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Peru floods and Westfalia Orphanage

2017 March 21
by scott

Hello friends. As you’ve probably heard there are disastrous floods in Peru at the moment, the worst in 30 years due to El Niño. At least 75 people have died and the floods have directly affected half the country with 800 towns and cities declaring a state of emergency. More than 70,000 people have lost their homes as Peru’s rainy season has delivered 10 times as much rainfall than usual. Infrastructure damages have also been reported, at least 8 hospitals have been destroyed by flooding and 16 others are uninhabitable.

Westfalia Orphanage, and the 130 children, has been directly affected with the only road washed completely away with no foreseeable timeline as to when it can be repaired. The ONLY physical access to the orphanage is a footbridge which is expected to collapse if the floods continue (the video below shows the Lurin River which runs close to the orphanage. The footbridge I mentioned can be seen at 1:30 IN THE VIDEO BELOW). This would leave the orphanage completely isolated. So we’re racing to get supplies across the footbridge before it collapses. We need G-size diapers, milk, rice, flour, yeast, toilet paper, hygienic towels, menestras, tuna and other preserves. If you can help out please send us a donation
If you are in Lima and wish to help please send a message. Feel free to share this page. Thank you!! And I’ll keep you all updated.

(The footbridge I mentioned can be seen at 1:30)

Westfalia Orphanage Christmas Drive 2016

2016 December 4
by scott

7th annual Sonrisasenperu.org Christmas party

On Saturday, December 17 we’re hosting our 7th annual Sonrisasenperu Christmas party for the 125+ children of Westfalia Orphanage in Peru. We’re looking for a little help to make it happen.

The kids come from broken, abusive homes, abandonment or their families gave them up because they simply don’t have the money to take care of them. These kids don’t have electronics games, bikes, or televisions. They don’t go to the cinema or enjoy trips away with family. There are 4 or 5 children per room and there are 14-18 children per ‘house’. They live in an orphanage in the mountains of Cieneguilla on the edge of Lima and will be spending Christmas alone, without family. So we want to brighten up their Christmas and help them to experience a happy, loving time.


What’s happening?

We are organizing 2 gifts for each of the 125+ children. We’ll also be providing a huge lunch, snacks, drinks, and dessert. We’re going to have lots of games, competitions, and prizes. There will also be a live show for the kids which includes singing, dancing and of course, Santa handing out the gifts! Oh yeah, and we’ll be providing lots of fun!

… BUT we really need your help!

Donations have helped us provide many things for the orphanage over the years, including a permanent, industrial water filter which cleans river and well-water when the kids were drinking dangerously polluted water which didn’t meet World Health Organisation standards. Your donations helped to renovate the childrens’ 25 year old houses to meet new government requirements. You helped fund a new industrial stove to replace a gas-leaking, 22 year old stove as well as a load of new pots and pans. You’ve helped provide all kinds of classes over the years. You’ve helped replace broken windows and provided shoes, clothes, blankets and literally tonnes of food and essential supplies to the orphanage. But we need your help once again.

If you can help out please send us a donation. We need to make sure these kids receive gifts, a memorable lunch, snacks, drinks, and games. Like always, any extra funds will go towards food and supplies, as well as summer activities such as swimming lessons, day trips, etc. The orphanage’s food stocks are always low over the Christmas break so we also want to buy food provisions such as rice, beans, potatoes, meat, eggs and milk. If you’ve never donated and been a bit hesitant…now is your chance.

If you’re here in Lima, Peru and want to donate a gift or food, please send us an email (‘Contact Us’ at the top of the page). You can also see the 2015 Sonrisasenperu Christmas party here!

Please post this on your Facebook page to help spread the word!

Thanks for helping make a difference :)

2016 Water Project continuation

2016 November 20
by scott

2016 saw a lot more work on the Water Project. While we helped organize the new water filter to provide a clean water point to stop the kids drinking the heavily polluted river water, the kids were still using the polluted water for showering, washing, brushing their teeth, etc. According to U.N. standards, this water was even too polluted for simple skin contact. So the goal is to provide clean water to all 7 houses at the orphanage (currently there is only one point at the main kitchen), install new water tanks, replace old, damaged and unclean pipes, provide a fire-fighting capability including fire hydrants and hose with reach to all buildings and build a fruit tree orchid and the water tanks to sustain them in the months where there is little or no water.

Due to the both the mountainous region and water system’s elevation requirements there was a huge amount of effort needed for us to get them in the right positions. Our Project Manager, Randy, had amazing friends come from the US to Peru to help out for a week. As the photos show, it was a lot of hard work.

The following photos show the most difficult part, hauling a giant 10,000 liter (2641 gallon) tank up a very steep incline using a pulley system and a lot of pulling! Randy constructed a huge sled to make it a little easier but it was a lot of work.

I should also mention a big thank you to all the people who have volunteered to work on this project over the years. It’s been a huge job, everything from literally using a pick to dig into solid rock (and breaking said pick!) to digging very hard, rock-filled dirt to putting in pipes, and burning in the very intense sun. We have had volunteers from all over the world including Australia, the US, Canada, Peru, Colombia, England, Holland, Germany and South Africa!

So there’s still more work to do on the water project but it’s getting a lot closer to being a reality! Read more and keep updated on our Facebook page (and like!)

Thanks!

Scott

Westfalia Orphanage Christmas Party 2015

2016 October 28
by scott

On Saturday December 19, 2015, Sonrisasenperu hosted our 6th annual Westfalia Orphanage Christmas Party. It’s a day where the 120+ orphans get a chance to feel like regular children and know that people really do care about them. These are the same kids who don’t have individual birthday parties, but have a ‘monthly’ party with all the kids whose birthdays fall in that month. So it was a big deal for them. A huge thanks to everybody who contributed through donations, gifts, food, or their time. It was an amazing day only made possible with help from you guys!

The Christmas party is always a lot of fun and seems to get bigger and better every year. As usual we had an amazing show with dancers, DJ, singing, dancing, games and prizes, face-painting, and Santa and helpers were handing out the gifts which the kids loved. It was such a special day for the kids that live at the remote orphanage in Cieneguilla on the outskirts of Lima, Peru.

Of course we had our usual traditional turkey lunch (thanks again for the help Sean!). It’s extra special because the children don’t eat a lot of meat due to a lack of funds. So the once-a-year turkey is pretty exciting for them.

Santa and his helpers handed out the gifts and childrens’ faces said it all as they came up and collected them. These aren’t kids who have bikes, cell phones, playstations, or toys we took for granted growing up so the gifts were really special for them.

As well as those who got involved in the gift process I’d like to thank those that came out and spent time with the children. It meant a lot to them to spend such a great day with good people. A big shout out to Mahlon B for generously coming up to take some wonderful photos again this year (3rd year now!).

A big thank you to those who have helped us make this event so special. And thank you to all those who have donated funds, food, clothes, and their time over the year to these amazing children. For over 6 years now I have personally seen amazing changes in these children. They all come from terrible situations whether it be abuse, abandonment, from the streets, or simply that their families cannot afford to care for them. They come from all parts of Peru to join this big family. And they continually grow in character from shy and reserved children into loving, confident, caring, empathetic teenagers and adults. And this doesn’t occur simply from dropping off food or clothes but from constant contact and letting them know that people do care about them, and that they are worthwhile. And the children are well aware of the global help they receive and constantly ask about the people and countries that contribute. So thank you for making a difference in the lives of others, so far away.

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2014 Xmas (73)

Sonrisasenperu has some very important projects coming up for 2016 including helping on a huge water project which includes building a high capacity water filter and several large water towers to run clean water to every house and building at the orphanage (currently there is only one clean water point in the kitchen). This would put a stop to the use of contaminated river water. The project includes the planting of 100 fruit trees and drip irrigation to provide a self-sustaining food source for the orphanage. We will also be assisting in the upgrade of the children’s rundown, 25 year old accommodation. And of course we will continue to provide food and clothing for the 120+ orphans at Westfalia as well as other rural children in need.

If you want to help out you can send a donation or simply spread the word by copying this post onto your facebook or twitter.

Thanks for helping to make a difference!

Please enjoy some of the photos from the Christmas party below.

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img_20151219_162841

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Westfalia Orphanage Christmas Drive 2015

2015 December 15

6th annual Sonrisasenperu.org Christmas party

On Saturday, December 19 we’re hosting our 6th annual Sonrisasenperu Christmas party for the 120+ children of Westfalia Orphanage in Peru. We’re looking for a little help to make it happen.

The kids come from broken, abusive homes, abandonment or their families gave them up because they simply don’t have the money to take care of them. These kids don’t have electronics games, bikes, or televisions. They don’t go to the cinema on a Saturday night or enjoy trips away with family. There are 4 or 5 children per room and there are 12-15 children per ‘house’. They live in an orphanage in the mountains of Cieneguilla on the edge of Lima and will be spending Christmas alone, without family. So we want to brighten up their Christmas and help them to experience a happy, loving time.


What’s happening?

We are organizing 2 gifts for each of the 120+ children. We’ll also be providing a traditional turkey lunch, snacks, drinks, and dessert. We’re going to have lots of games, competitions, and prizes. There will also be a live show for the kids which includes singing, dancing and of course, Santa handing out the gifts! Oh yeah, and we’ll be providing lots of fun!

… BUT we really need your help!

Donations have helped us provide many things for the orphanage over the years, including a permanent, industrial water filter which cleans river and well-water when the kids were drinking dangerously polluted water which didn’t meet World Health Organisation standards. Your donations helped to renovate one of the childrens’ 25 year old houses to meet new government requirements. You helped fund a new industrial stove to replace a gas-leaking, 22 year old stove as well as a load of new pots and pans. You’ve helped provide all kinds of classes over the years. You’ve helped replace broken windows and provided shoes, clothes, blankets and literally tonnes of food and essential supplies to the orphanage. But we need your help once again.

If you can help out please send us a donation. We need to make sure these kids get at least one present, a memorable turkey lunch, snacks, drinks, and games. Like always, any extra funds will go towards food and supplies, as well as summer activities such as swimming lessons, day trips, etc. The orphanage’s food stocks are always low over the Christmas break so we also want to buy food provisions such as rice, beans, potatoes, meat, eggs and milk. If you’ve never donated and been a bit hesitant…now is your chance.

If you’re here in Lima, Peru and want to donate a gift or food, please send us an email (‘Contact Us’ at the top of the page). You can also see the 2014 Sonrisasenperu Christmas party here!

 

Please post this on your Facebook page to help spread the word!

Thanks for helping make a difference :)

2015 in review

2015 December 5

 

2015 is almost over and it’s been a busy year at Westfalia Orphanage as always. Westfalia is a private orphanage on the outskirts of Lima, Peru and takes care of more than 120 children. Most have no family and will live at the orphanage until they are about 18. From there they will take up apprenticeships, further studies, or work. I just wanted to share some photos of the year and send a big thank you to you all for following the updates and helping when you’ve been able to. For those that aren’t aware, we have a page on facebook which is a little easier for more regular updates. Please check it out and ‘like‘ to keep updated. And, of course, feel free to share on your own page or with friends. The more publicity the better! Simply click on the Facebook icon on the right hand side, “Fan It Up”, or simply search “Sonrisas en Peru”.

 

We’ve had some difficult circumstances this year with 2 abandoned babies (Macarena was only about 2 days old) as well as other new children so it’s been a stretch to provide the resources for them (baby formula, nappies, cribs, bottles, vaccinations, clothes, etc.) while still providing for the 120+ children. The only assistance received from the Peruvian government is rice, but the amount is insufficient for the number of children at the orphanage. But a few people really helped out and it made the difference. Macarena is now 3 months old and Thiago is about a year old. Sadly, the doctors had to estimate both their ages since they were abandoned. But they are doing really well now and are now a part of the big family here.

Another important job is to help out with the supply of food. The orphanage does a great job with self-sustainability by growing their own fruit and vegetables and baking their own bread (not to mention solar power!), but 120+ kids plus staff is a big ask. I try to take up fruit and eggs every week as well as other food supplies such as flour, oil, rice, beans, etc. when funds allow.

And of course the help from our amazing friends visiting Peru!

The annual Sonrisasenperu Christmas party is coming up on December 19 so it’s a busy time organizing that. There will be gifts for the kids, a big turkey lunch, a huge music/dance show, games and prizes and of course Santa. If you would like to help out please send a donation or help spread the word by copying this post onto your facebook or twitter.

Thanks for helping to make a difference! And look out for the Chritmas photos :)

Westfalia Orphanage’s newest additions

2015 August 9

Westfalia Orphanage in Peru has 2 new additions. Kind of sad how they came to be there but it’s nice to know they now have a home filled with love and 120 new brothers and sisters.

Macarena was about 2 days old when she was abandoned on the streets of San Juan de Lurigancho, one of the poorest suburbs in Lima, Peru. The only possession she had with her was a blanket, shown in the photo above. Police took her to the hospital where the doctor had to estimate her age. The government contacted Westfalia and Macarena is now in their care. She is being looked after by one of the staff who has 3 boys so she is very happy to finally have a girl!

 

Thiago edit

The other newest member to the orphanage is Thiago. Sadly, he was also abandoned, left on a doorstep in another poor and dangerous area. He was estimated to be under a year old. The police said that somebody in the street mentioned the mother was a 16 year old that couldn’t take care of him. Like Macarena, doctors had to guess Thiago’s age.

 

These 2 new additions bring the total to 5 babies under 18 months of age, all new to Westfalia. This has put an extra strain on resources to come up with formula, nappies, food, clothes, baby bottles, etc. Soon after their arrival I bought clothes, nappies and formula and take up formula, nappies, clothes, etc. whenever I can, but it’s definitely a challenge. We also need to arrange cots/cribs, etc.

Of course the regular  food and clothes requirements of the orphanage still need to be met. With over 120 children there are always pressing needs. We have received some amazing help and, as always, welcome any assistance we can get.

The only government assistance Westfalia receive is a monthly quota of rice which isn’t even enough for the 120+ children so the orphanage relies on donations to care for these kids. If you would like to help out please send a donation or help spread the word by copying this post onto your facebook or twitter.

Thanks for making a difference! :)

 

Hawaii’s Punahou High School project for our kids!

2015 July 22

A huge thank you to Mr Earle and the students from PUNAHOU HIGH SCHOOL, in Honolulu, Hawaii, for their amazing project, writing and illustrating children’s books for the children of Westfalia Orphanage. His students are learning Spanish and part of the course was a project to create these incredible children’s books. Mr Earle sent them from Hawaii all the way to Peru and they were handed out to the kids of Westfalia Orphanage. As you can see by the photos they were a hug hit!

Thanks so much for your wonderful effort guys! My apologies for some mediocre photography work!

IMG_20150614_145136 IMG_20150614_145555IMG_20150614_153924IMG_20150614_150109 IMG_20150614_150408 IMG_20150614_150422 IMG_20150614_150428 IMG_20150614_150435 IMG_20150614_150451 IMG_20150614_150509 IMG_20150614_150515 IMG_20150614_150524 IMG_20150614_150533 IMG_20150614_150545 IMG_20150614_151329 IMG_20150614_151338 IMG_20150614_151347 IMG_20150614_151355 IMG_20150614_151404 IMG_20150614_151410 IMG_20150614_151426 IMG_20150614_151439 IMG_20150614_151805 IMG_20150614_151813 IMG_20150614_151818 IMG_20150614_151913 IMG_20150614_152323 IMG_20150614_152340 IMG_20150614_152858 IMG_20150614_152909 IMG_20150614_152922 IMG_20150614_152931 IMG_20150614_153005 IMG_20150614_153825 IMG_20150614_153834 IMG_20150614_153840 IMG_20150614_153842 IMG_20150614_153850 IMG_20150614_154432

Christmas with Alejandra

2015 February 24
by scott

A quick update on Alejandra. I visited her a few days before Christmas with some gifts and food for the family and all is well. She is so much more confident now than when I first met her a few years ago. Her mother and grandmother are doing well too! You can read more about this wonderful, positive family here

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Westfalia Orphanage Christmas Party 2014

2015 February 24

On Saturday December 20, Sonrisasenperu hosted its 5th annual Westfalia Orphanage Christmas Party. It’s a day where the 114 orphans get a chance to feel like regular children and know that people really do care about them. These are the same kids who don’t have individual birthday parties, but have a ‘monthly’ party with all the kids whose birthdays fall in that month. So it was a big deal for them. A huge thanks to everybody who contributed through donations, gifts, food, or their time. It was an amazing day only made possible with help from you guys!

The Christmas party was even better than last year’s party. We had an amazing show with dancers, DJ, singing, dancing, games and prizes, face-painting, and Santa and helpers were handing out the gifts which the kids loved. We even had a magician this year. It was such a special day for the 114 orphans that live at the remote orphanage in Cieneguilla on the outskirts of Lima, Peru.

And of course we had our usual traditional turkey lunch (thanks for the help Sean!). It’s special because the children don’t eat a lot of meat due to a lack of funds, and especially not turkey.

Like every year, each child received two gifts and it was so rewarding to see the looks on their faces as they came up and collected them from Santa and his helpers. These aren’t kids who have bikes, cell phones, playstations, or toys we took for granted growing up so their faces showed how exciting it really was for them.

As well as those who got involved in the gift process I’d like to thank those that came out and spent time with the children. It meant a lot to them to spend such a great day with good people. A big shout out to Mahlon B for generously coming up to take some wonderful photos again this year (they’re the good ones mixed in with my mediocre ones!)

A big thank you to those who have helped us make this event so special. And thank you to all those who have donated funds, food, clothes, and their time over the year to these amazing children. For over 5 years now I have personally seen amazing changes in these children. They all come from terrible situations whether it be abuse, abandonment, from the streets, or simply that their families cannot afford to care for them. They come from all parts of Peru to join this big family. And they continually grow in character from shy and reserved children into loving, confident, caring, empathetic teenagers and adults. And this doesn’t occur simply from dropping off food or clothes but from constant contact and letting them know that people do care about them, and that they are worthwhile. And the children are well aware of the global help they receive and constantly ask about the people and countries that contribute. So thank you for making a difference in the lives of others.

2014 Xmas (74) (Small)

2014 Xmas (73) 2014 Xmas (86) WestafaliaXmsPty 129

Sonrisasenperu has some very important projects coming up for 2015 including helping on a HUGE water project which includes building a high capacity water filter and several large water towers to run clean water to every house and building at the orphanage (currently there is only one clean water point in the kitchen). This would put a stop to the use of contaminated river water. The project includes the planting of 100 fruit trees and drip irrigation to provide a self-sustaining food source for the orphanage. We will also be assisting in the upgrade of the childrens’ rundown, 25 year old accommodation. And of course we will continue to provide food and clothing for the 100+ orphans at Westfalia as well as other rural children in need.

If you want to help out you can send a donation or simply spread the word by copying this post onto your facebook or twitter.

Thanks for helping to make a difference!

 

Please enjoy some of the photos from the Christmas party below.

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