I would like to tell you that for the first time we celebrated Halloween at La Casa de Panchita. The celebration was organized mainly by volunteers from the US. We had a great day with girls in child domestic work and adult domestic workers.
The house was decorated with spider webs and there were witches, wizards, zombies and skeletons everywhere! We organized pumpkin carving workshops and everybody had a lot of fun…and a lot of candy!
Even though Halloween may seem very normal, for the girls and women attending La Casa de Panchita it was not:
“I’ll give the pumpkin to my mom! Isn’t it nice with its little candle inside? My mom never saw one!” (Child Domestic Worker, 11 year-old).
“How nice…It reminds me the first time I celebrated my birthday. I was 43 and I had just moved to Lima” (Domestic worker, 53 year-old).
“This Halloween has been very special for me! I was so pleased to see how much the girls loved painting and carving pumpkins!” (Volunteer).
It is thanks to your support that La Casa de Panchita can be this welcoming and social space, where girls and women can create good memories…experiences that help them heal scars left by abuse and exploitation.
A new festivity is coming up: Thanksgiving. We are thankful for your support and would like to wish all of you a happy holiday!
Thank you again,
We are in a new house, even though it is not our own.
In late July we had to leave the place that had been La Casa de Panchita for ten years…There we left many memories, like the murals painted by girls in child domestic work. Since then, we are in a new place that is half the size of the previous one. We are still settling in (we had to give away much furniture and other things that do not fit into this house).
Due to the change, it was only in September when girls could come back to La Casa de Panchita on Sundays. On September 27th, we also had an important visitor: the Peruvian Ombudsman. He met some of our girls, who, with no shyness, told him facts about their lives. Angelina, 9 year old, told him:
"My mom works as domestic worker in a house. She works so many hours and comes back home very late. Sometimes she doesn’t even get paid”.
Rosita, aged 7, was at La Casa de Panchita for the first time. She told us that she was tired because the day before she had been working. She spontaneously told the Ombudsman that "Children should study!".
And Fatima, 12 year old, who has been coming to La Casa de Panchita for quite a long time, explained the Ombudsman what child domestic labor is and told him that "Children should not work".
The Ombudsman was very impressed by the comments of the girls and we were proud to see what they can achieve. We wanted to share this with you who because you make it possible for this to happen.
We are sending this special report to let you know that Wednesday, July 15 is BONUS DAY! As you know, donations made to our project will be matched by Globalgiving at 50% (up to $1,000 per donor), starting at 9am EDT (3pm ECST). There are $115,000 available in matching funds!
We are also happy to inform you that we finally found a new venue to rent for La Casa de Panchita. We will send some pictures soon! We are going to move there this very week. However, we do hope this is going to be a temporary home and that, with your support, we will be able to secure our own house!
Despite this turmoil, we keep receiving our girls every Sunday and our weekly activities are up and running! Our girls are very curious and excited about the new house and they will soon visit it! We are planning some great outdoors activities with them, since we now have a little garden and there are many public parks in the new neighbourhood.
Please consider supporting us during this special event. We will write soon from our new "casa"!
We want to share with you how our Sunday sessions with girls in child domestic labor at La Casa de Panchita work.
Early in the morning, on a private bus parked in Pamplona Alta, San Juan de Miraflores, Mrs. Susana (community leader) waits for the girls, usually 25 to 30, who live in nearby areas. Along with one or two promoters, former child domestic workers, they make their way to La Casa de Panchita. On the way there, the girls eat some fruit, since many of them probably didn’t have breakfast.
They arrive at 10am. Staff members and volunteers receive them with warm hugs and kisses. The girls are then divided into small groups of five. Each group is assigned to a tutor, who helps the project coordinator carry out the activities planned. Sunday activities are divided into four sessions of 1,5 hours each. At 1pm, lunch is served and it is usually one of the girls’ favourite meals (chicken, fish or meat, accompanied by vegetables or potatoes, with juice and a fruit dessert).
The abovementioned four sessions are always carried out with games and playful dynamics. The first assesses the risks of child domestic labor. The second one is a crafting workshop, like painting a box or a picture frame that the girls can take back home. The third session addresses a special topic chosen by the girls, while during the fourth one, we take them to nice park near La Casa de Panchita. Sometimes we are able to take the girls to the beach, museums or to the zoo.
During the day, the girls needing school support receive special assistance and there is also some time left to read and comment AGTR’s "The future in my hands", a publication describing the support channels available for children exposed to domestic labor.
We would like to share with you some of the girls’ comments on these Sunday sessions at La Casa de Panchita:
"I've never been at this park before. It is very large and very nice”.
Shirley M., 13 year-old
"I hardly ever go out for a walk when I’m home. I do not have enough time."
Nancy M., 11 years-old
“How pretty! I never imagined the sea would be like this. It looks very different than I expected: It looks colourful, It’s not just a single color”.
Susana Q., 17 year-old
“What a pity we cannot have these kind of trips all the time. It’s very cool and I'm not afraid of crossing the street anymore. When there is no traffic light it’s scary because they don’t even look at you”.
Miriam B., 15 year-old
At La Casa de Panchita we have had special events to celebrate the Domestic Worker's International Day (March, 30th) with our girls in child domestic labor and adult domestic workers. Thanks to your support, the girls could take a break and go to the movies to watch the acclaimed comedy-drama "The Maid". For adult domestic workers, we organised a special workshop in which they learned how to cook traditional Peruvian dishes, while enjoying amazing food!
On the occasion of this Domestic Worker's International Day (Today!) we would like to take the chance to share with you a (very) short video on what happens to girls exposed to child domestic labor. We would also like to share with you Elena's story, as a testimony of the importance of the work you are helping us carry out at La Casa de Panchita:
When Elena turned 10, she was sent to Lima to “help out” at a relative’s home. She cleaned the house, cooked and took care of the children and was treated as “the help”, not as family. She barely had time to sleep at night and no time at all to do her homework. She remembers how much her employer yelled at her and how she was ashamed of talking about it with others. When she was 14, Elena started attending La Casa de Panchita. With us, she learned how to speak for herself, she worked hard to improve her Spanish reading and writing skills and improved her grades at school, receiving the education wvwry child deserves!
As you may know we started a nwe project to secure a safe place for our girls and to keep providing them with the support they need. Chech it out by following the link below and please, take a minute (literally!) to watch the video, click HERE. Elena and other girls like her need us!
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