Sonrisasenperu 6 month anniversary!
June marks 6 months since sonrisasenperu.org was created. In this time Sonrisas has been involved in several schools as well as Westfalia Orphanage providing funds, educational materials such as texts, books, writing equipment, clothes, shoes and food. We’ve also provided classes teaching English, dance, drama and swimming.
Sonrisas continues to provides the poor, rural communities with assistance, both educational and the simple necessities such as clothing and food. In terms of education we seek to reduce the burden of the cost of studying on families already struggling to make a living. Rural Peru is a very poor place where some children don’t receive any kind of education, instead made to work in the fields with the parents. Simply minimizing or removing the cost of studying is one less barrier for the parents in being able to provide their children with some sort of education.
I remember arriving in Peru and sitting at my desk for several days with a pen and paper just wondering where to begin. How could i help these schools? How was i going to find the funds to provide the help for these communities? It was a very perplexing time but deep down i knew that i would one day look back upon these obstacles and laugh at how worked up i got. Slowly but surely the projects have grown and sonrisasenperu has made a real difference in the lives of so many.
Sonrisas has been able to make this difference with the support and help of people like yourself! People who see the website, see the photos of the differences we are making and help in any way they can…whether it be a donation, sending clothes or materials, or simply telling your friends about the site. So i want to thank everybody who has donated money, clothes, resources and time to the project as well as those simply following the site, the facebook page and spreading the word.
I would also like to thank some people who have helped me with the operation of sonrisas. First-and-foremost to my friend Lee Giddins, creator of www.loneleeplanet.com. Lee spent many hours helping create the site, he was the first financial contributor by donating the domain name sonrisasenperu.org, he hosts the site on his domain, and continues to help me with the technical aspects of the site…all at no cost! I couldn’t be doing what I’m doing without his amazing help.
Thank you to John and Tisha Kelly of The Parlour Irish Bars of New York (www.theparlour.com) for their financial help with the first shoe drive and for all their help in NYC. Thanks to two other former Irish pub bosses Paul O’Brien of P.J.O’Brien’s Irish Pubs in Australia (www.pjobriens.com.au) and Chris Shine for their support.
Thanks to David Olano and Paola Vecco for their friendship and help in Peru. David, thanks for the Spanish translations! And Paola thanks for your help with the dance teachers at Angeles D1 dance company and to your amazing parents and household for always opening their doors to me and the kids. Thanks Camilla Vecco for your amazing job teaching drama at Westfalia. I’m always amazed at the high quality work you do and the kids love you! Thanks to Doris Galloso and Melena Miljanovich of The Lions Club Cieneguilla for your help and introductions to the schools. And Male thanks for always giving your time and even opening up your house to the kids from Westfalia! They are always asking about you!
Thanks to Becky May for your help with the initial wording of the site, Lan Dai Zuppa for coming up with the sonrisas name! Thanks Arturo for midnight runs to the airport and your continued support of Westfalia Orphanage. Thanks to Bec Shadbolt and the students from Canterbury College of Brisbane, Australia for lugging almost 10 bags of clothes, books and materials over 30 hours of flights for the kids (photos to come!). Big thanks to Naomi for all your support and great advice! And thanks to Bronwyn Tutty, Noela, Matty Bart, Annie Tran, my Aunty Kris and Mardie, my Uncle Bobby Barr, Eva Wayne and her work crew, all my New York friends, Kerin & Jordan, Pamela, and everybody who has donated and helped make a difference here in Peru. Thank you for all your help and the countless others who make sonrisasenperu.org possible!