|Amamos los alumnos del séptimo grado en Rumson Holy Cross!|
MaryJane Gallo, the students’ teacher, who has been working hard since August of 2010 to support CMMB’s work in Peru
Jeff Wilson, the singer/songwriter who volunteered his talent to make the event so successful
Holy Cross teachers Geri Ciampoli, Kyle Baldi
Class moms Debbie Bagnell, Tara Avallone, Lynn Worobel, Cathy Caruso
Paul McGuire and CMMB
And, of course, the 34 7th-graders who made it happen!
|Thank you Jeff Wilson, leaders at Holy Cross and CMMB for working together to support us!|
|I (heart) my 7th graders!|
“The implications of financial support for the school are tremendous. Most of the children who attend the school have moderate to severe disabilities, and their quality of life is influenced by additional factors such as extreme poverty and abandonment. Colegio Sagrada Familia is the only opportunity for children with disabilities to receive education and free physical therapy in a community of about 40,000 people in La Esperanza, Peru. The school is a safe haven for the children by providing a roof, regular meals, bathroom facilities, and recreation opportunities, in addition to the free physical therapy and speech therapy services.”
This week I went out to an area called Winchinzao, which is about ten minutes from La Esperanza. The Hermanas Del Buen Soccorro (the same nuns who run the clinic and the school) have a small clothing factory business in the “red zone” of Winchinzao – this district has high problems with delinquency, violence, and poverty. The business provides mothers (victims of abuse) a safe opportunity to work, with a steady income source. So, in addition to supporting the kids at Colegio Sagrada Familia, the money will also be poured back into a nearby community of need. We selected colors (blue and white) and fabrics for the clothing. I’m not sure how long the production will take, but I’ll be sure to post photos once the kids are outfitted in their new uniforms (etc.)!
The congregation is also beginning a new project in Winchinzao to support the mothers, young children and youth of this high-risk area. They are planning a community center that will include space for about 15 children to live full-time, and plan to serve another ~75 youth with day activities promoting healthy living and respectful values. They’re also planning for services such as psychology, speech therapy, and physical therapy on-site. I will begin working with families there next month, doing physical therapy a few mornings a week, most likely with tarps, mats and blankets until they construct a roof and put in cement. Right now the space is a lot filled with sand and trash, but I look forward to seeing it transform into a great resource for the Winchinzao community.