CARITAS FELICES GIRLS' HOME
Caritas Felices is a home for sexually abused girls. It is the only home in the country of Peru where the courts place girls who have been removed from their homes due to these violent acts. Located about an hour south of Lima in Pachacamac, there are currently 64 girls living at the home, where mother Sister Rita cares for each and every one.
Caritas Felices means little happy faces in Spanish.
Their needs are great. They have little support from the government that put them there, and this is not a church-sponsored home. They sew little yellow-colored felt pillows decorated with faces - "Little happy faces - Caritas Felices" to sell to help with costs. And they depend on the generosity of friends and visitors.
In 2007 with the help of fund raising by DB Peru Director Deb Zulawski and friends in Seattle, WA, we were able to buy school uniforms for all the girls - jumpers, blouses, shoes, socks and hairbows.
Sister Rita with girls at the home
SEE SCHOOL PROJECT
CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW SCHOOL
In October 2007, 3 people from Nashville, TN, Gary Bowie, Ward Pace and Melody Malloy visited Caritas Felices. They were very touched when they heard that the girls were being made fun of at school due to their reputation of living at this home. Gary and Ward decided to build a school at the property of the home to prevent one more type of abuse for these special girls. Construction began in that same month and the 4-room school is completed.
Sister Rita would like to take girls from the very poor community nearby to educate them as well. We are in contact with the Minister of Education to seek certification as a public school in order to secure a government teacher. It will be a private school until this it determined. The goal is to provide a regular education as well as computer and English classes at this school.
If anyone would like to donate computers or learning material and supplies, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to see how your help can be most effective. All monies can be sent to: DB Peru
440 Impala Dr.
North Fort Myers, FL 33917
Ward Pace with the girls
Melody Malloy with a mother who had a baby at the home
And a little sad news.........
with a good ending!!!!!!!!!!!!
During construction of the school, there was an electrical fire in the adminstrative part of the home and they not only had fire damage, but lost many donated items of clothing and supplies.
One of the donations came from a group of 5th graders from New Hampshire. Together with their teacher, Michelle Carlson, they raised $535 with their class project called 5th Grade Kindness Mission. Along with the check were 53 handwritten cards, made out of construction paper, written in Spanish by the children. Each has a picture of the child who wrote it and all were standing in the snow in their snowsuits. We will be delivering these cards to the girls at the Caritas home - although the girls may not know what that "white stuff" is that the children are standing in.
Payel Gupta, MD, paid a visit to the home with us and treated the girls who were in need of care. She also checked a baby that was recently born to one of the girls.
Diana and Ryan Janda with the girls
Patrick Butsch and Jessie Kerr, medical students from the University of Vermont with girls and friends from community after doing dental classes with fluoride treatment for all
Heather Kleinschmidt, Sarah Renhart and Brooke VanBuren doing crafts with the girls
A lot of work,
and some fun, too!
Carlos, our contractor, Brooke, Sarah, Diana, Ryan, Ryan Brennan and Renzo
In July 2009 high school student Maria Maydan came to Caritas Felices with her family. She developed a program of Enrichment Support of education for the girls at Caritas Felices and submitted it as her Girl Scout Gold Award Project in Connecticut. Diana acted as her Project Advisor. The program materials are now ready for volunteers to use for continuing education for the girls.
Diana and one of the girls