The 2nd wave of Covid hit Peru much worse than what they faced in 2020. By mid-year statistics were showing that if you were over the age of 55 and contracted Covid, you had a 90% chance of dying. This was because there were no oxygen tanks left in the country and the medical system had completely collapsed the year before. Even with 60% of the country vaccinated, Peru holds the highest death rate for Covid in the world. No one went unaffected and we know many people who died. Please pray for Peru and for our nonprofit as we take steps forward. The future will look different than what we once foresaw, but it is important now, more than ever, that we continue spreading the gospel message through our education and poverty alleviation efforts.
As in 2020, most of our efforts in 2021 went to feeding those starving in our Pucusana community because of quarantine and pandemic regulations. Toward the end of 2020, we knew door-to-door food bag distribution was requiring tremendous legwork and dozens of face-to-face interactions for our volunteers each month. We needed a different distribution model as we started to fear for our volunteer’s health and safety. So, in the beginning of 2021, with the help of the Pucusana City Hall, we set up 12 Soup Kitchens.
The Soup Kitchens were placed in the poorest, slum neighborhoods. Each neighborhood leader picked out a group of 5 people (usually single mothers) to run their kitchen. These groups were responsible for feeding their community one meal every day. Each month, The Pucusana Project supplied the food and City Hall provided police support and trucks to take the food to each Soup Kitchen. In addition to the Soup Kitchens being a much better, safer, and extremely successful method of food distribution, we also built a good relationship with the Pucusana City Hall - something that never seemed possible two years ago.
In the middle of 2021, Pucusana City Hall held a ceremony that honored our nonprofit and all the work we had done to feed the community throughout the pandemic. The Mayor gave a speech thanking us and stated that without us, Pucusana, a community of over 15,000 people, would not have survived. She then awarded our project leader, Elena Prado, with the “Good Neighbor” award.
In September, we supplied our last round of food to the Soup Kitchens. We are so grateful that with pandemic restrictions lifting, the Peruvian people can go back to work and start buying their own food for their families. We hope this is truly the end of food relief as Peru slowly starts to get back to normal.
Over the last two years, The Pucusana Project has spent nearly $46,000 in food relief. With this money we have fed thousands of people each month and have kept this beautiful fishing village from succumbing to starvation. God has performed a miracle and we give thanks to the Lord for this incredible accomplishment and appreciate His faithfulness to this modern day “feeding of the five thousand”. To God be all the glory!
In April, our project leader Elena Prado fell deathly ill with Covid. However, because of the great compassion of our donors and quick actions of our team, we were able to raise $12,000, which enabled Elena’s son Isaac to buy the necessary items and oxygen supply to ensure Elena’s survival. It was a long recovery, but we are incredibly thankful to God for healing Elena. It was truly a miracle.
Last June, our President, Allison Wallace, was honored to speak at the Brethren Church Conference in Akron, Ohio. She gave a speech at the Global Missions dinner regarding how the pandemic has affected underdeveloped countries and how we must change our poverty alleviation methods moving forward.
In addition to all our food aid, our team has helped reopen the Public Library in Pucusana (which had been closed for two decades), and they helped created numerous writing and art competitions for young children because the schools have been closed for two years now. Our team also helped identify 140 vulnerable people in the community who were still in need of food assistance; after closing the soup kitchens, Elena held business training classes to encourage the leaders to pursue cooking careers and, at the end the year, we distributed Christmas gifts to the poorest children in the slums. All of these projects could not have happened without our faithful donors and our generous partner, The Brethren Church.
As you can see, we have been quite busy. But we know that the best is yet to come! Our President and her family will be returning to Pucusana after a 2-and-a-half-year absence this February! They are extremely excited to reunite with our project leaders and volunteers. But there is a lot of work to be done on this trip. Please pray for their safety and for our future projects. We are also looking to hire a fulltime pastor to launch the first Christian church in Pucusana, as well as expand our Board of Directors. Please pray for God to place the right people before us. Lastly, we have also officially launched the campaign to build our future school. This is our biggest project yet with a goal of raising $500,000! We are in stage 1, which needs $70,000 to buy a property and build walls to secure it. Please keep us in your prayers as we work to accomplish this goal, and so many others in 2022.
As always, thank you for your support and if you have questions or want to get more involved, please reach out to our President Allison Wallace at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you so much and Happy New Year.