Latest update

Poverty remains entrenched and widespread in Peruvian society. Rural indigenous communities are most affected and many children work to help support their families, sometimes in dangerous conditions.

The nation was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hospitals were totally overwhelmed by the need and a large proportion of the population lost their source of income.

Our church partners in Peru continue to faithfully serve children in poverty. By providing for their physical, relational, cognitive and spiritual needs, the local church is helping children to discover their full God-given potential.

Find out more by watching the latest video update below from Peru.

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Country update

How you can pray

Thank you for praying for staff, church partners, children and families in Peru.

Please join us in praying for the following:

  • Pray that children would receive the education they need to reach their potential and live full and flourishing lives.
  • Pray for wisdom for the National Leadership Team and staff as they work to serve the children living in more rural areas.
  • Pray that God would continue to prevent COVID-19 from spreading and heal those who are ill.
  • Pray that God would protect people and crops amid weather changes due to El Niño.
  • Pray that caregivers will find jobs to provide for their families as food prices keep increasing.
  • Pray for the safety of children, families and staff amid alarming crime rates.
  • Pray that God would provide social and political stability for the Peruvian people.
Hope for families in Peru

Hope for families in Peru

Ten-year-old Mathias has been sponsored through Compassion for six years. He loves learning at his local Compassion centre in Peru and regularly exchanges letters with his sponsor. Mathias’ mother Tatiana reminds him to pray each night before she tucks him into bed. One night he asks her: “Mum, is it possible for someone who doesn’t know you to pray for you?”   Read more open_in_new

A snapshot of Compassion's Child Sponsorship Program in Peru

Compassion’s program is contextualised across countries and communities, as well as age groups.

  • Children aged 1 to 3 receive home-based care.
  • Children aged 3 to 12 visit the Compassion centre three days a week, for two to four hours each day, or on Saturdays.
  • Students aged 12 to 18 attend the centre for two days a week, for three hours a day, or on Saturdays.
  • Students aged 18 and older attend once a week, mostly on Saturday evenings.

Compassion Program Activities in Peru

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Compassion assisted children in Peru typically attend program activities at their local child development centre on Saturdays. They also attend for a couple of hours after school during the week. Here is an example of what a typical program day looks like for children in Peru.

8:00am - Breakfast and devotion time. Children are usually given tea served with snacks like eggs, bread or buns.

9:00am - Spiritual lessons where children sing songs and learn Bible stories. When they join the Child Sponsorship Program, children are given a scripture portion. When they are aged six to nine, they are given picture Bibles, at 10 to 13 youth Bibles and from age 14 they receive adult Bibles.

10:30am - Break time where children can play in a safe environment and develop friendships.

11:00am - Social-emotional lessons ranging from conflict resolution to developing healthy self-esteem and a godly character. Children often come from challenging home environments and are taught social and personal skills.

12:00pm - Lunch and social time. Children generally receive a meal three days a week. A typical meal includes a dish of vegetable salad, a second dish of meat stew with beans and rice, fruit and a refreshment. Centre cooks are frequently trained to prepare nutritious meals.

1:00pm - Health lessons where children learn practical health and hygiene advice on a range of topics such as the prevention of malaria and HIV.

2:00pm - Letter writing and career planning. Older children work with local staff to identify their strengths and interests and set goals for their future.

In addition to Compassion’s curriculum, children have opportunities to participate in activities such as camping or visiting a museum or cultural show. Students are offered vocational training in silk screening, jewellery-making, baking and buffet preparation. Parents of Compassion assisted children meet once a month to learn about a variety of topics.

The greatest needs impacting children living in poverty in Peru


of children aged 5-13 work to help their families


mothers die from pregnancy related causes per 100,000 births

Peru hosts many treasures, including the Amazon jungle, the ancient Incan ruins of Machu Picchu and palatial Spanish cathedrals. Andean markets are a hive of community activity and burst with colour—particularly the woven textiles and traditional clothing.

Over the past few decades, Peru’s poverty rate has dropped significantly. In 2000, 16.7 per cent of the population lived below the international poverty line. By 2021, this dropped to 3 per cent. Mining exports have fuelled much of the nation’s economic growth, as global demand for natural resources, such as silver and copper, has increased. But the nation’s heavy reliance on natural resource exports makes the country vulnerable to shocks in world prices.

Children face many hardships and issues related to poverty. 18.9 per cent of children between 5-13 years old work to help their families, sometimes in dangerous conditions in mines or on construction sites. Many families send their children to work out of desperation to put food on the table. Undernutrition and anaemia are areas of national concern for Peruvian children.

A lack of access to public services, coupled with the fact that rural youth predominantly speak an indigenous language, contributes to lower school enrolment of children in Peru’s rural areas. The rate of urbanisation in Peru has continued to increase as youth move to the cities in search of employment.

According to Peruvian anthropologist José Matos Mar, the increase in urbanisation, accompanied by the increase in educated youth from a variety of backgrounds in cities, has led to a reduction in racism and marginalisation based on ethnicity or cultural heritage. But these social stigmas haven’t disappeared entirely. Marginalisation still persists based on education level, poverty, gender and indigenous background. As a result, when rural youth migrate to Peru’s cities, they are increasingly unable to find work in the formal labour sector and resort to employment in the informal sector, where monitoring of work conditions and wages is likely to remain low.

Yet our local church partners are best placed to meet the needs of children in their communities, ensuring they have opportunities to rise above poverty and reach their God-given potential.

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Stories from Compassion around the world

14 Mar, 2018

Why Do My Sponsored Child's Letters Sound the Same?

It can be disappointing if your sponsored child hasn’t responded to your questions or even mentioned the letter you sent them. Here’s why this could be happening, plus handy tips to prevent it. .. Read more

12 Apr, 2018

What Possessions Do Children Living in Poverty Treasure Most?

From remote, isolated tribal communities to bustling cities and crowded slums, 10 children in our Child Sponsorship Program share their treasured possessions. These are their beautiful, surprising and funny answers... Read more

23 Apr, 2018

Have You Sent These Things to Your Sponsored Child?

Wondering what you can send to your sponsored child? Read on for the items you can include with your letters, plus learn what not to send... Read more