A story of love and magic and healing
This is the story of a magical place in the Sacred Valley of Peru. A place where orphaned children found a loving home, a future, a family, and are living happily ever after against all odds. These kids aren't just warehoused somewhere and kept alive on gruel and water until they can be dumped out on the street. They are excelling, attending college, dreaming big, and will be the future of Peru. But the story isn't over, and now the children are facing the possibility of a third traumatic loss in their tender lives.
How did such a remarkable place come to exist in a country like Peru?
Our home began when Helen Ingelnath (known as Mama Kia) visited Peru in 1995 and discovered children sleeping in doorways and living in the streets. She opened her heart to them and started feeding them in the parks, but she soon realized they needed more than food. The children needed education, medical treatment, and love. Mama Kia took them in, and they became a family.
Our kids came to us alone in the world, orphaned or abandoned. Nearly all of them have been abused. Some have witnessed horrendous acts of violence. Not one child has ever arrived here with a single posession or toy.
When Mama Kia passed away due to cancer in 2010, the kids went through a second round of loss and abandonment — and lost most of their financial support as well. It was a dark period of financial and emotional chaos.
Now we have new directors, Viviana and Avishai, who have worked hard to earn the children's trust and help the kids feel safe and protected again. You can meet them, and see how the kids are doing, in our new video.
The children, now called Niños Del Sol to reflect their proud Incan heritage, are functioning again as a strong, loving family. They laugh and learn and play together, help and support each other. They are growing up, and several now spend their weekdays in Cusco and attend college. We are so proud of what these kids have accomplished. It is nothing short of a miracle to see children who might have grown up illiterate and homeless doing well in University and preparing themselves to give back to the next generation.
Ninos Del Sol is a unique healing home, where we encourage growth by providing the children with proper health, a good education, art, and recreational and social activities. The children live in an atmosphere of love and creativity. Living within a cooperative environment, all of our children learn how to manage interpersonal relationships, respect each other, and use non-offensive verbal communication. We are a home where children can be children.
At Niños del Sol we strive to have our children develop into healthy, holy, happy, conscious individuals. In my experience… the core for a growth in all other areas is to develop consciousness. ~ Viviana Dumas, Director
The children have recently moved to a beautiful property near Urubamba, where they live alongside our Sacred Valley Retreat Center B&B. Older Niños who want to learn hospitality skills can gain experience and earn money toward college by working in the B&B, and even study to become yoga teachers. These are skills that are highly in demand in this part of Peru, and can help support the kids through college or even beyond, if they choose, in Peru's thriving tourism industry.
Part of the dream is that one day, the alumni of the program will serve as its board. That they will have good careers and will be able to give back, allowing the center to start taking in new children again. There are so many traumatized children on the streets in Peru…
But it will take time to build the dream. Typically, it takes three years for a new business to begin generating income for its owners. Meanwhile, we desperately need your help to feed, clothe, and educate the children.
In the financial and emotional chaos surrounding Mama Kia's death, we lost a great deal of financial support. There's been just one incredibly generous man supporting the children for two years now — and he has recently let us know that his support for the kids is coming to an end this year.
Without regular, monthly financial support, the children will have to be separated from their loving family and sent to ugly government institutions. We're starting to find some donors, but we need your help to keep this family together.
Please commit to a monthly donation of whatever you can afford to feed one of these beautiful kids. Please help us spread the word and ask your friends to help as well. We need at least $10,000 a month to keep the children fed, clothed, sheltered, schooled, and supervised. Right now we have commitments for less than 10% of that figure.
Please come visit us, get to know the children and the new directors, Viviana and Avishai, who are putting everything back together after the dark time that followed the loss of Kia. With your help, they can rebuild the children's hearts, and the Center's finances.
How you can help
There are many children in the world who are orphaned, abandoned, poor and homeless. Why should you help this program, these children, who are living in peace and joy and comfort?
Because we have a program that works, and that is a rare and beautiful thing. Because one person cannot help all the suffering children of the world, but a small group of committed donors will help us continue our work. Because our children are not just surviving, but going to University and preparing to help the next generation of children, so your help and support will reach out in pond ripples through generations.
Can you pledge your support? A base of monthly donations is what we really need to know the expenses will be met from month to month. Every little bit helps!
You can also help by volunteering (if you speak Spanish and can make a 3-month commitment to working the children), or staying in our Retreat B&B. You can also become a Hero to the children by helping to spread the word and asking your friends, family, or coworkers to donate as well.