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NGO Urpi Sonqocha has the following goals:
-Improve the conditions, underprivileged position and quality of the inhabitants of San Jeronimo, more specific the children and women from underprivileged families. Gender equality and respect for every individual his rights is being pursued.
-Maintain and take care of the environment, with special attention for the rural areas where traditional, Andean communities are located. Respect for the environment is being built.
-Offer psychological help to treat and avoid aggression and abuse in the families, improve living conditions in the traditional communities.
-Stimulate the physical, cognitive, interpersonal and intrapersonal development of the children and adults. Strong focus lays on education and the search for a decent profession for everybody.
-Improve the knowledge about good nutrition, using local mountain products.
-Stimulate the normal development of the children; offer moments of peace and happiness according to their age.
-Improve the health by creating programs according hygiene, nutrition, ...
-Diminish the percentage of child death in the community.
NGO Urpi Sonqocha focuses on the underprivileged families who live in the district of San Jeronimo, Cusco. San Jeronimo is located in the South-East of Peru, in the middle of the Andes. Living conditions of most of the families in this region are very difficult. Important reason is the high percentage of poverty in the district. Also the hard, mountain climate plays an important part. A long and heavy rain season alternates with a dry, but very severe winter. Night temperatures can drop to -10° Celsius.
The average salary of the families varies between 20 - 40 soles per week. They do not own property and live in very poor conditions: no running water, no toilet, 5 or more persons living in de same room, no isolations or windows, ... Al the families (mainly the fathers) struggle with alcohol and/or aggression problems, mainly centralized in the father.
The education level of the parents is very low. Often they only have finished primary school, some of them never went to school. The majority grows up in small mountain villages, cut off of the rest of the country and has limited knowledge of Spanish (primary language: Quechua).
Birth control and family planning are barely known. The majority of the families consists of 4 or more children, although there is hardly a decent salary to live on.
Children have to help on the field or in the household from a very young age on (3-4 years old). Often they have to go and sell tea, ... on the street. The parents do not occupy themselves with the education of their children. Young children are often alone at home, without support or supervision the whole daylong. Education and school is not seen as a priority. Children often go to local state schools that offer a very low level of education. Parents sometimes don’t let their children go to school because their help is needed in the house or on the field. Due to their own limited possibilities parents hardly help their children with their homework.
Al children have health problems. Main causes are lack of adequate and constant nutrition, sufficient clothing and education. All children are underfed. Breakfast in most families consists of bread with tea, lunch consists of rice and sometimes potatoes, and dinner is mostly not served. Often concentration- and attention problems rise due to the lack of nutrition throughout the day.
At this moment 15 children, between the age of 4 and 18 years old are being helped in Urpi Sonqocha. Goal is to help 30 children by next year.
- Ingrid van Lamoen
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