Latin American Foundation for the Future (LAFF) works with partner organisations in Peru to help disadvantaged children build a better future for themselves. To do this LAFF enable marginalised young people to access education opportunities and vocational training, as well as support childrenâ€™s homes through income-generation, cost reduction initiatives and capacity building for staff.
We believe that a child needs more than food, shelter and safety â€“ they need the opportunity to develop their self-confidence and skill sets. LAFF supports children into adulthood by giving them a good education, life skills, employment skills and, most importantly, a sense of self-worth. This enables young people to not only get the most out of their own lives but also contribute to the world around them
We believe that issues facing marginalised children, both on the streets and in care, are varied, complex, and best understood by those who are closest to them. This is why we work through and support partners who understand those needs and can provide the help required. LAFF have been successfully working with children's homes in Peru since 2007 and our approach to supporting the homes to long term sustainability alongside helping the children directly is working really well. From small beginnings, working with a single home, we have grown and are now working with six homes to support street children, former street children, teenage mothers who have suffered domestic abuse or rural girls who have no access to education due to their remote location. LAFF believe in creating independence, not dependence. This is crucial in our approach to young people, and the organisations which support them. We also believe in sustainability, and aim to achieve it for those we help through educating, empowering and enabling.
We help our partner organisations by ensuring their self-sustainability. Our aim is to enable projects to be independent of outside help, by becoming more financially stable and therefore independent of external funding. This allows staff to overcome constant worries about financial support and instead concentrate on more important concerns such as the welfare and future of the children in their care.
62 children and young people receiving formal education support (school fees, uniforms, sports kit, books, stationery) 88 children and young people attending skills workshops (greenhouse management, guinea pig farming, bread making, business skills, marketing)
Our support for education continues to be at the heart of our work. This year, we have once again covered start of school year costs for three of our supported homes (including registration fees, uniforms, books, stationery and sports equipment)enabling 45 children to attend formal education. Azul Wasi, one of our first supported homes, now sees their eldest boys getting the top marks in their class, on the football team, and winning local cultural dance competitions. Only a few years ago, the same boys were shy and withdrawn, their limited ability to read and write in Spanish holding them back in class.
4 organisations given one-on-one support and personalised training in:
Capacity building: Accountancy training, business proposal planning Technical support: Fundraising, Communications, Marketing, Social enterprise development Income generation: 1 leather workshop/studio (income generation) Cost reduction: 1 greenhouse (skills and healthy food); 1 bread oven (skills and healthy food)
The youngest boys, who have only just arrived, face similar struggles with language, having come from rural backgrounds where local language Quechua is predominant. However the one-onone support of an after-school tutor and volunteers helps them to advance and gain confidence. We are currently fundraising to cover
the costs of the after-school tutor, one of the crucial support mechanisms of Azul Wasi. At Sacred Valley Project, where LAFF support has paid for the girls to access an interactive Maths computer programme and internet, to help them advance in their studies, the girls have to be prised away from their Maths ‘games’. Lucky the software has an automatic shut off point after it feels that the student has had enough practice for one day – it seems the girls would rather keep improving their scores!
Hogar de Cristo and La Nina Maria, our newest partners, have been delivering workshops on making leather and aluminium products. For the girls from La Niña Maria, participating in these workshops has meant not only a new vocational training and income generation opportunity but also space to build life skills such as discipline, group work and leadership. For the younger children in Hogar de Cristo, the trainings have become a space of socialization and sharing. In addition to these trainings, LAFF have carried out a sales workshop, with the purpose of building capacity to carry out basic market (demand,
offer, prices, opportunities) analysis and in the future increase their sales and income.
Casa Mantay’s leather product workshop goes from strength to strength and the arrival of LAFFs skilled volunteer team has also brought valuable expertise and resources in social enterprise, to help the home consider new options for their future sustainability. The greenhouse at Azul Wasi is flourishing, providing fresh, nutritious food to the whole home.
We deliver one-on-one capacity building and technical support to our partner organisations through our highly skilled team of staff and volunteers. We also cover formal education costs, fund and deliver vocational training for children, support and fund income generation and cost reduction activities, and help organisations to network, share and learn together. We respond to the individual needs of our partners, so our support takes many forms - from bread-making classes to building greenhouses, delivering accountancy training to supporting with Social Enterprise development.
Things have moved from strength to strength at Azul Wasi this year. All 14 children at the home are in formal education at the local school and reports from the school show what great progress they’ve been making – with those who have been in the home longest now top of their class and thriving in everything from dance to football.
Alcides, the project’s director, tells us more: “LAFFs support has not only allowed the children from Azul Wasi to access their basic and present needs, such as education and food, but to plan and think about their futures. The compost training and the support in the development of the green house is an essential activity not only to reduce our costs and produce part of our own food, but also as a potential Income generation activity in the future. The children are really motivated with this activity and so we really hope that these trainings and support can continue.I am also very grateful for the vocational training and the opportunities LAFF has given me and the children to equip ourselves with skills we will need in the future.”
Sacred Valley Project provides boarding and supplementary education for young women from low-income families in remote areas of the Andes so that they can complete their secondary education. Usually, young women in the remote villages of the Sacred Valley have to end their studies in the sixth grade (aged 10), as high schools are only located in larger towns which are usually hours away. The Sacred Valley Project opened its doors in January 2010 and now there 7 girls living and studying at the dorm with an idea to expand to 12 in the next year. Their ages are between 14 and 16 years old and the girls are studying in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th years of secondary school. Secondary school in Peru is made up of five years. The girls in the Sacred Valley Project come from communities dispersed around the town of
Ollantaytambo. Most of them live 2 - 5 hours away by car or truck. During the week, the girls live in the dormitory in the town of Ollantaytambo. On the weekends the girls go home and visit their families and return on Sunday night or Monday morning. This arrangement enables the girls to keep their culture and family connections alive whilst being able to access education at a higher level – giving them educational opportunities never available to them before. Here the dormitory director Gabriela tells us more about how LAFF have helped this year: “Over the last year, the Sacred Valley Project has received valuable support from LAFF. In terms of formal education support, LAFF have given us school supplies for the entire school year, including notebooks, folders, pens, writing pens, glue, erasers, rulers, scissors, and paper supplies, as well as furnishing our study room with chairs, desks, tables, shelving units and library resources.
To help the girls catch up and get ahead in their studies outside of school, LAFF have also been covering the costs of our internet for the year which has meant the girls can use the internet to complete their homework and learn a little more
about how to use the computer. In addition to this, LAFF have supported the girls’ education further with a maths computer programme with maths activities at different levels of complexity. Each girl has her own personalised programme of development and is progressing according to herabilities and skills.
We’re really excited about future plans to grow more self-sustaining, and are working with the LAFF team on ideas for social enterprise, including developing a bakery and having bakery training for the girls. We are also looking to move from rented housing to building our own dormitory next year and LAFF are helping us to secure funding for the build. The SVP team and all the girls really want to thank LAFF for their continued support, and we really look forward to working together next year.”
LAFF have been working with Casa Mantay since 2010. Casa Mantay is a home for adolescent mothers from the age of 12 years old who have been victims of domestic abuse. The home gives the opportunity to teenage mothers to assume responsibility and enjoy motherhood in a safe
environment in which they are able to access support, both material and emotional, necessary so that both they and their children lead a full life.
Over 100 mothers have passed through the home and Casa Mantay currently looks after 13 girls that live there along with providing support for around 30 other mothers who have moved on from the home with regards to childcare and psychological support. Along with supporting the girls into motherhood, the home supports them to continue their education and vocational training. In addition Casa Mantay has a workshop onsite making artisanal goods which are sold around Cuzco, the girls have the opportunity to train there and the home employs mothers who have graduated from the home. This year LAFF have funded formal education costs for the young mums and their children ensuring that everyone can attend school, as well as helping the home to expand and develop their leather workshop to generate more sustainable funding. Raquel, Casa Mantayâ€™s director, tells us whatâ€™s been happening at the home this year:
Weâ€™re really proud of how the girls are progressing at school this year. Four of the young mums finished secondary school in March 2012, one of them with a Diploma for Academic Improvement. Two of the other mums also received the same Diploma when finishing the third year of secondary school this year. The children who are three years old and above have attended schools close to the home. In addition, Mantay has a preschool teacher in the afternoons who helps the children to do their homework and reinforces skills and learning gained at school as well as playing and looking after around 8 little boys and girls, and a primary school teacher looking after the educational and recreational needs of around 8 children between 6 and 11 years old.
The girls who enter Casa Mantay come from very difficult backgrounds and often have complex emotional and psychological needs to address, so a multidisciplinary team consisting of a
psychologist, social worker and educator play particularly important roles for the girls. The psychologist works full time, 5 days a week dividing her time between group workshops where subjects such as self-esteem, social norms and abuse are discussed in detail (for example the meaning, the difference between punishment and abuse, types of abuse and alternative educational tools) and individual and group therapy. Another function of the psychologist is performing a psychological analysis at the young mum’s point of entry as well as producing quarterly reports for involved government bodies, and monitoring reports for each adolescent’s emotional development. Every Thursday afternoon the girls meet with the educator to share aspects of living together as a group, and discuss what has happened in the week – discussing what is worrying them, resolving any conflicts that have occurred, and assessingthe tasks of each person responsible for doing them. It’s a time for reflection, for constructive criticism and for compliments.
’ Over the last year, Mantay has looked after an average of 13 teenage mums with their 13 babies and children. Seven mums have moved on from the home, mostly being assisted to reintegrate with their families with their children. One mother left the home because she decided to give her daughter up for adoption, returning to her family and transferring her baby to a residential centre to be put up for adoption. Another of the mums has been relocated to a protective centre for teenagers without babies because her baby sadly died at three months old.
Mantay has been offering a nursery service to 18 babies and toddlers who are sons and daughters of teenage mums who have now ‘graduated’ from the home but do not have family who can help them with the care of their children whilst they work. 8 mums have joined the home this year, having been transferred by the court and other government bodies. All the young mums have been through the process of denouncing their aggressors before entering the home, with
four cases under criminal investigation into the sexual abuse of minors and we’re awaiting the sentence for their aggressors. The remaining four cases have involved a police report due to the illegal nature of sexual relations with minors, so the cases remain under investigation until it is seen that the teenagers confirm their consent to sexual relations. Following this, the maintenance money is requested from the father of the baby.
This year, LAFF have helped with international sales for products made in Mantay’s artisanal workshop, raising awareness of the issues affecting at risk teenage mums at schools and community groups across the UK. We have also received financial support from LAFF for the purchase of a machine which improves the quality and finish of the products made, making them more competitive in a national and global market in future. Equally, LAFF have covered all the costs of attending school for 34 young people at Casa Mantay who are of school age, a great help to all the children and young mums in the home as well as those mums who have now ‘graduated’ from the home but still earn a low monthly salary which makes it difficult for them to support their children through school. LAFF also helped school-aged mothers and children through paying for the school materials to ensure their academic development. Thanks to LAFF for helping us to make the world a happier place for all those we support!”
Hogar de Cristo has provided educational support, meals and vocational training for 60 children for the past 12 years. Their sister home, Niña María, for the last two years has provided a home, educational support and vocational training to 14 who are at risk of entering into child prostitution through being on the streets. Along with providing basic needs both projects provide these children with the opportunity to reenter into formal education, access psychological support and learn vocational skills which will help them enter the workplace once they reach adulthood. This is done without creating an artificial bubble for them or total dependence on the institution – the children at Hogar de Cristo still live at home with their families but the centre enables them to be safe and off the streets, making the most of their education while their parents, who are very poor, can continue to work knowing that they will have a better future. In September 2011, LAFF was awarded with a grant with the purpose of building vocational training capacity for street children in Arequipa, Peru. With this grant LAFF have been supporting one of our local partners, Hogar de Cristo, who
works with 74 street children, child street workers and other children from high risk situations in Arequipa.
There is a dual aim to these workshops: to equip the children with useful skills for the future and extra-curricular activities and also to generate income for the project to enable it to become self-sustaining in the future. With the support for materials and start-up training coupled with the face-to-face capacity building support that LAFF is providing, Hogar de Cristo is moving towards becoming financially sustainable and not having to rely completely on external donations.
To date the beneficiaries have received training in different fabric painting and metalwork techniques. The trainings take place twice a week; the beneficiariesâ€™ interest and commitment has increased and they are now able to make their own designs and products. For the girls from La NiĂąa Maria, participating in these workshops has meant not only a new vocational training and income generation opportunity but also space to build life skills such as discipline, group work and leadership. For the younger children in Hogar de
Cristo, the trainings have become a space of socialization and sharing. In addition to these trainings, LAFF have carried out a sales workshop, with the purpose of building capacity to carry out basic market (demand, offer, prices, opportunities) analysis and in the future increase their sales and income. Future plans are to focus on metalwork workshops and on increasing quality and productivity. A final stage will concentrate on marketing and commercialization of some of their products, in order to generate income( to cover the costs of the tutor/materials and give continuity to the training program and the production/commercialization of their products) as well as on expanding this vocational training program by having some of the youth and children training others.
LAFF now has a team of 6 volunteers and staff working on average 150 hours a week despite only one of our team being paid. The value of our enthusiastic and highly skilled professional team of volunteers and the in-kind support they give is worth around £1,350 a week or £64,800 a year, in addition to the financial support we give to our partners.
Summer 2012 saw LAFF welcome a new International Partnerships Manager, Maria Paula Jaramillo, bringing a MA in Development Studies and a wealth of field experience in Colombia, Spain, Uganda and El Salvador to the team. Before coming to Peru, Maria was working as the OVC Program Manager for a USAID funded project in Uganda. Maria has 5 years of technical and management international development experience, researching and working in conflict and post conflict scenarios with vulnerable populations (including at risk youth, street children, child soldiers, child mothers, IDPs and other victims of armed conflicts, small producer organizations, women groups, demobilized population of illegal armed groups and people living with HIV/AIDS, amongst others). Using household, community and value chain approaches she has designed and implemented interventions that integrate community development, livelihoods, agricultural and economic development, food security, sustainability, gender, and conflict resolution.
In March 2012, LAFF were fortunate enough to receive support from Vodafone, adding Chris James to our team to launch our International Volunteer Programme. Chris joined the team following LAFF’s fourth successful bid to Vodafone Foundation’s World of Difference Programme, winning one of only 500 awards over another 11,000 eager volunteers who applied to the scheme. This opportunity meant Chris was able to develop a system to recruit, assess and train volunteers to go out and support LAFF’s work in Peru in the summer of 2012.
Jenni joined LAFF with the first international volunteer cohort in summer 2012, to become LAFF’s first Social Enterprise Programme Coordinator. Jenni’s experience in working with homeless and vulnerable people in London and Finland brought fresh ideas to LAFF and our partner organisations’ work. With postgraduate studies in Public Policy and Management, as well
as a long lasting interest in international development and Latin America, Jenni has been working to help one of LAFFs partner on a new social enterprise proposal. “I have been in charge of a social enterprise project – building a business plan for one of our partners, Casa Mantay. It has been an amazing process this far – getting hands on with market research, building the concept and financial calculations has all been a great challenge. I am putting my theoretical knowledge to practice every day and learning something new every day. One of the greatest achievements for me and the project was definitely taking part in a social enterprise conference which has meant a huge leap for our business planning process, and the learning can also be passed on to other LAFF projects. It is inspiring to be part of this kind of capacity building – we’re going to the heart of one of LAFF’s objectives: increasing independence not dependence.”
Jess joined the LAFF team in July 2012 as Communications and Information Officer. A University student of English and Spanish with a keen interest in journalism, Jess was excited to assist LAFF in Communications for 3 months and gain more experience in International Development. “For me, the biggest highlight of my time here was when I’d just done some case studies at Sacred Valley Project and the whole visit had been completely eye-opening for me. It was really inspiring to hear these girls talk so eloquently when before they’d come to the dormitory they were Quechua speakers learning Spanish from scratch. One girl told me how lucky she felt, and told me she’d never had friends like she had there. It made me really appreciate the work LAFF was doing and made me want to do everything I could to help these girls. It suddenly felt like everything clicked.”
In April 2012, LAFF in conjunction with the Consortium for Street Children, facilitated an awareness-raising photography campaign about the rights of street children, former street children and marginalised youth. The aim of the campaign was to celebrate International Day for Street Children 2012, and challenge perceptions on the reality of life for the children we support. The children chose messages which they identified with to represent their aspirations for the future. LAFF and our partners hope to help them achieve their goals. We would like to thank everyone who took part, in particular Ricardo Talavera for volunteering as our photographer on this project. Some names have been changed to protect these children’s identities. The photos were shared across the Consortium for Street Children network of NGOs, large corporations such as Aviva, and government bodies and can be found on this link: http://www.laffcharity.org.uk/2012/04/12/intern ational-day-for-street-children-photo-campaign/
her time working in Peru, and then becoming a LAFF Trustee on her return to the UK to continue this support of a cause she truly believed in. Even during her treatment the charity was a huge priority for her – so much so she completed a Channel Swim fundraising challenge, which Hannah was keen to take part in despite battling her illness. For those who didn’t have the fortune to know Hannah personally, this can only give a glimpse of the type of character Hannah was, but I’m sure anyone can appreciate from this alone what a strong and courageous young woman we had as part of our team.'
’ ’ On the 17th of August 2011 a team of four cyclists embarked on an 11 day journey between Land's End and John O' Groats with the aim of raising £2,000 for LAFF. Dan, Tom, Rich and Rhiannon went on to smash their target raising £3,048 instead. The team were inspired by LAFF Trustee Hannah Barrett, who passed away in 2010. 'Hannah was a fundamental, dedicated and committed member of LAFF since its very creation, first supporting on the ground during
http://endtoend2011.weebly.com Others raising money for LAFF from challenge events include Henry Channer who ran the London Marathon for LAFF in memory of Hannah Barrett, and a team who embarked on a Cuban cycle challenge.
Our fundraising in 2011-12 has primarily come from generous corporations, Trusts and Foundations, schools and individual challenge events. Many of the grants given by companies,
Trusts and Foundations were restricted - for example Vodafone Foundation has paid for staff costs (and costs associated with those positions) to allow LAFF to expand our projects in the UK and overseas. These restricted grants mean that despite growing this year, we have continued to keep overheads and administration costs to a minimum and maximise our overseas impact. We have also worked hard to ensure that all unrestricted donations from regular donors, fundraising events, sponsored challenges and one-off donations continue to go directly towards our overseas projects.
A new source of funds for us in 2011-12 has been from ‘Give a Car’, a social enterprise that fundraises for charity by organising the donation of end-of-life cars. Two generous supporters have scrapped their cars and donated the proceeds to LAFF. If you have a car you’d like to donate, please get in touch!
Hannah Barrett, the LAFF Trustee who tragically lost her battle to cancer at the age of 26 last year, continues to inspire many to follow her dedication, courage and generosity, with fundraising events taking place at her previous school, friends running the marathon, and donations streaming into ‘Hannah’s Fund’.
Particular thanks this year must go to KEHS and Solihull School, who have raised thousands of pounds for Hannah’s Fund through a host of fundraising events including a salsa evening organized by Becky Evans and team, shoe shining and selling products made by our partner Casa Mantay.
The start of 2012 resulted in a face lift for LAFF. To help us to better explain our work and appeal to more supporters across the UK, it was vital for our website to reflect the reality of our work. Thanks to the support from a team of design and IT professionals who volunteered months of their time to help, LAFF now have a brand new face. We hope you like it! Please check out www.laffcharity.org.uk to see the results. Thanks to designedbygoodpeople, a fantastic design agency and a volunteer, Marcus Revington, who both offered their in-kind support to re-build our beautiful new website.
LAFF are, as always, grateful to so many ongoing and new supporters. Without your help, we would not be able to assist even more vulnerable people and homes to strive for a brighter and more sustainable future. However, as well as the anonymous support of so many, there are always a few individuals and organisations without whom we would not have been able to make the progress we have done this year. We would like to give special thanks in particular to:
KEHS, Solihull School and Milton Primary School for their fundraising and awareness-raising efforts for LAFF
Merilyn and Paul Barrett, who through Hannah’s Fund, set up in their daughter’s memory continue to fundraise tirelessly through their schools
Vodafone Foundation’s World of Difference Programme, which has sponsored another LAFF volunteer to deliver a 4 month project to get skilled volunteers working overseas for LAFF
St Andrew’s Church, and in particular Mary Pountain, whose efforts have once again have raised funds to support food costs at Azul Wasi
Designedbygoodpeople and Marcus Revington who designed our new website
The Land’s End to John O’Groats cycling team
Genesis Investment Management Ltd who supported LAFF’s work through a generous donation to our overseas projects
A number of generous Trusts and Foundations who have donated to support specific Education and Sustainability projects in Peru
Catch up on all our news over the last year in Peru and in the UK, and hear all about how our support has helped marginalised children and y...
Published on Dec 31, 2012
Catch up on all our news over the last year in Peru and in the UK, and hear all about how our support has helped marginalised children and y...