UPDATE: Israel has opened its border to agricultural volunteers. This trip will happen in late May!
It’s fairly common for kids growing up in a Children’s Home in Peru to meet world travelers who volunteer on their behalf. Our kids have been impacted by many of these volunteers, from countries like America, Canada, France, Germany — and Israel.
Usually, these are one-way situations, where the kids are passively receiving support and help from others.
But Niños del Sol has always been different, and we’ve never encouraged our kids to passively receive aid.
Paying it Forward
Now that many of our Niños are growing up, they want to pay that love forward. They want to go out into the world and give back, while they test themselves against new experiences, environments, and cultures.
We’ve created a path for them to do that by volunteering long-term on a kibbutz — a communal farm in Israel.
Living on a Kibbutz is somewhat of an ongoing school, learning to engage and exchange with others, learning to give and receive, learning to be involved, to participate, to partake in communal life. ~ Avishai Pearlson, Associate Director Niños del Sol
Doris, age 20, was the first from Niños del Sol to test the program. Many of you supported her in making that journey.
When Doris told her friends in the Sacred Valley that she was going to Israel to volunteer, they didn’t believe her. Young women from Peruvian villages don’t often travel the world.
But Doris packed her bag and headed to Israel, and (thanks to the pandemic) stayed there for nearly two years. She experienced the desert, the sea, Jerusalem, hard work, and communal life. She made friends from all over the world. She came back stronger, more whole, more grounded, and with an unshakable belief in herself.
Doris returned confident, emotionally strong, with a high sense of self, knowing better which way to steer her own life. She learned that past trauma does not have to be the bond that stops her from BEING, Instead, it is the catalyst for her life to take off and for her to manifest her wishes and dreams. ~ Viviana, Executive Director, Niños del Sol
Meet Guadalupe and Ray Shael
Now, two more of our young women are ready to make the trip. Ray Shael and Guadalupe both grew up at Niños del Sol. Both have been successful in making a transition to adult life, working in the tourist industry and living independently — until the pandemic came. There’s been no tourism industry for a year, so they’ve been working odd jobs to pay their bills.
Still, they’ve managed to each save $500 toward their expenses. That should give you a clue what kind of determined, responsible people they are — and just think of the courage it takes to leave everything you know and travel halfway around the world for a year!
I want to live in another society where perhaps my being a woman will be valued and respected. I want to face my fears of the unknown and I want to return to Perú to be of service to my people, to be an example to my younger siblings still living at Niños del Sol. ~ Ray Shael
I would very much like to grow and develop in a way that perhaps is not much possible in the society I live in. ~ Guadalupe
Will you help?
These amazing young women are ready to go, as soon as the border opens. We think that will happen in a month or two, so we’re working to raise the money they’ll need for airfare and expenses.
Will you help them make this life-changing journey?
Read more from these brave young women and our directors at these links: