'The change we see is ... extraordinary'
[caption id="attachment_2295" align="aligncenter" width="480" caption="These are some of the first boys placed into families through Buckner's foster care program in conjunction with the government of Peru. "][/caption]
Buckner’s ministry in Peru began with short-term missions to share God’s love at orphanages. Today it’s grown into an official collaboration with the government that is changing children’s lives.
In 2005, Buckner answered God’s call to minister to “orphans in distress” (James 1:27) in Peru. We led American missionary teams, provided humanitarian aid, shared the Gospel, and completed service projects that improved life for many underserved children.
But God had bigger plans.
Little more than a year later, we were honored to form a collaboration with Peru’s government. The purpose? To improve care for the country’s estimated 50,000 orphans through a pilot foster care program.
Claudia Leon, director of Buckner Peru, says the program is a major improvement over the existing large, institutional orphanages. “Foster children feel loved, and they know that despite their difficult circumstances, there are people willing to open their hearts and homes to them.”
Though recently launched, the effort is progressing steadily. More than 40 families interviewed to serve as foster parents. Only seven were chosen. But this number will grow as more families are vetted and the government encourages participation.
Claudia says the children “develop their athletic, artistic, and musical abilities.” More important, “they have learned to practice and identify values.”
Romario: From Abuse to Affection
Romario is a child in the program. His background is heartbreaking. Removed from an abusive situation, Romario spent three years at a state orphanage. There, it became clear he had an emotional block, leading to communication problems and learning deficiencies.
Now, after just one year with a loving foster family, “the change that we see in this boy is extraordinary,” Claudia explains. “He went from being a dry, fearful, quiet child to an affectionate child.” He also now interacts positively with other children.
She adds that Romario’s experience is no exception. “All of our children have grown in a positive way.”
Additional Programs Help Children in Peru
[caption id="attachment_2296" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="Girls, like this teenager living at Buen Pastor orphanage in Cusco, Peru, receive aid and support through Buckner mission teams and staff each year. "][/caption]
In addition to foster care, Buckner continues to build relationships between short-term missionaries and Peru’s orphanages. More than 1,250 children have benefited from this ongoing ministry. But that’s not all:
- 4 Buckner Peru offers transitional homes for older orphans, sponsoring education and care that aid their path to self-sufficiency.
- We’re prepared to deliver humanitarian aid and did so after a major earthquake devastated the city of Chincha.
- Peru is one of our Shoes for Orphan Souls destinations, and thousands of pairs have been delivered to (very excited) children.
To learn more about Buckner's work in Peru, watch this video: http://helpingorphans.buckner.org
To make a donation to support girls transitioning to adulthood in Peru, visit www.buckner.org/helpingorphans today!
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