27th February 2012
Today I received my first photo of Americo, a 12 year old boy from a poor village near Cusco, Peru. I’ll be sponsoring him until he’s old enough to take care of himself. It’s a wonderful feeling to suddenly have a meaningful connection with a little chap over 6,000 miles away.Figure 1: My first photo of Americo.
Where he lives the education system is poor (he’s only just learning to read and write), the farming is rough, and there’s a lack of healthcare and opportunities. Peru is still recovering from years of guerrilla warfare, and neglect from successive governments. Just like Americo and his two siblings, thirty percent of the indigenous population live below the poverty line.
I’m writing my first letter to him today, and also sending him some sketches and stuff. By return I’ll get regular pictures and letters from him, plus updates about how he’s getting on. I’ll occasionally contribute to the gift fund for his village which helps with educational material and improving local facilities.
I opted to sponsor a child in Peru as it is one of those places I’ve always had a random interest in, keeping loosely informed about its political issues and general problems. By chance, Americo lives a few hours from Machu Picchu and other wonders, so I feel certain I’ll be able to visit his village in the next couple of years and see the issues first-hand. It’ll be amazing to meet him and play football with him and his mates. Apparently he loves football.
Not everyone can afford to do something like this, and I’m certainly not flush with spare cash. But, unlike many people my age I don’t have my own kids to support, so by comparison this is a small contribution each month.