Help One Now is ready to break ground on Kairos Village, a place that will serve as a refuge and home for exploited children in Iquitos, Peru.
Here’s our International Operations Director, Lamar Stockton:
At Help One Now, we always have a lot going on. Our brilliant leaders work tirelessly every day to care for their communities and cast vision for the future. It’s a challenge to keep up with their pace, but it’s a challenge we gladly accept. I’m excited to give you a brief update on some significant work we’re beginning in Iquitos, Peru!
Just over 2 years ago, a few of my closest friends and I stood, with muddy shoes (the kind of muddy where you can no longer see your shoes) on a piece of land at the edge of the Amazon rainforest, and listened as Help One Now local leader Mercedes Malpartida shared her vision for a refuge for victims of abuse, trafficking and forced prostitution. With tears in her eyes, she poured out her heart for the broken with passion and authority. We listened, and the wheels began turning.
We shared with her the success of Ferrier Village, our trafficking prevention initiative in northeast Haiti. We began researching, asking questions, and taking small steps alongside Mercedes and her son Willie toward this vision. Land was secured, and in early 2016, we began sharing the vision of KAIROS VILLAGE. We brought Mercedes and Willie to Ferrier, Haiti, to visit our Haitian leaders and see the Village in action. In March, we began raising funds.
Mercedes and Willie spent the next several months refining their vision, assessing the need, and building further rapport with local authorities including the district attorney in Iquitos. In July 2016, the vision became tangible with architectural drawings, structural plans and, of course, budgets. And now…now we are ready to break ground! We will begin with the water system for the entire Village, Rescue Home #1, and the main building – including a dining area, kitchen, bakery, storage, and more.
We are excited to get this started, but we have a long way to go to finish funding Phase 1 and we need your help to keep it moving forward.
In the last several months, we’ve been reminded over and over of the importance of this refuge. Two young teenage girls were taken out of their home by police because of reported abuse, only to be put back in the home because there was no other place to go. Then they were arrested a few months later for prostitution, forced on them by their uncle. An 8 year old who must continue living under the same roof with an abusive stepfather who is awaiting trial. A female student at Colegio Kairos who missed school one day. After her mother could not find her, she was rescued by the police before she could be taken to another city by a group of sex traffickers. One member of her family is now on trial for working with the traffickers.
These young women and children need a refuge, whether temporary or long-term, where they will be safe, loved and nurtured back to physical, emotional and spiritual health. The need inspired the vision in the heart of Mercedes Malpartida years ago, and now the need drives us to complete and open this rescue village. We have the leaders. We have the vision. And now we need a tribe of folks like YOU to come together and help.
We have already raised $50,000 for this project. This is a great start and has allowed us to greenlight the groundbreaking. But it’s time to press forward and finish funding Phase 1. Our goal is to raise $150,000 by the end of the year through both our end-of-year giving campaign and this year’s Legacy Project. Let’s celebrate the progress and press on toward the goal! Let’s turn these tragic stories into stories of hope! Let’s do good, do it well, and do it together!