How did such a remarkable place come to exist?
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 possession or toy. But they were brought into love, and have been raised as a family.
When Mama Kia passed away from cancer in 2010, the kids were orphaned a second time. She was truly their mother. They 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. Eighteen of the 33 children Kia took in are still being supported by our work, and we will continue until they are all grown.
Mama Kia had a large network of friends who supported the children, including Hollywood dignitaries like Woody Harrelson and Owen Wilson. But only a handful of them are aware that we are still raising the children. Eighteen of Kia’s 33 Niños still need to be supported through college to complete her vision.
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