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Poverty Alleviation Projects

2007 Projects

July 30, 2007

Dear Friends:

Welcome to your July 2007 report for The $10 Club.

The Wanchaq Center in Cusco, Peru is in complete disrepair. The walls are made of a flimsy patchwork of plastic sheets. The floor has deteriorated. The porous, improvised roof allows water to seep through during the rainy season, ruining the work tables, books, games and other items provided to the kids who take advantage of the facility’s operation. There is no bathroom or electricity. There isn’t even a door to provide some measure of security.

In Cusco, more than fifty percent of the population lives in poverty, and more than half of the vulnerable children there work in some form or another in order to support their families. These adolescents also wander the streets to escape social problems at home including alcoholism, domestic violence, and sexual abuse. The Wanchaq Center exists to provide the children working in the markets with education, counseling, training, and support.

More than 100 children between the ages of 6 and 18 are attended to at the Center. In many cases, I am told, one or both of the kids’ parents may have been lost to alcoholism or domestic violence.

The Wanchaq Center, located near the market where the kids work, is one of two primary facilities operated by ANDESUR, a nonprofit organization working in Cusco to help children in need. They try to prepare young people with training so they have better professional choices in the future; promote self-esteem and improve the personal development of the kids; and foster improved study habits and education. They provide training, workshops (such as handicraft working, drawing, painting, music, dance, and photography), books and educational games, psychological counseling, and medical assistance—all at no cost.

In order to provide the at-risk children of Cusco, Peru with a more permanent refuge and possibility of intellectual and professional development, this month, 375 of us donated $3,750 to ANDESUR to refurbish the Wanchaq Center. Our grant will enable the construction of four wooden walls, installation of a secure roof and door, building of a bathroom, setting up electric service, coating the floor to provide stability, improving the library to offer better help with schoolwork and encourage good reading habits, and painting of the facility. Thank you.

Despite overall economic growth in Peru, income disparity is considerable in the Andean nation and the gap between rich and poor is ever-expanding. The US Agency for International Development states that “49.5% of Peruvians [are] still living in poverty and 18% in extreme poverty.” UNICEF adds: “Children continue to be the most vulnerable and unprotected citizens. Of the 3.8 million people living in extreme poverty, 2.1 million are children.”

We have a real opportunity to ensure that ANDESUR’s Wanchaq Center is the safe haven it is intended to be. Is it too much to ask to provide poor kids with a safe refuge—one with walls and a door? I think not. And thanks to you, we’ll soon know that more than 100 poor Peruvian children have a better future ahead of them. Look forward to seeing the “before” and “after” pictures of the facility. I imagine they’ll be remarkable and you’ll be as inspired by our project this month as the kids who are benefiting from your continued generosity.

Saving the world, ten dollars at a time,

The $10 Club is a nonprofit corporation registered in the District of Columbia.
Contributions are exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

The $10 Club 2040 Tunlaw Rd., NW Washington, DC 20007 (202) 337-3123 adam@thetendollarclub.org