As a current social work and development intern, I have had and continue to have opportunities to interface with the girls - Peruvian Hearts beneficiaries - first-hand on a daily basis. I hold a Masters in Social Work, but wear many hats in my role here. I run groups with them, meet with a hand full of them on an individual basis, assist in their English class, am an in-apartment Chinese teacher, and occasionally hang out with them in their home towns. The growth, strength, determination, passion, thirst for knowledge, and quirkiness of each girl are telling and inspiring. They are the face and driving force of the organization. These girls are not victims, but persons who have overcome significant challenges to not just survive, but to thrive. And Peruvian Hearts has, in their own words, played a significant role in altering the trajectories of their lives.
With a professional background as well in program development, I've had the pleasure of working closely with Peruvian Hearts' staff, both in Peru and in Colorado, in the strategic planning of the organization's expansion. I am particularly impressed by their humility, accessibility, and open-mindedness. I've continuously sensed the sincerity they have for benefiting the girls in the program. Furthermore, an element to empowerment work that I personally find necessary is advocacy on a larger scale. As the organization takes steps to expand, this is precisely the piece that they intend to incorporate in their work - to be a part of a larger social movement that will positively change the status and roles of women and girls in Peruvian society.
I recently travelled to Cusco, Peru to visit the young scholars of Peruvian Hearts. I had the unique opportunity to meet with 28 Peruvian girls and visit their family homes. I listened to their personal stories and met and talked with some of their family members. I learned of the challenges young girls face in getting an education and witnessed first hand the poverty conditions that pervade areas of the country. To be a Peruvian scholar is a unique commitment, one that ultimately can lead to breaking the cycle of unskilled labor, early motherhood, and continuous poverty for adolescent girls. The young women that I met are overcoming the odds and accomplishing great things. They are achieving outstanding academic success in a culture where university education is rare for young girls. Many are receiving honors in majors like mining engineering, mathematics, biology, business management, hotel management and culinary arts. And, they are giving back to their communities through service and home improvement projects. I felt the sense of passion and gratefulness evolving within the girls as they described their academic work and the support they experience through Peruvian Hearts. They are dreaming about their futures and becoming leaders in their communities even as they work hard to overcome the difficult circumstances they face. Their stories uplifted me and changed me. Peruvian Hearts is making a difference.
Peruvian Hearts is a unique organization that is doing transformative work with young women in Cusco, Peru. Peruvian Hearts works to end poverty and gender inequality by educating young women and creating community leaders. The young women are provided with complete scholarships for secondary and university level education in addition to leadership and empowerment classes and mentorship to give them personal support. All of these factors create a powerful combination that gives them the tools to change their lives and break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families. The families of Peruvian Hearts Scholars have become part of the empowerment network through group meetings and tools that can help them better support their daughters as they study and work hard to change their own lives.
Peruvian Hearts is making a difference in the lives of its scholars and the girls who participate. The impact and ripples of change from this work will be felt for generations to come by the girls in the program, their siblings and other family members, and the lives they touch as they go forward into positions of leadership within their communities. These bright and caring young women are deeply committed to passing on their opportunities and learning to other young women as mentors and role models.
I have been inspired on a personal level by the strength and determination, heart and compassion our girls demonstrate on a daily basis. My involvement with this work has given me a sense of purpose beyond my life in Colorado. I believe that the empowerment of young women can change the world and it is a privilege and honor to be a part of a group that is working tirelessly to that end .
I have worked with a variety of non-profits in the past, but I don't think I had ever been more accommodated with than Peruvian Hearts. From the minute we arrived at the airport, they had taken care of us the entire way. They made sure the type of service we provided for their community was relevant to their specific needs. Although we could have came more prepared with ideas on service activities, they did their best to make sure our time was well spent and that we would be making an impact. I was so proud to have been given the opportunity to work with them and do hope to find ways to support them in the future!
Volunteering for this non profit has been one of the most memorable experiences in my life thus far. It thought me to see life from a different perspective and inspired me to continue pursuing my goals. Although the girls who are from part of Peruvian Hearts have limited resources, they still have huge dreams and that is highly admirable.
Our student group volunteered with this organization this past March and it was a wonderful experience overall. The onsite staff were so knowledgeable, accommodating and very kind. And the experience with the program participants and our students was priceless! Thank you Peruvian Hearts!!
I am blessed to witness all the hard work put into this organization. I was really amazed and touched with the Peruvian program, how it started, and most of all having to meet all the girls that was part of the program and seeing how committed they are blew my mind away. I have never been so touched and felt welcomed in my life. The program is amazing and I hope to go back again and see their progress.
Peruvian Hearts gave us a warm welcome right upon arrival. They were extremely accommodating and truly gave us an experience of a lifetime regarding the social justice issues of female youth empowerment, poverty, and education. We had a chance to interact with the community and built friendships along the way. I highly recommend the non-profit for those who are looking for a chance to immerse yourself in the culture and the community.
Peruvian Hearts took care of us so well. We had a great service-learning trip and made lasting relationships with the girls and the community. If you're looking to really immerse yourself in a community while doing volunteer work, I highly recommend Peruvian Hearts.
I have worked with Danny Dodson and Peruvian hearts for 2 years and I plan on returning to Cusco, Peru to be part of this amazing organization for years to come. I'm sure all non profits have good motives at their cores but Peruvian Hearts is a cause I can firmly stand behind! Keep up the great work Peruvian Hearts!
Peruvian Hearts is exceptional. A quickly growing organization, they show inspiring commitment to empowering young women in Peru. They address economic and gender inequalities in such a full and holistic manner, by providing driven young women with education, mentorship, food, shelter and opportunities. The girls they work with are excelling and will undoubtedly go on to change the world. Knowing that every dollar of Peruvian Hearts goes straight to such a tremendous cause, I can't recommend this non-profit strongly enough.
I've been interning with Peruvian Hearts for three months now and am greatly impressed by the heart, soul and hard work that goes into this organization and its mission. I've learned invaluable lessons about running a successful non-profit, the most important being a personal commitment to making a real and lasting impact. Peruvian Hearts doesn't give handouts, they give girls a chance to pull themselves out of poverty and determine their own futures.
PH has a great model and I believe they have the potential to grow rapidly in the coming months and years, expanding their ability to transform individual lives into an empowered, fulfilled generation.
Peruvian Hearts is a remarkable organization that provides love, food, shelter, education, and role models for hundreds of children in Peru. Peruvian Hearts provides a safe, joyful and warm home for girls at the orphanage in Anta, Peru. It is such a delight to visit and see these motivated, smart, well balanced girls flourish in this nurturing environment. The older girls are not taking college entrance exams that they never dreamed possible a few years ago. These girls are now on track to become role models and leaders for other Peruvian children.
The breakfast and lunch programs that Peruvian Hearts provides at other schools in the Cuzco area have enabled children to thrive now that they have the nourishment to concentrate and study. Peruvian Hearts is an inspiration to me and a lesson in how a focused loving program can make an extraordinary difference in so many young people’s lives. I am honored and privileged to be a part of this outstanding organization.
Board Member, Peruvian Hearts
I have visited the work of Peruvian Hearts in Peru three times over the past six years and have been overwhelmingly impressed with their work. I have seen the orphanage in Anta, Cuzco transformed from subsistence housing, an open fire pit for a kitchen, inadequate nutrition, cold water showers and a “library” empty of books to a home with happy and healthy young girls, with a book filled library, warm showers and an institutional kitchen that feeds not only the girls in the home but over 200 children daily from the local area. As a result of my experiences with Peruvian Hearts I have recommended them to a number of my foundation clients and colleagues for financial support. I am proud to do so and know that others who invest in their work will be very pleased with the results.
Letter from Barbee Lux after visit to Peru:
What an incredible experience it was to visit the orphanage supported by Peruvian Hearts. The girls were happy and humble, and oh so grateful for the smallest expression. The way they helped and loved one another was touching. They were truly remarkable as they sang songs of gratitude and smiled continuously.
The girls are very motivated to learn, and care about giving back. The older girls are excited about the opportunity for secondary education, which is why Peruvian Promise is such a necessary and wonderful program. After meeting these amazing girls, it was an easy decision to commit to a sponsorship. Seeing firsthand how well the orphanage was managed, I was excited for this wonderful opportunity. The young lady I sponsor and all the other girls are in my heart forever.
It was an incredible experience, and I am moved as I think of every moment I was there. I long to return, and I will. Without exception, the people involved at every level are true humanitarians. It was an absolute privilege to visit, and in any way be involved with Peruvian Hearts.
I interned with Peruvian Hearts for six months in the summer/fall of 2011. I had a great experience because I was able to be involved with almost every part of the organization and really see what it takes for a nonprofit to run on a daily basis. I feel like I was able to gain experience in many different areas because of this, and I was able to learn a lot. I am so glad I was able to take part in fulfilling Peruvian Hearts' great mission of transforming the lives of orphans and other children living in poverty in Peru through improved education, nutrition, and health care.