Pilot Youth Club project in La Esperanza off to a hopeful start
January marked the beginning of our new La Esperanza Youth Club pilot Project, which we are pleased to say is off to a very hopeful start. Our youth club aims to provide young people in La Esperanza, who are vulnerable to gang crime, the opportunity and space to develop Christian values, receive capacity and leadership training and engage in creative sustainable activities, acting as a pilot for a future, longer-term “Peace Youth Centre”. Sandra Gastañudi Torres, who joined A Rocha Peru as the La Esperanza Project Coordinator in January, has been developing the project in collaboration with the Trujillo Provincial Municipality, the La Esperanza District Micro Health Network, the Chino Terrones Foundation, the Soul Fighter Crew breakdance club, the Buen Socorro mother’s club, community leaders and volunteers from the Cesar Vallejo University of Trujillo.
On February 27, the club inaugurated its dance workshops with the Bailando por La Paz festival, with traditional regional dances, marinera (a typical northern dance) and breakdance classes. On March 14, more than 100 children attended the Evangelical Festival accompanied by their parents. In April, seven medical students from the César Vallejo University provided nutritional and BMI (body mass index) evaluations to club members, setting the groundwork for community health campaigns that the project intends to carry out starting in the coming weeks.Also, the Taller de Afianzamiento began, an afterschool programme that helps children with their homework and provides environmental education activities. At the end of each workshop and/or club activity, there is a moment for reflection with a biblical reading and prayer for the personal needs of the group. We are pleased to see the rapid development of the club´s activities in just a few months, and look forward to continuing progress.