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Hogar Semillas de Jesus – Urubamba, Peru

In early 2016 Project Left Behind was made aware of a small private home for children in need of funding.  The home was struggling to make ends meet.  Danielle and Shel set off to Peru to learn more.  What they found was a woman named Isabel full of love who treated these children as her own. An educator herself, Isabel believed whole-heartedly in a child’s right to an education. Therefore she began to house and educate children who were otherwise not attending school.  Isabel and her grown daughter Rosa are a second family to these boys and girls. They live with Isabel and attend a private school during the week, then return home on the weekends to spend time with their families. Most of the children have been brought to Isabel by their parents in the hopes of a better life and an education they deserve yet don’t have access to at home.  Isabel understands the importance of these children keeping a close bond with their families and therefore the children visit their families often and the parents are involved in many activities at Isabel’s home.  She employs a cook, house-keeper, tutor, and social worker.  She understands that although school is immensely important, even more important is love and a nurturing environment.  Shel and Danielle fell in love with Isabel because of the happiness in her home.  They saw first hand that Isabel’s work was worthy and needing of on-going support so it was decided that Project Left Behind would take it on!

In 2016 PLB supported Hogar Semillas de Jesus by connecting them to a Girl Scout troop that raised funds to buy the home a freezer.  PLB is also organizing pen pals between the Girl Scouts and the Peruvian children living in the home. The volunteer ESCAPE2016 group built a vegetable garden and installed new flooring for a bike shed.  PLB plans to ramp up the support in late 2016 through 2017. The goal is to raise $13,000 to take care of many of their monthly expenses so Isabel can focus on that love she is so good at giving.

Isabel grew up with her parents in the “campo”, a rural farming area.  Her parents were very kind to the other campo children and always welcomed them in their home. This was her first memorable exposure to the kindness of the human heart.  Isabel had the opportunity to study unlike many other children of the campo.  She attended University and is a teacher.  She also worked for the NGO CADEP José María Arguedas that is a dedicated force for indigenous villagers.  She learned the Quechua language in order to better understand and relate to the peple of the high andes. Hogar Semillas de Jesus was born when Isabel met a 10-year-old girl living in extreme poverty. Isabel visited her family and was moved by their situation.  This little girl also had three younger siblings. The eldest son who was nine years old, took care of the seven and five year old. So the children came to live with her in order to attend school Monday through Friday.  Their mother came twice a week to visit them and bring them things they needed. After that, other similar cases arose. Parents would come to Isabel with their children asking for help. And the rest is history. Not only is Isabel dedicated to the villagers of the high andes, she is dedicated to her husband and four children.  Isabel explains that her work is a great sacrifice for her family and she couldn’t do it without their support.

PLB recently returned from their annual visit and volunteering trip to this home for children. The smiles on those little faces says it all. It speaks to the overwhelming love and amazing work this home does. During our visit, PLB had a long talk with Isabel and Rosi, the caretakers, about how they are doing.  We shed a few tears, held hands, and laughed during this heartfelt meeting. Because they are so grateful for PLB’s support, it took them a while to open up and tell us how Isabel’s health has affected their financial situation. Isabel was using her own income to fund parts of their overall budget. Now that her work as a teacher has been dramatically cut back due to her cancer treatments, they let us know they needed some help buying food. It took all of a second for PLB to commit to adding a food budget to the support of the home. Project Left Behind is now committed to donating $15,600 per year to the home. This covers a social worker, school tutor, school tuition for two of the children, maintenance needs, household supplies, food, a house cleaner and a cook. The school tuition is for the two oldest boys living in the home. They are on track to go to college! This will be a first for Semillas de Jesus. Isabel and Rosi will keep us updated on their higher education needs. Their eyes lit up when we mentioned how wonderful it would be if PLB could help sponsor international studies for the boys.

 

 

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