Thursday, March 6, 2008

Lima, Peru

In 2005 I was working at The University of San Francisco in the Campus Ministry Department organizing community service trips for the students. Our Spring Break trip to Guatemala was canceled a few months before we were supposed to leave, but thankfully my co-worker, Kique, happened to be from Lima and his mother was the director of a Non-Government Organization called Generacion. She was very willing to have us come to Generacion and share in the joy of her work.

Generaction's main goal is to promote and protect the rights of street children. Each day we met up and hung out with the children that lived at and flocked to the Generacion houses. The main house was the hub of activity. Kids were studying for school, making ceramics in their little studio, playing amazing music, cooling off in a small pool, and playing tons and tons of futbol. These kids played soccer night and their bare feet. We just participated in all of this with them and got a glimpse into their life at Generacion.

In the evening we visited the kids at El Rio, who weren't quite ready to come to the house, but would greet the Generacion outreach workers with anticipation and excitement. They caught them and us up on the weeks events from the River, their home . These kids ranged in age from a few months to young adults. They seemed to live as a family with various roles taken on by certain children.

We also stopped by and met the young teenage mothers who lived at a separate house that housed a bakery store front. The girls did the baking and worked the counter. They learned life skills while getting support with raising their children.

I am often at a loss of words to describe my experiences here. But I do know that the "street kids" taught me quite a bit about generosity and hope.

This You Tube clip shows a bit about Generacion and maybe Kique has summed it up for me.

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