Maria Salome Ferro Orphanage
On 25 June 2016, I made the first LNO business trip back to Maria Salome Ferro, the orphanage in Cusco, Peru. It had been I felt truly grateful to be able to return to the orphanage with the resources to make a real difference. For this, I have you - the LNO customers to thank. Without each and every one of your purchases, none of this would have been possible. So, first and foremost,
T H A N K Y O U.
Upon arriving at the orphanage, I was met with beaming smiles from familiar faces, as well as, a number of new faces. One of my favourite memories from my first day back at the orphanage was overhearing one of the boys, telling his friend in disbelief "This is her third time back here!"
My first week back at the orphanage was spent being a kid myself - catching-up, hanging-out, and playing endless football with the kids. At high altitude, this was a real struggle, but still heaps of fun.
During the second week, I liaised with the orphanage director and together we outlined and prioritised the core needs of the orphanage. By the end of the week we agreed that the money from the LNO fund should be spent on: medicines, creating a room in the orphanage known as ‘La Zapateria’ (which in English, translates to ‘shoemaker’s shop’), clothing and a stereo.
The list of medicines which I was given from the nurse in residence was extensive and she informed me that the most important medicines on the list were those that fought against the flu.
For example, just over S.1500 PEN, which translates to around $600 NZD, was spent on buying mass quantities of 35 different flu medicines.
1500PEN is generated by roughly 30 jewellery purchases - That’s 30 wonderful customers whose purchases will go on to aid these children through the cold winter months.
In Peru, they have public universities, however, the admission test required to enter the public universities requires high scores and as a result, many children end up not qualifying. The idea behind implementing La Zapateria at the orphanage, was to ensure that all the children have a trade that can allow them to be employed once they leave the orphanage.
A room within the orphanage for La Zapateria had already been set aside and a teacher already chosen. So all that was needed to complete the set-up were the resources.
With roughly S.3000 PEN ($1200 NZD), we bought shoe soles, leather, suede, zips, and all sorts of other stuff.
Now, everyday after school, the children are taught how to make shoes, bags, belts, wallets and books. Once they have finished making an item, they then sell it at the local markets. Using the profit, they can afford to buy more materials to make more things. So, as you can see, La Zapateria generates a sustainable loop of learning-creating-selling-buying.
The children are so engaged when they are making things (refer to image). The teacher says: “It’s nice to see how much care the children take in their work. When they complete something, they are so proud of themselves. It’s wonderful to see their confidence grow.”
CLOTHING & STEREO
The rest of the money from the LNO fund was spent on buying clothing (mainly socks and underwear) and a stereo for the orphanage. The stereo, once hooked up with a microphone, can be used for events held at the orphanage and making important daily announcements within the orphanage. But aside from that, the children can use it to play music, dance and just have fun!
The picture above shows the teacher and some of the children helping to unpack and set-up the stereo.
They handled the stereo with great care, and insisted on keeping the plastic covers on to preserve it’s shiny exterior.
. . .
All in all, the children and staff at the orphanage were extremely grateful for all of the contributions. The kids, especially, could not conceal their happiness and excitement - they all had grins from ear to ear.
Once again, I’d like to thank everyone for being part of the journey. I hope you are all still enjoying your purchases, knowing that the ring, the necklace, or the earrings you are wearing, went towards; maintaining these childrens' health, providing them with a secure future, keeping them well-clothed and, of course, well-entertained!