Latest update

Poverty remains entrenched and widespread in Peruvian society. Rural indigenous communities are most affected and at least a third of local 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 is Compassion currently operating in Peru?

  • Are Compassion centres open?

    Most Compassion centres in Peru have reopened and are operating as usual, but some remain meeting in small groups to limit the spread of COVID-19. Staff members have created online lessons, radio programs and devotionals to support children and their families during this time.

  • Are children receiving letters?

    Letters to sponsored children continue to be distributed in Peru, but they may be delayed.

    This disruption has been caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and local guidelines and lockdowns. Our staff in Peru have been working on finding ways to provide letters digitally to sponsored children where possible. Now that staff can access the National Office for printing, translating and processing letters, communication between children and sponsors will become more regular.

    Thank you for continuing to write words of hope, love and encouragement to your sponsored child!

  • Are gifts being delivered?

    Gifts continue to be distributed normally in Peru. Local workers will meet with the child and family to determine the best use of the gift and ensure it meets their greatest need.

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 for Raulito's health and wellbeing, and for his grandmother Liliana to continue to have the strength and courage to raise him in the ways of the Lord.
  • Pray over the holistic development of all Compassion assisted children.
  • 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 for vulnerable children and their families who could potentially be affected by El Niño on the Peruvian coast, especially in the country's northern region.
  • Pray that God would provide social and political stability for the Peruvian people.
Feeding hungry kids in Peru

Feeding hungry kids in Peru

It’s breakfast time for 14-year-old Nicol and her younger cousins. As they sit at the table, they wonder what they’re going to eat when Nicol sees someone carrying a bag to the house.   Read more open_in_new


Please note: Due to the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, some child development centres in Peru are temporarily unable to host large group activities. Our local church partners continue to meet the holistic needs of registered children through smaller group activities or home-based care.

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


mothers die from pregnancy related causes per 100,000 births


of people live in poverty

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% of the population lived on less than $1.90 per day. This percentage dropped to 3% in 2015. Mining exports have fuelled much of the nation’s economic growth, as world demand for natural resources, such as silver and copper, has increased over previous years; 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. Between a quarter and a third of children aged 6 to 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. Undernutrition and anaemia are areas of national concern for Peruvian children.

Lack of access to public services, coupled with the fact that rural youth predominantly speak an indigenous language (rather than Spanish), 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.

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

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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