“Abrigo Andino” means “Shelter of the Andes” or “Andean Shelter,” because our purpose is to provide family-type shelter for needy people, be they orphaned children, children with disabilities, or elders who find themselves without support. It is a Peruvian nonprofit organization, formed in 2004 for that purpose, and which has striven to meet those needs.
Abrigo Andino is based in Arequipa, a city in the southern mountains of Peru. Arequipa is also the name of the state or province in which it functions, and provides services in outlying villages.
Beginning as a foster care facility, Abrigo Andino acquired children from the family court system. A rented house in the village of Sabandia was home to six or more children, depending on who came and went. Later, in 2006, we bought a well-built house in the neighborhood of Ferroviarios, where we are today.
An appeal from La Joya prompted us to provide support for a much-needed shelter there, a daycare in Vitor, and, answering an appeal from the city of Chivay, we opened our elder home there.
Abrigo Andino has served as a pattern for other organizations wishing to help their neighborhoods. We are open to appeals from far-flung villages who simply want to open their own homes based on our model.
In the region of Puno, well away from Arequipa, an emergency arose from the killing cold that descended ahead of winter, affecting children and animals. We were blessed to be able to meet with representatives and buy two hundred blankets to be handed out.
For the future, we are looking at opening other homes for specialized needs, such as one for pregnant teenagers, children whose homes are in disarray, and whose parents need time to pull their resources together before they can be good parents for their children, a home for children and parents from outside the city who require hospital care on an ongoing basis, a home for developmentally challenged adults, and whatever else presents itself as a need.
We are hoping to start small businesses which will train our young people in business as well as providing income for our services. Among these businesses is the prospect of opening a microfinance bank, serving people with small loans.
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