You can change the life of a child.
Juan grew up in a small village high in the Andes mountains. His parents were farmers and life was always a struggle. Along with his seven siblings, Juan knew hunger. He felt the daily pangs of not having enough to eat. During Juan's mother's ninth pregnancy she experienced complications. Juan was never clear on the details, but remembers his father telling him that his mother had died. Desperate and uncertain how to care for all of his children, Juan's father sat down with him on his eighth birthday. He told Juan, at eight years old, that was ready to go out on his own, that the father could no longer take care of him. That was the beginning of a new life for Juan. Eventually he made his way to the Casa Girasoles Program. He is now 17 and preparing to enter a university, on a mission to be someone in his life.
As hard as it is to accept, Juan's story is not unique. Estimates for the number of children living in orphanages or state-run homes are hard to fully quantify. According to the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), there are over 153 million orphans around the world - the majority of whom are housed by government-run agencies, not for profit organizations, and faith-based groups. Together, these homes make up a safety net for some of the most marginalized children in the world.
One particular group working in Perú, Unión Bíblica del Perú, has long been a partner of Health Bridges International (HBI). HBI has supported Unión Bíblica del Perú's homes for abandoned youth for the last 20 years - providing medical, dental, and mental health care. We even developed an electronic health monitoring system to evaluate and track each of the boys.
Many of the young men come from unfathomable conditions, situations no child should endure. The Girasoles Homes lift the boys out of poverty, abuse, and exploitation. They provide structure, love, and most importantly a future.
Running homes for abandoned children can be challenging. Over the next five years, in order to maintain and improve the Girasoles Homes, HBI and Union Biblica del Perú will partner. HBI will operate two of the Girasoles Homes for Abandoned Youth - in the desert city of Ica and the Sacred Valley of Cusco.
This Holiday Season we are challenging our family, friends, and colleagues to help us raise $40,000.
Funds from the Holiday campaign will help to support the operation of the Girasoles Homes for the first two quarters of 2019. Your generous donation will -
- $25 buy a school uniform
- $50 provide comprehensive medical and dental care for a child
- $75 cook a month of nutritious meals for a child
- $150 train care providers in best practices serving marginalized youth
- $300 staff one month of overnight security at each home
- $600 pay a months salary for a house parent/care provider
- $1,800 support a child for the whole year
Join us. Build a bridge. Save these homes and help build a future for all the Girasoles.