Casa 2 is finally finished


One project that stayed and weighed heavily on my mind for more than a year has finally been completed.  Casa 2 had been sitting for a year and a half partially renovated and uninhabited.  Thanks to cash donations from a regular donor in Canada as well as my friend Randy, a new support, Florent and myself we were able to provide the rest of the ceramic tile needed for the floors, paint and material to fabricate wardrobes for the bedrooms.  The casa is now occupied and Casa 5 is empty and awaiting the mandated renovations.  The major structural work had already been done in Casa 2, so what remained was easy to do.  Casa 5 is a different story and will be very expensive as it requires structural changes to accommodate doubling the size of two bathrooms.

 

I have to tell you that I cannot say enough about my friend Randy who threw his back out assembling all of those wardrobes.   He is quite handy to have around and has even moved from Lima to Cienegilla where he is only minutes from the orphanage, which allows him to spend more time carrying out various projects.  He is a blessing, for sure.

 

Photos to follow soon. I will be there next Saturday and take some.   Thanks, from the heart,  to those who made this possible.

2013 Christmas Party…best one yet!!!


December 21st was the day of this years Christmas party and it was the best one yet.   Almost 300 gifts given out, turkey dinner, a trampoline, a troupe was hired for music and games and a Santa handed out the gifts.  It was a very long day, but so much fun for everyone.P1000033

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Turkey, potato salad and rice and boy did they eat.

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2013 Christmas Party


December 21st was the day of this years Christmas party and it was the best one yet.   Almost 300 gifts given out, turkey dinner, a trampoline, a troupe was hired for music and games and a Santa handed out the gifts.  It was a very long day, but so much fun for everyone.   Turkey, rice and potato salad was on the menu, and did they eat. P1000072 P1000068 P1000067 P1000064 P1000062 P1000071 Three hours of entertainment kept them busy. P1000033 P1000032P1000030P1000027 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDPv0DGrcMI

Drip Irrigation…solar power for the well and hopes of an orchard


My friend Randy, who has been a real dynamo this past year, has been carrying out yet another project.  Funded by a donation from a friend of his in the U.S. he has been installing a drip irrigation system for the vegetable garden at the orphanage as well as engaging in the repair of doors, locks and other items.

Prior to his efforts with the irrigation project the orphanage was using way too much water through inefficient irrigation techniques.   Water is a precious commodity there as they rely on a well and some water drawn indirectly from the river in the summer.  It never rains there and the land upon which the orphanage sits is the most arid that I have seen.  Wasting water is not a reasonable option.

Below are a few photos of a portion of the irrigation system that Randy has installed so far.

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The vegetables and fruit that the orphanage has the ability to grow are far from sufficient for the daily needs of more than 100 residents, but it is a small help.  One of their wishes is for a large fruit orchard that would contain apple, pear, mandarin, banana and a variety of other trees.  This would be a major project involving land preparation, additional irrigation and a lot of labor.  The viability of such a plan is now being studied.  If we can be assured that the available water supply will be able to handle the additional load, and that there is the ability on the part of the staff to maintain a large orchard, then the effort to raise funding will begin.  You can see in the photo below the intended location for the orchard.  It is extremely arid and desolate.  If this can come to pass it will be a huge benefit as the children have very minimal access to fresh fruit at this time.

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Solar power…….all electricity for the orphanage is currently supplied by solar panels.  The existing system, however, does not provide the power needed to pump water from the well which is located on a separate piece of property at least 500 meters from the water cistern.  A large diesel generator is used for  this purpose at a cost of over $1,000 per month in fuel.   Our goal is to replace the generator with a solar panel system and solar pump.  This would be an ideal solution to an expensive problem and permit the orphanage to put that 1,000 plus dollars per month to better use.  We realize that this will be an expensive project and sincerely hope that the funds can be raised.

Window screens now in place


Thanks to the efforts of my friend Randy and friends of his that volunteered to come to Peru for a week and fabricate and install window screens on all 7 houses (approximately 50 windows in all), the children no longer share their sleep with hungry mosquitoes.  Hats off to Jeff and Kyle, a father and son who came from Ohio and Pennsylvania for this project.  Having had the experience of Westfalia I have been told that they look to provide more assistance in the future and it will be most welcome.   A few photos of the finished product.

 

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Our biggest, and most important challenge yet:


As we take a breath after the months of work on what was a very successful Christmas Party for the children, we now turn our attention to a serious issue in need of immediate attention.   The houses etc, at Westfalia were constructed more than 20 years ago.  Over that period of time they have not only taken a beating as a result of housing a lot of rambunctious children, but they have also fallen afoul of newer regulations enforced by various government ministries.  The casas that house the children were originally built with two bathrooms each with one toilet, one sink and one shower.  Each casa houses as many as 15 people.  You can see the impracticality of that bathroom arrangement, particularly with children needing to get ready for school every morning.   Clearly this was one upgrade not only needed, but required by Defense Civil.  Renovations of the kitchens in each casa are required as well.  You can see one of the old bathrooms, still in use, in the photo below, and one of the kitchens below that.

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They have managed to renovate a few of the casas with new bathrooms that have at least doubled the capacity.  Casa 2 is currently unused because the renovations came to a halt when Defense Civil (the previously mentioned government ministry) told them that they had to install concrete security zones (round concrete pads) in front of every building, as a gathering place in the event of an emergency, earthquake and such.  They also included a list of other required changes which necessitated using their minimal renovation funds to satisfy those new requirements.

If this were not a big enough problem, yet another government ministry has inspected and indicated that, in spite of the fact that they have no disabled residents, have never had any disabled residents and never plan to have any, they must install wheelchair ramps on every building (that would be about 9 to 11 buildings) and that they must include a bathroom stall suitable for wheelchair use, in each casa, complete with grab bars etc.

Westfalia, not being a government funded or sponsored orphanage, is only able to facilitate renovations through private donations.  The donations for completion of casa 2 had to be diverted to satisfying Defense Civil in construction of the secure zones and other security requirements.  Therefore, casa 2 has been sitting for more than 6 months, partially renovated and unable to house any children.  We intend to solve this problem.  We currently have a portion of the required funds, thanks to a kind donation on the part of someone on British Expats.   The photos below show some of the work remaining to be finished, primarily completing the installation of floor tiles and then installing the fixtures. Two bedrooms and one bathroom as well as about half of the common area have been tiled.   What remains is the third bedroom, second bathroom, remainder of the common area, kitchen and the large laundry area where the children wash their clothes by hand.  We need help.  Whatever you donation you can make will make a difference.

2012-12-15 16.40.292012-12-15 16.40.142012-12-15 16.40.502012-12-15 16.41.082012-12-15 16.41.18

As for the other issues regarding ramps and handicapped bathroom stalls, we hope to establish a longer term project to raise funds to assist in meeting those requirements.  There will be others attempting to do their part as well.  The more of us that make the effort, the sooner the changes can be made and the sooner Westfalia will be able to make use of every casa and the sooner their permit for the orphanage will not be at risk of being revoked or their allowed capacity downgraded.  We do not want to see any of these children transferred to another orphanage because of a shortage of space due to inability to meet the deadline for completing these required renovations and satisfying the government ministries. This is their home, their family.  We will not let it be torn apart.  Chipin has, unfortunately, been sold and the site has been shut down as of March 10.  If you wish to help, please use the donation button on the “And you can help” page.

http://www.thechildrenofwestfaliaorphanage.com/donate-through-paypal-or-chipin/

Our biggest, and most important challenge yet:


As we take a breath after the months of work on what was a very successful Christmas Party for the children, we now turn our attention to a serious issue in need of immediate attention.   The houses etc, at Westfalia were constructed more than 20 years ago.  Over that period of time they have not only taken a beating as a result of housing a lot of rambunctious children, but they have also fallen afoul of newer regulations enforced by various government ministries.  The casas that house the children were originally built with two bathrooms each with one toilet, one sink and one shower.  Each casa houses as many as 15 people.  You can see the impracticality of that bathroom arrangement, particularly with children needing to get ready for school every morning.   Clearly this was one upgrade not only needed, but required by Defense Civil.  Renovations of the kitchens in each casa are required as well.  You can see one of the old bathrooms, still in use, in the photo below, and one of the kitchens below that.

111016_153609

111016_154040

They have managed to renovate a few of the casas with new bathrooms that have at least doubled the capacity.  Casa 2 is currently unused because the renovations came to a halt when Defense Civil (the previously mentioned government ministry) told them that they had to install concrete security zones (round concrete pads) in front of every building, as a gathering place in the event of an emergency, earthquake and such.  They also included a list of other required changes which necessitated using their minimal renovation funds to satisfy those new requirements.

If this were not a big enough problem, yet another government ministry has inspected and indicated that, in spite of the fact that they have no disabled residents, have never had any disabled residents and never plan to have any, they must install wheelchair ramps on every building (that would be about 9 to 11 buildings) and that they must include a bathroom stall suitable for wheelchair use, in each casa, complete with grab bars etc.

Westfalia, not being a government funded or sponsored orphanage, is only able to facilitate renovations through private donations.  The donations for completion of casa 2 had to be diverted to satisfying Defense Civil in construction of the secure zones and other security requirements.  Therefore, casa 2 has been sitting for more than 6 months, partially renovated and unable to house any children.  We intend to solve this problem.  We currently have a portion of the required funds, thanks to a kind donation on the part of someone on British Expats.   The photos below show some of the work remaining to be finished, primarily completing the installation of floor tiles and then installing the fixtures. Two bedrooms and one bathroom as well as about half of the common area have been tiled.   What remains is the third bedroom, second bathroom, remainder of the common area, kitchen and the large laundry area where the children wash their clothes by hand.  We need help.  Whatever you donation you can make will make a difference.

2012-12-15 16.40.292012-12-15 16.40.142012-12-15 16.40.502012-12-15 16.41.082012-12-15 16.41.18

As for the other issues regarding ramps and handicapped bathroom stalls, we hope to establish a longer term project to raise funds to assist in meeting those requirements.  There will be others attempting to do their part as well.  The more of us that make the effort, the sooner the changes can be made and the sooner Westfalia will be able to make use of every casa and the sooner their permit for the orphanage will not be at risk of being revoked or their allowed capacity downgraded.  We do not want to see any of these children transferred to another orphanage because of a shortage of space due to inability to meet the deadline for completing these required renovations and satisfying the government ministries. This is their home, their family.  We will not let it be torn apart.  Chipin has, unfortunately, been sold and the site has been shut down as of March 10.  If you wish to help, please use the donation button on the “And you can help” page.

http://www.thechildrenofwestfaliaorphanage.com/donate-through-paypal-or-chipin/