Right now, a five-story, empty building stands on Los Quechuas street in Lima, Peru. It has no kitchens or closets YET, but it begs to be filled with the laughter of families, salsa music, and the smells of arepas and lomo saltado (traditional dishes from Venezuela and Peru).
As Kelvin toured the building last week he began to see himself and the people he loved filling up the living spaces — safe, fed and protected.
“The kids could play here and be safe!”
This building is a far cry from the 10×10 foot room where he, his wife Mary, and three daughters have been living. Because of the crime in their neighborhood, Mary and the girls stayed in their tiny room 24 hours a day. So the thought of space for his daughters to play comforted Kelvin’s mind.
Kelvin had been a successful IT engineer before Venezuela’s economy crashed and left him jobless. Mary was studying mechanical engineering. When we met him last month in Lima, they were down to their last $1.60. They had been taking pain medicine to dull their hunger pains so they could give the little bit of food they had to their girls. They did not know what would happen next because his then-boss decided not to pay him at the end of the month. He has been working to set up concerts and other events—the only work he can find.
Thanks to your donations, we were able to get Kelvin and his family into safe, transitional housing, and got them food and diapers for the month. And at the building last week, Kelvin began to see hope for not just him and his family, but for his cousins, his daughters, and his friends.
Friends like Angelo who we met driving a cab over a year ago. Even after driving 16 hours a day, six days a week, he was barely making enough to feed his wife and infant son two meals per day.
Together in 2020, we will provide a safe place to live for Kelvin, Angelo, and many others. We will expedite their professional credentials in Peru, others will finish University degrees and some will start on them. Mary and her friends will start a business so they can earn a living and also work together to raise their beautiful children. And each and every one of them will no doubt pay it forward.
Right now, the five-story building stands empty. With your help, we will fill it with families like Kelvin’s and Angelo’s–and with the joy, life, and COMMUNITY they bring with them.
If you have anything at all to give, please, please help us build.