We hope you’re all safe and well. For the first time in years, we have nearly all the Niños together. The older youths — who usually enjoy semi-independent living in our Cusco apartment while they attend universities and institutes — are staying with their younger siblings in the Casa in Urubamba.
Before the Coronavirus locked Peru down, the kids had just returned from visiting their extended families on their Summer break. Traditionally, we welcome them back with a trip as a group, so they can return to school refreshed and feeling connected.
This year, after hosting her yoga tour to the Sacred Valley, our dear friend Kristen Stuart returned to spend time with the Niños. She’s shared a wealth of photos so you can see how our Niños are growing into fine young people.
This year, we’re inviting you to send your holiday greetings to the kids (and/or staff) in Peru. We’ll share your messages directly with Viviana, Avishai, and the Niños to fill the casa with love and joy from our Global Family.
In addition, your Giving Tuesday donations will be matched up to $1,750, thanks to a pledge from two of our generous donors!
Your contribution is also part of a beautiful holiday of selfless giving, designed to balance the energy of Black Friday. Namasté.
All our children are thriving, growing, changing. The home in Urubamba with our teenagers is very peaceful and centered; I attribute this to the excellent work performed by Kellye, a young woman showing always love and respect to the children.
When I was living in Peru 14 years ago, I got to visit my dear friend Mama Kia, and her home that she created for the 25+ street children she adopted. I helped to work in the garden and received so much inspiration from witnessing her live in pure devotion, love and service.
The Niños returned from their trip to Lima last night. They left at 1 in the morning, drove 16 hours over the mountains, and arrived home exhausted. But when we asked them if they would like to send thank-you notes to the donors who made their trip possible, they jumped at the chance.
Our organization is made up of two separate pieces: The Peruvian organization (headed by Viviana and Avishai) handles all aspects of programming, while the US organization (headed by our Board) handles fundraising and provides some financial oversight.
I love hearing from members of our Global Family who started with a small donation and are ready to increase it! Of course, I’m also here for people who’ve had a change in their circumstances and need to suspend their monthly donations. Or maybe you just want your donation to be taken out on a different day of the month; I can help with that as well.
Our kids love to cook. If you’ve watched our original video with Mama Kia, you might remember her saying that she never had to deal with a picky eater in this crowd — children who’ve known food scarcity in their youth know how to appreciate the joy of food abundance.
Now that our kids are teenagers, we’re often asked why they don’t get part-time jobs to help cover their expenses. For someone who lives in the United States or Europe, this seems like a really natural way for a teen to gain experience, learn responsibility, and help out a household that is struggling financially.
This quote describes so beautifully why we treasure education for our Niños.
“Because we are Quechua, because we speak our language and live according to our customs, and because we don’t know how to read and write, we live in the world of the night. We have no eyes, and we are invalids like the blind. In contrast, those who know how to read and write live in daylight. They have eyes. It is senseless to stay in the world of darkness because we must progress to be like those who go to school and have eyes. Going to school, we open our eyes, we awake.”
Peru: Inequality of Education for Indigenous Groups, the Neglected Class
We’ve been so lucky to have Romy and Nitzan, a beautiful Israeli couple, working with for six months. They arrived on the day we were departing for summer vacation with the kids and jumped straight into the van with us. This beautiful couple has eased our workload tremendously while leaving their mark on both the kids and the Casa. We will be so sorry to see them go in September. ~ Lauren
Here is a note directly from our beautiful volunteers, Nitzan and Romy
Gratitude and Love to our Global Family for making possible that this garden of life blooms to the fullest! with your ongoing support, the children are able to continue nourishing their dreams and hopes for a good future, breaking the chain of abandonment, abuse, limitation, and poverty. Here’s what each of the kids is up to at the moment:
Our Casa was recently graced with a very special presence. Rebecca Schisler, who is an artist, mindfulness educator, and youth mentor, brought a group of 30 energetic and talented teens from France into our space and they created magic.
Last year, we had our most effective campaign ever on a platform called “Rootfunding.” This platform allows our supporters to each set up their own fundraising page and commit to finding 10 friends who are willing to donate $25/month each.