Peru has experienced a variety of military and public governments since gaining independence from their Spanish colonisers in the mid-nineteenth century. Successive democratic governments that took over from military rulers failed to address issues of deep-seated social and economic inequality, and so the country has been ravaged by continued guerrilla warfare.
To this day, a small Spanish elite control Peru's political power and wealth – much of which is in the form of natural resources such as oil, gas, coffee and textiles. Peru's indigenous minority suffer from underemployment and marginalisation so that 1 in 26 children will die before their fifth birthday, 15% are illiterate, and the average life expectancy is unacceptably low.
The people of Peru are in great need of the life-changing hope that child sponsorship can bring to their families and communities. You can sponsor a child in Peru through ActionAid, one of the world's leading relief and development agencies. They have developed a child sponsorship scheme which links people in more affluent countries with individual children in developing countries around the world.
ActionAid has worked with communities in Peru, in conjunction with partner organisations such as Ayuda en Acción, for some years now, improving access to basic sanitation, health and education facilities. It has invested in the training of health workers and the provision of health services. It also invests in the improvement of education facilities, and it has championed the need for poor people to know their rights, and to come together to fight for them.
ActionAid supports micro-finance companies that make small loans and credit available to business start-ups. It also works with community organisations to ensure equitable management of Peru natural resources. At times of natural disaster ActionAid has been on hand to provide emergency relief.
In the 37 years since its inception, ActionAid has reached many millions people in Africa, Asia and the Americas, and it has developed a wealth of expertise in fighting poverty. The charity partners with local organisations and recognises the need to work with communities on their own terms, and not impose solutions. By getting to know the culture intimately ActionAid workers have the best possible opportunity to affect a lasting end to poverty.
Sponsoring a child in Peru today will cost you only 50 pence per day. Your money will also go towards development efforts in the town in which the child you sponsor lives. This will ensure the most efficient and effective use of your money.
As a child sponsor you will be able arrange a personal visit with your child and to communicate with them. You can also look forward to receiving special letters and drawings, including a new photograph every two years. Additionally, you get to see where and how your money is being spent by keeping in touch with your child's local ActionAid office, and through regular editions of Common Cause, ActionAid's newsletter.
You may also like to consider sponsoring a child through the following trusted agencies: