A sponsorship program for children and the elderly in southern Peru

Serving the elderlyThe settlement of Alto Cayma is located on the outskirts of Arequipa, the second largest city in Peru. Alto Cayma is populated by thousands of “invaders” who come from a life of deprivation in the mountains and highlands of Peru. They come to the city in search of a better life for themselves and their families, including access to education for their children. Unfortunately, they also come with few employable skills with which to make a living in the city economy. As a result, they are relegated to perform manual labor for very low wages, typically just $3-4 a day. If the family has several children, or elderly parents who can no longer work, this small amount of money is nowhere near enough to go around. Under such severe economic pressure, the elderly are often neglected. Also the education of the children must sometimes be sacrificed.

FamilyThe “Acercándonos” sponsorship program is intended to extend a lifeline to the children and elderly of Alto Cayma who are in greatest need. The commitment to sponsor a child or elderly person entails contributing $25 a month to a fund used to meet the needs of the sponsorees. All $25 of your contribution is sent to the project site in Peru, where this modest amount of money can be made to stretch an amazingly long way by leveraging it through the care network established by Father Alex, a missionary priest who is working with the people of Alto Cayma. In the case of a child, for example, your sponsorship can buy one very nutritious meal a day, provide access to medical care, and help with school expenses and other needs. The elderly also receive meals, clothing, and access to medical care, which for them can be the most pressing issue of all.

In starting a new sponsorship, we ask that the first month’s contribution be $50, which is $30 for that month plus another $30 to be held in reserve for emergencies. After the initial payment, contributions continue at the level of $30 per month. Those who wish to reduce the number of checks they have to write are welcome to pay any number of months in advance that they wish. A sponsorship is considered to be an open-ended commitment unless the sponsor notifies us, preferably 2 months in advance, of an end date.

Checks should be made out to Advent Peru Mission Support Fund, with Sponsorship written on the memo line, to insure tax deductibility. Mail checks to: Susan Hartsell, 2900 S. Devon Street,, Charlotte, NC 28213. Payments are appreciated by the 10th of the month for which they are due.

Each sponsor will receive a photo and initial information about their sponsoree, and may expect to receive a letter from their sponsoree within a few months. You are also encouraged to send photos and letters to your sponsoree. If you want to buy something extra, such as birthday or Christmas presents, you are encouraged to send the money (non-tax deductible) well in advance and let our staff in Alto Cayma make the purchase, to avoid the high cost of shipping. If you want to send small personal gifts as well, please mail them to: (your sponsoree’s name), c/o Victor Galdos Llerena, Casilla 158, Arequipa, Peru. To avoid Customs problems, it is important to keep package weights under 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) and declared value under $100.