Latest update

Peru has been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hospitals were totally overwhelmed by the number of positive cases. A large proportion of the population are informal workers who have faced the difficult decision of staying home and earning no income or going to work and risking contact with the virus.

Our local Peruvian church partners have creatively adapted the way they support children during the pandemic. Most child development centres continue to meet in small groups or through home visits rather than large gatherings.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, local workers have distributed more than 1,416,000 food packs and 1,390,000 hygiene kits to vulnerable families.

Letters between sponsored children in Peru and their sponsors have been disrupted during the pandemic. Local staff 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.

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?

    Some centres in Peru have temporarily paused large group gatherings in order to abide by local guidelines. Most church parnters are supporting children and their families through home-visits or small group activities.

  • Are children receiving letters?

    Letters to sponsored children continue to be distributed in Peru, but they may be delayed. This means it could 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.

  • Are gifts being delivered?

    Gifts continue to be distributed 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, children and families in Peru.

Please join us in praying for the following:

  • Pray for healing for Estefany who was recently diagnosed with Turner syndrome.
  • Praise God for allowing teenager Luz to find the medical support she required.
  • As snow begins in Peru's mountain regions, pray that the children and their families will remain warm and safe.
  • Pray for wisdom for the National Leadership Team and staff as they work to serve the children living in more rural areas.
  • Pray for a smooth transition into the role for the new national director of Peru.
  • Pray that God would continue to prevent COVID-19 from spreading and heal those who are ill.
  • 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 current pandemic, some child development centres in Peru are operating differently to abide by local restrictions and guidelines. Local partners continue to meet the urgent needs of the children through home-based care or by meeting in small groups.

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

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.

However, the percentage of Peruvians living in poverty increased in 2017. This recent turnaround is a worrying development and 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. 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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