there cutting the nails. The TV room is opened only Saturdays, but if you really would like to watch telly, wouldn’t you do anything for that? The kids are extremely curious, and if something is lying around, they might need it. We shall lock everything always. Kids, just normal. But ten of them, somebody else’s kids to boot and this 24 hours a day. Respect, and honestly, being tia wouldn’t be my dream job. The tias are supported by volunteers, young people between school and university or those doing their community service, and salaried employees.

We finished the workshop, although everything is a bit slower in South America, well, nearly finished since the gravel for the floor was missing. It arrived yesterday, and it is enough to gravel over the whole access road to the carports. Now we only have to care for equipping the workshop with tools and spare parts. In the meantime we began to examine the fleet of vehicles of the children’s village and carried out one or the other smaller repair, to draw up a list of defects and to evaluate if the vehicle shall be kept or sold. And so it goes on, we could spend weeks and months here – there would be enough work.

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