Latest update

Peru has seen a steady decrease in active cases of COVID-19 since September. Peru reported more than 963,000 COVID-19 infections and over 35,900 related deaths on 1 December. Schools are closed except in rural areas with no COVID-19 infections, where there is a limited resumption of in-person teaching at primary and secondary schools.

Strict curfews between midnight and 4am remain in effect nationwide. Adults over 65 and high-risk individuals cannot leave their homes except for going to the grocery store, bank or pharmacy, or in a medical emergency. The wearing of face masks in public places is mandatory, and social distancing of at least one metre must be maintained. All social gatherings, including those held in homes and with family, are prohibited. Religious services may resume, however, at one-third capacity.

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COVID-19 in Peru

How is Compassion currently operating in Peru?

  • Are Compassion centres open?

    At this point, all Compassion child development centres in Peru are closed.

    The national staff and local church partners are monitoring children and families who are vulnerable due to extreme poverty, possible abuse or health complications.

    Centres remain focused on caring for children in four main areas: physically, through telehealth and disease prevention training; emotionally, through remote counselling; socially, through regular check-ins and visits when permitted; and spiritually, through counselling, devotionals and prayer.

    Local church partners are working closely with local authorities to deliver supplies to families and have been able to distribute over 505,300 food packs and 308,000 hygiene kits. Additionally, they have helped more than 27,700 individuals access medical support during the pandemic.

  • Are children receiving letters?

    The majority of letters are delayed in Peru, which means it may take longer for you to receive letters from your sponsored child. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write! We encourage you to continue sending your sponsored child letters of encouragement and hope. What a joyful day it will be when those letters are delivered!

  • Are gifts being delivered?

    Gifts continue to be distributed in Peru. Staff members have been given the option to disburse monetary gifts to an appropriate, verified caregiver, if necessary. This applies to family gifts and child gifts (including birthday and final gifts). Families may spend the gift on whatever they consider most important to meet family needs. The caregiver will decide the best use of the money, recognising that sometimes purchasing food or paying rent is in the best interest of a child.

How you can pray

Thank you for praying for children and families in Peru who have been impacted by COVID-19—and the local staff and churches who continue to serve them in difficult circumstances.

Please join us in praying for the following:

  • The treatment that six-year-old Brittany is receiving would be effective, and she would recover from ocular melanoma with no lasting side effects.
  • God would heal 14-year-old Anyi who is suffering from a pancreatic tumor.
  • God would provide income generation ideas and the resources needed for families to implement them.
  • Local church partner staff’s continued safety as they support the children and their families in the community and resume daily tasks.
  • God’s comfort would be with the children, youth and families who are grieving the family members and friends they lost in this pandemic.
  • God would provide volunteers who love kids and want to make a difference in their lives.
  • God would give wisdom and discernment to the Leadership Team as they create guidelines to keep people safe while providing opportunities and resources for the children.
  • The continued health and safety of Milca’s father, Sergio’s wife, Jorge’s wife, Sumaq, and Esteban’s wife.
  • God would bring peace and stability to the country as they prepare for a potential second wave of COVID-19.
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

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Thank you for praying for children and families in Peru who have been impacted by COVID-19—and the local staff and churches who continue to serve them in difficult circumstances.

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.
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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

88

mothers die from pregnancy related causes per 100,000 births

13%

of people lack access to 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 six 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. 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.

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