The season of giving is well underway. As you reach out to family or friends to let them know you care and are thinking of them, remember, too, our friends in Peru. A gift to Heart-Links this season will help improve the lives of families in the Zaña Valley, Chiclayo and Cajamarca.

As just one example of the work Heart-Links supports, let me tell you about Maria and her family, who live in Nuevo Mocupe, in the Zaña Valley in northern Peru.

Maria has seven children and is caring for them on her own. Three of her children—Nelver, Michael and Josey—have disabilities. Often Maria can only work one day a week because of poor health. For years she struggled to find her children the care they needed, but due to the rules in the local public school, they often faced expulsion when they had an outburst. She says the staff at the school insist on “more medicine, more medicine.” They are not very patient with the children, she says, and push to have them medicated, even when they have not been diagnosed.

maria stands in front of wall

Maria finally found help for her children because of you. She enrolled Nelver and Michael in the supportive disabilities program run by Madre Oliva Association—a project that is funded by Heart-Links donors. Nelver, Michael and Josey are now in school because of the group’s advocacy and all three now have proper diagnoses. Please consider a gift of $25 to continue to support this important work.

“There’s no way I could ever repay what I’ve been given here,” Maria told us when Heart-Links travelled to Nuevo Mocupe earlier this fall to get an update on how this project is going. The diagnosis of disabilities in Peru is very expensive, leaving many families in the dark about what their children may be struggling with. A diagnosis can mean everything in determining the right therapies, medicine and care.

Madre Oliva Association works closely with representatives from the school and the local health unit to ensure people living with developmental and other disabilities in their communities receive the attention they need and do not face discrimination. With your support, they can provide medications, consultation with specialists, food and psychological and life skills counselling.

Our team couldn’t have been prouder after meeting Maria and hearing that her and her children’s lives are much better because of the gifts made by Heart-Links donors. She is just one example of how important this program is for individuals and families facing barriers to accessing critical services. Everyone deserves to enjoy full participation in the life of their communities. You can help create a more robust and sustained support system for individuals with disabilities.

Thank you for considering our request to donate to Heart-Links so we can fund projects like this one.

P.S. As we celebrate Heart-Links’ 25th anniversary, we hope you will consider making a special gift in honour of this milestone!