I get asked frequently why so much of the work of Health Bridges is focused in Perú.
The answer is pretty straightforward – Perú is where our work started, and we're committed to the people we are called to serve. This is particularly true for the work we are doing in our Casa Girasoles Program.
Our work with children living on the streets started over twenty years ago. In that time, we've learned so much from the many boys who have come through the Casa Girasoles. We’ve learned so much about what it means to support a child and build a life they deserve. We’ve learned so much about humility and service.
The boys in the Casa Girasoles homes come from very challenging backgrounds. Profound experiences of unrelenting poverty. Families with deep levels of abuse and violence. Families where mental health and substance use conditions go undiagnosed and untreated. Families impacted by unfathomable pain.
One story I think of often is the story of two brothers who came to us at the ages of 7 and 9. They were both suffering from deep wounds. Their selective mutism was a protection mechanism – but it built a wall in our ability to connect.
Little by little, more of their life unfolded to us. They grew up in a brothel. Their mother would hide them under the bed in the suffocatingly small room when she worked. As they got older, it was harder and harder to hide them from her customers. She finally told them to leave.
Through a deep commitment to love and providing a safe place for healing, they are recapturing their childhoods. The healing is slow. The wounds are deep.
The work requires patience. And, this is the work of true healing. This is the work of our Casa Girasoles Program. It’s about rebuilding lives, and reclaiming futures.
We are fortunate to receive subject matter and technical support from a team of child welfare experts from around the world. Through their help, we're building a model framework for serving children from the experience of abandonment we think will be scaled around Perú and Latin America.
Over the next eight weeks we are holding a capital campaign to support the children living in the Casa Girasoles Program. All, 100%, of the donations will go directly to the homes. Please consider making a monthly pledge to support the boys in our homes. Thank you.
The HBI Blog is a rotating journal from our staff. Our Blog is a series of messages from the field, insights from our work, and lessons in service.