LOAN SCHEME in Huaycan – for some time we continued to offer small business
loans to members of the project. This worked well, but returning to England
made the collection of payments difficult and no-one wanted a local to take
this over. We also found that the
Peruvians ran their own savings scheme, which functioned well.
We visited another loan scheme, whose personnel came and explained to
our group how they could join, but no-one did when we closed our loans down.
We continue to make special loans in some circumstances however.
LA CAMPINA – (Reaching Lima’s Families Project No. PE 92168). On our return in 2001 we were able to commence a new project. We wanted to influence mothers and children 0-5 years, as this is the most important period in a child’s development. We commenced with weekly meetings in a local church further up in the hills above Santa Cruz. The area is very under-developed, with no proper water supply.
For several months we gave
hygiene, educational and Christian teaching until we got to know the ladies
and established the basic purposes of the project.
We then formed a committee and with them formulated rules. We finally
began in August with 15 mothers and all their children under six meeting twice
a week. The morning begins with a devotional, followed by teaching for the
parents and activities together with the children, and ends with a nutritious
meal, for which everyone pays a small amount.
The project advanced well but had to close during our first absence in
England due to a dispute over land ownership.
On our return in August a alternative venue was found with the same
church and attendance gradually increased to 50 mothers and 100 children, most
of whom do not attend church. The new premises were provided rent-free until the owner
wished to sell. We then donated
half the cost - seeing it as the equivalent of 5 years’ rent ($1,500) - and
the mother church bought the property, agreeing we had the right to remain for
at least 5 years. Improvement to the physical condition of the property was
The work continues to thrive at
full capacity. Emphasis has been
on nationals administering the project. Every Tuesday we meet as a committee
to pray and deal with any problems. We go regularly on Tuesdays but Thursdays
they run it without us. As we were due for Home Assignment and there was
no-one with experience to oversee the spiritual and educational part in our
absence, we appointed someone recommended by the mother church.
She appears to have done well and we hope she will be able to continue.
Each year there have been special Christmas & Mothers’ day activities in conjunction with the church. From time to time we have special educational projects involving the whole family, covering basics such as cleanliness in the home, water purification and teeth cleaning.
A local doctor also comes every 2 months to give a talk. In co-operation with another group we were able to help 23 families construct their own dry pit toilet.
The committee and their children came with us on an educational visit to the zoo, organised fund raising events for the church, and also collection of food for needy cases in the community.
With gifts from our supporters we
were able to help the local clinic get some equipment they needed.