Event media

You are here

Christmas programs and assistance to remote mountain communities in Peru

Astrid Navaja

Our basic goal in our community in Huarez, Peru is to combine physical help and practical training with spiritual counseling in order to better the lives of the people we are here to help. The Activated materials are perfect as they achieve all three aspects of our goal!


The communities we serve are faced with almost every conceivable health problem, lack of hygiene - such as rats and open sewers, daily struggles for food and shelter, as well as the continual fight against drugs and crime. A basic factor to the root of all these problems is a lack of education. The government here in Peru has tried hard to make schooling available to even the most remote communities, but due to the culture, many women in the mountains are illiterate having only up to a second grade education, after which they are expected to help in their homes. Even basic knowledge of cleanliness and preventive health care is unknown to many of them, so when they and their children move to the cities, they are unprepared for the new obstacles that await them.


Many of the schools and communities we work with are far from any public transportation and take an hour or two to reach on foot. Our plan this year was to hold a seminar for teacher representatives from the schools and as many parents as were able to attend. The theme of the seminar was early learning and the importance of the teachers in children’s lives. Since we work with homeless children and children from very poor families, often, the teachers are their greatest adult influence.


We combined forces with our close friend Jim Killon, project manager for “Changes for a New Hope”. We presented his and our Christmas children’s programs over 3 days. On December 18th, Jim walked 80 kids, plus some parents and 15 volunteer teachers down from Alto Villon to the program location. The next day we repeated the program for the Rio Seco and Sexapampa areas, where over 600 kids, parents, volunteers and teachers attended. Then on December 23rd, we held a third seminar for all the teachers who were unable to attend the other two.

We held workshops on how to get the most out of the Activated materials using games and activities to reinforce the lessons in each video, CD and poster. We then presented the parents with Activated parenting books, and the volunteers and teachers with packages of videos, CDs, books and posters for each of the schools they represented.

All the parents, teachers and volunteers were so thankful for the materials and all the kids received coloring books, posters, hot chocolate, “paneton” (typical Peruvian Christmas bread) and many other gifts. One of the volunteers entertained everyone with amazing fire dancing! It was a wonderful Christmas season.

In all, we were able to distribute 1000 posters, 900 coloring books, 500 booklets, 100 CDs, 60 DVD’s, and 50 Start Early sets. Thank you again, Activated Ministries, for making our Christmas activity possible through your generous donation of the books, CD’s and DVD’s.


Following is the story of one of the teachers, Nora, who attended our seminar:

“I grew up in a small farming village in the foothills of the Peruvian Andes near Carhuaz. My parents are simple farmers and like many other farm women here, my mother was never taught to read so my parents worked hard to provide me with a good education. Life in my village was hard but I was able to work my way through high school and eventually nursing school. While studying English, a requirement for nursing here in Peru, I met two volunteers from the Family International who led me to Jesus and provided me with wonderful reading materials. Thanks to the Lord I was able to get a government job teaching illiterate people in the mountains. I have to walk a long ways, 3 days a week, but I love my job! My friends from The Family International have been helping me with teaching materials and now, through the generous gift from Activated Ministries, I have much more! I cannot express how much these materials mean to the people I work with. They are fun, entertaining and give them so much mentally and spiritually. They are excellent teaching materials and most of all they give them Jesus! I am looking forward to sharing these materials with my colleagues, some of whom walk 4 hours daily to reach these isolated communities.”