Social Projects & Volunteering in Lima
When you are wandering around Limas neat and modern "better" districts like Miraflores, Barranco, San Isidro or even the Historical City Center you might quite easily forget that you are still in the capital of a 3rd world country. And if you don't let yourself be "distracted" by modern shopping facilities, business centers and apartment towers, beautiful restored historical buildings and the unique cultural remains the city has to offer or if you even dare to leave the beaten tourist tracks in Lima, you will soon discover how many people live in poverty and are in need of help.
According to official studies around 20% of Lima's population lives in poverty. That's more than 1.6 million people. Looking behind the nicely maintained better suburbs or at the slums surrounding Lima and the thousands of workers earning an average wage of around US$ 200.- to US$ 300.- you will soon realize that there are even more people that need support. Not to forget the people living outside Lima in the underdeveloped regions of the Peruvian highlands or jungle.
We have compiled a lists of some organizations that we consider doing an amazing job with their projects and hard work. We would like to recommend them all, as they seen to be honest and trustworthy by allowing you to be part of their progress by archiving all sorts of changes to improve the situation for the community. Volunteers aren't charged any fees like with some other "institutions" or places in Peru – at the most you have to pay a small amount for your food, etc...
Giving a coin or two to beggars on the street might not be considered wrong, but please do us a favor and read our topic on Begging in Lima before you do so. Anyhow you might say it's only a drop in the bucket and you're right. If you really want to help, we would like to recommend supporting one of the social projects or charities in Lima (Peru); either with cash and physical donations or with your voluntary work.
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Cima is a non-profit organization that provides assistance to boys who live on the streets or find themselves in high-risk situations. CIMA welcomes boys that suffer, have lost hope and have been rejected by their own families. Boys from nine to sixteen years of age are accommodated with the goal of reinstating them in their homes and in society.
Aprendo Contigo (Learning with You) is an educational and recreational based program. Aprendo Contigo is helping children with life-threatening diseases to continue with as much normality as possible in a hospital environment. The small patients can attend classes and develop physically, emotionally and intellectually while being confined to a hospital bed or as a walk-in patient undergoing treatment.
Founded in the year 2000 the Franco-Peruvian association Niños del Rio helps and supports children living on Lima's streets. The assistance Niños del Rio provides, exceeds helping with tangibles. They offer an open ear for the children's problems, understanding and sympathy, love and support in every situation, and of course a way out of the street life. Niños del Rio considers themselves as a bridge between the street and other institutions.
Founded in July 2007 Runaway offers professional pedagogic and social support in a family atmosphere as well as guidance and training for marginalized young people who are about to leave a home or outpatient care center. Through numerous activities, workshops and counseling Runayay helps these young people developing their personal, practical and social skills. This enables them to leave their problematic past in poverty behind and live a self-reliant life in dignity.
El Refugio (The Shelter) is a Peruvian-Swiss non-profit association that offers a home to babies and children who are neglected or at risk, and offers care to children and elderly adults living in extreme poverty. The children homes are designed following a family structure; they have a maximum of 12 children per home. They are under the care of a substitute mother and are supported by a team of women.
LimaKids, a social benefit program of the Peruvian non-governmental organization AB PRISMA, was founded in May 2005 in Lima, Peru. LimaKids mission is to provide an alternative line of support for children and adolescents living in orphanages or in socially risky situations , especially those who are either living on the streets or in extreme poverty or both, and who are highly vulnerable to violence, sexual exploitation and substance abuse.
Casa Belen, the social project of the German Evangelic Lutheran Church in Lima, is a day care center for children in the district of Breña, a very poor area just a few blocks away from Lima's city center. Casa Belen was founded in 1965 and today looks after over 160 children
Tablada in the district of Lurin is one of the poorest areas on the outskirts of Lima where the problems of rapid population growth and extreme poverty become more than obvious. Lack of food, malnutrition, often missing drinking water, diseases and lack of education deeply affect the development mainly of the children.
The "Casa Hogar Villa Martha" in Lima's district Pachacamac gives physically and emotionally abandoned children a new home and the hope of a new life. Santa Martha was created with the sole purpose of serving needy children by giving them education, protection, love, and moral and spiritual formation.
The "Comunidad de Niños Sagrada Familia" was founded in 1989 by Miguel Rodriguez and is located in one of Lima's poorest districts, in Ventanilla. The community gives abandoned and neglected children a caring and loving home. The kids receive not only food, but as well an overall education based on affection, responsibility, values and work.
The center for destitute and sick children "Hogar San Francisco de Asis" is a place where parents of sick and general unhealthy children who can't afford to pay the necessary medications, hospital fees and medical treatment can bring their children. Here the patients receive care free of charge (drugs, therapies, operations, food and a caring staff).
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