Where We Work

Snapshot of Peru

68

mothers die from pregnancy related causes per 100,000 births

13%

of people lack safe drinking water

24%

of people lack access to proper sanitation

Peru faces real struggles: a corruption scandal has implicated many past presidents and the real poverty rate rose in 2017 after years of improvement. Too many children are caught up in child labour, a lack of access to education, and more.

Four Peruvian ex-presidents have now been placed under investigation for allegedly accepting bribes from Odebrecht, a Brazilian engineering firm that transferred money to politicians or paid for campaign costs in return for favourable decisions on lucrative construction projects. The opposition party has also been caught up in the scandal, with opposition leader Keiko Fujimori investigated. She denies receiving any money from the company.

President Martin Vizcarra was sworn in as head of state in March 2018 after then-President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski resigned amid allegations of corruption linked to Odebrecht. President Vizcarra has said that tackling corruption will be his government’s priority. Given the breadth and depth of the scandal—which has swept across three continents and revealed hundreds of millions of dollars of bribes—that task will not be easy.

Meanwhile, the percentage of Peruvians (both urban and rural) living in poverty actually increased in 2017. Over the past two decades, Peru’s poverty rate has dropped remarkably, but this recent turnaround is a worrying development. More than 6.9 million people now live in poverty, most in rural areas. Indigenous people are disproportionately affected.

Children still face many hardships and issues related to poverty: Between a quarter and a third of children aged between six and 14 work, sometimes in dangerous conditions in mines or on construction sites. For many families, the choice to send their children to work is made by the confronting reality that an extra daily wage means food on the table. Other options, such as sending their children to school, don’t have the same urgency—but that contributes to ongoing poverty, as children don’t receive the education they need to graduate and find steady employment.

Cristina Zavala

Letter from Compassion Peru Director, Cristina Zavala

Dear Sponsor, Receive our warm greetings from the Inka’s land culture, the Amazon River and the beautiful coast of the Pacific Ocean. My name is Cristina Zavala and I have been the Country Director of Compassion Peru since 2005. I live close to the beach and I love the sunset, with those beautiful colours in the sky, and the sun hiding in the sea like a little child hiding to play. I thank God for His wonderful creation and His call to serve many children in poverty that also play “hide and seek” and have an opportunity to get hope in life.

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Meryl’s Message of Hope

Meryl Karina Ferrer Carhuas was born in a hardworking family in one of the poorest parts of Lima. Her parents never went to college; they barely finished high school and started to work to support their families. However, Meryl was a brilliant student at school and applying to college was a goal she wanted to pursue. In 2014, she was in her last year at high school and things were going great in her studies. She had a scholarship—but something happened in her family that almost destroyed her dreams.

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Prayer requests for Peru

  • Praise God for Diego’s progress; he was recently diagnosed with chronic malnutrition but has made great progress after following a medical treatment and nutrition plan. He is doing much better. Please continue to pray for this young boy and his family; pray that he will grow stronger and stronger.
  • Please pray for a miracle for Franco, a 12-year-old sponsored boy who lives in Lima. He was recently diagnosed with bone marrow cancer and doctors say he doesn’t have long to live. Pray that God will intervene as only He can and bring about a miracle in his life. Pray for strength and faith for Franco and his family.
  • Pray for the local staff and church partners who are organising a community education campaign called “I don’t talk to strangers” to raise awareness of child protection and the dangers that children face. Pray for strong community participation and cooperation from the authorities; pray that children will be better protected as a result.
  • Pray for Filadelfia Child Development Centre (PE0350), in Santa Ana, Perenne, and more than half a dozen other centres across the country which have been flooded by heavy rainfall. Pray also for the families of registered children in these communities, whose homes have been damaged and possessions lost. Pray for God’s Spirit to be moving as the churches rally around these families and help them get back on their feet.
  • Pray for the government and leaders of Peru. Pray that they will take effective steps to help combat the rising level of poverty in their nation, particularly among the indigenous and rural groups who are most affected. Pray that all children will be given greater opportunities to go to school and overcome the poverty that stands in their way.