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Casa de Jenny

Sembrando Esperanza Peru

Sembrando Esperanza Peru är en ideell organisation som driver ett hem för tuberkulossjuka och utsatta individer i Lima, Peru. I denna blogg skriver våra medarbetare och volontärer om deras erfarenheter från projekthemmet i Lima, Peru. För mer

Back home in Sweden

Emmas resa September 2013 Posted on Wed, October 30, 2013 11:56:53

I’m now
back in Sweden after six weeks in Peru, and I have to say that I already miss
the house in Villa Maria and all people that lives there or works with the
project. My last evening in Lima was probably the best during my entire stay in
Peru. We celebrated Jenny’s birthday and at the same time the guys wanted to
have a “good-bye” party for me, which I was very honored about.

The house
was filled with people that wanted to celebrate Jenny. She started to work as a
volunteer on the streets and at prisons when she was just 13 years old. Now almost 30 years later there are a lot of
people who want to thank her for her amazing support and help. Here are some
pictures from this really nice evening.

It was very
sad to say goodbye to all these amazing people. It has been fantastic to see
how the project has developed during the last year and it continues to grow.
I’ve been working with this project for almost three years and after this trip
I feel even more determined to continue my work in this organization , because I
know how much good that comes out of it . Almost all of the guys that are
staying at the house , have been staying there or received help from the project in other ways
are all saying that they would probably not been alive today if it weren’t for
this project. So therefore I’m once again asking all readers of this blog to
please support our project. Every cent goes straight to the house and to the
people who need it. It really makes a
big difference for so many people.

I also want to show the fantastic gift I
received from the guys. I was indeed touched when they held a speech for me and
then gave me this huge gift. Although… it was a bit tricky to get it on the
plane back home.

Next time
someone writes on this blog, it will be one of our voluntaries. So keep an eye
on open for the blog in December when they arrive to the house.



Human rights and chicken.

Emmas resa September 2013 Posted on Mon, October 21, 2013 06:38:32

Today the
local church had arranged a course where law students visited the house to
teach about human rights. This kind of initiative is indeed welcome because the
guys’ stories about their past lives on the streets of Lima reveal that their
human rights have been violated several times. For instance, they had no secure
place to stay at and they lacked access to health care and education. To
prepare them for a life outside our project they do need both confidence and
knowledge about their actual rights.

this week I took all guys from the house and also the staff for a dinner at a
classic “pollo a la brasa”-restaurant. This kind of restaurant serves grilled
chicken with french fries which probably is all Peruvians’ favorite food.

The waiter
was almost unable to understand what I meant by being a vegetarian, so it took
a while for him to actually believe me when I said that I didn’t want any
chicken. But even if my dinner solely consisted of French fries, it was a great
evening and it will probably be one of the best memories I’ll have from my time
here in Peru. Below you see Alex that didn’t want to leave the restaurant at
all, not even when all of us had left the table.

Take care!

The cinema

Emmas resa September 2013 Posted on Mon, October 14, 2013 04:25:24

A couple of nights ago, I went to the cinema with the guys. It was a long time since they did something just for fun, simply because our project often can’t afford activities or expenses beyond the basic needs. So I think that they appreciated the visit at the cinema a lot.

Not everyone could go to the cinema, because some of them are too sick to be able to leave the house, but at least ten of us went there. It took ages before we finally left the house, because all the guys wanted to change their clothes (several times), fix their hair….

It is rather different to go to a cinema in Peru, compared to Sweden. People are talking with each other during the movie, playing with their phones and also loudly commenting what happens in the movie. But it was still a great evening and I hope that we have time to do it again before I leave Peru.

When I came to the house today, Daniél and Álvaro showed their amazing work with the earrings and bracelets. They work extra hard these days so that I can bring as much jewelry as possible with me to Sweden. We will sell the jewelry in Sweden to benefit the house and the project. If you’re interested in buying Peruvian jewelry, handmade by the guys at the house, you’re welcome to contact us:

Hasta luego!

Local support

Emmas resa September 2013 Posted on Sun, October 06, 2013 22:42:59

Yesterday I spent the whole day with Jenny and there is no question that she lives a busy life. I think that we by the end of the day had been in every little part of the entire district of Villa Maria del Triunfo.

I met up with Jenny at her school where she works as a teacher. After that we stopped by the local church to pick up some gifts. Quite often the church donates food, which is needed as it currently lives many people at the house and the food costs are therefore high. The local church also helps out with other expenses that we can’t afford to pay with the money sent from Sweden every month, for example funeral costs. Father Amadeo (in the picture below) is one of those who really supports the project.

When we finally came to the house, Natalia was there on visit. She is a doctor from the local primary care clinic and a also great supporter of the project. We will soon open up a small clinic in our house for other tuberculosis patients in the area, and Natalia will be responsible for this clinic. There are a lot of tuberculosis patients in the area, and even if we can’t let everyone stay at the house, our project can at least help out by giving free and available medical care.

It feels great to see that there are local forces that are supporting our project and also that our project helps other patients in the neighborhood. I think our project will grow even bigger by this local cooperation.

Take care!

Peace and quiet

Emmas resa September 2013 Posted on Mon, September 30, 2013 03:05:40

Sometimes, or quite often I should say, it’s somewhat turbulent in the house. There might be an argue between some of the guys, dogs running in and out of the house, guests that come to visit and everyone talks at the same time… This is definitely both fun and exciting but it can sometimes be a bit difficult to keep up with what’s happening and my Spanish is far from perfect.

It was therefore rather nice yesterday to experience a calm day for once at the house. I was then able to talk more thoroughly with some of the guys. Daniél told me more about his life and why he came to Lima. He was born in a city far up in the Peruvian mountains and when he was 8 years old his mother passed away and at the same time his father started to abuse alcohol. He lived for a while with a another family but it didn’t work out for various reasons. Shortly after his mother died he took a bus to Lima hoping to find himself a new life. Below you’ll see a photo of him and his mother (the only photo that he has of her).

For me it is almost impossible to imagine a 8 year old kid head off to a city like Lima on his own and actually survive it! But many of the guys have quite similar life stories and some of them were even younger when they ended up on the street.

Frank also showed me some photos, mostly of him and Jenny. Almost everyone of the guys see Jenny as their mother, because she is the only grown-up that has cared about them and actually showed them respect. Below is a photo of Frank and Jenny.

After a while, everyone wanted to show their photos and finally they started to ask me thousands of questions all at the same time. At first I tried to calm them down but it did not work out at all. Then I just started to laugh about it. At least I experienced a couple of hours of peace and quiet in the house…

An early morning at the hospital

Emmas resa September 2013 Posted on Fri, September 27, 2013 07:08:42

Yesterday I followed Leo, Miguel and three guys from the house to the hospital early in the morning. It is one of the most time-consuming tasks that Leo and Miguel have in their work, because it takes several hours just to get through all different queues and to get all the documents that are needed.

Despite the fact that Leo was at the hospital already at 6 am just to get a good spot in the queue, it still took us eight hours of waiting at the hospital. The hospital was packed with people through the whole time and for our guys, the waiting until they could meet their doctors was sometimes unbearable. At this hospital, all administration is handled by paper documents, which of course slows down the process. I don’t know how many different places we went to just to get all the documents that was required.

One of the guys that had an appointment at the hospital yesterday was Manuel. He broke his foot badly five months ago after a severe accident. He definitely needs orthopedic surgery, but it has been a long waiting for this to happen.

Below you can see the x-ray of his foot, and the fracture is very complicated (I have to excuse for my picture of it, I’m not a very good photographer). The doctor said that we could speed up the process for surgery by buying the orthopedic material on our own. For me it seems extremely remarkable, expensive and as well difficult to do that, but according to Leo it is a quite common way of doing it here.

Another of our guys from the house was at the hospital to get his medicines and blood samples evaluated. He has both HIV and tuberculosis, which is a common combination around the world. HIV is not very common in Peru, compared to countries such as South Africa, but for the moment there are three guys in our house that have it. For many people, it is a very stigmatizing disease and therefore I’ve chosen to not mention their names in this blog.

After several hours at the hospital I was extremely tired and could barely keep my eyes open, but for Leo and Miguel this was just an ordinary day at work. They go to the hospital at least two times a week to help our guys to get to their appointments and keep all of their documents in order. They are indeed doing a great work.

Take care!


Emmas resa September 2013 Posted on Sun, September 22, 2013 06:07:16

Today it took me almost two hours by bus to get to the house in Villa Maria – the traffic in Lima is indeed terrible! But when I finally got there it was as always worth it. Many of the guys have started to make earrings and bracelets. Daniél is probably the one with most experience and he teaches the others the handicraft and also what materials that are the best to use. Many of the guys confirm that making the jewelry, and to earn money on their own by selling it, is a great boost for their self-esteem.

There are some new people in the staff that started to work with the project a couple of months ago. Vilma handles the cooking and Miguel takes care of the guys, together with Leo. They are really nice and caring and they seem to enjoy their work at the house.

Often there isn’t a lot to do for the guys and some of them feel that they’re just sitting and waiting for something to happen. For many, a meaningful everyday life is important in order to recover and become healthy as quickly as possible. We’ve had Swedish volunteers at the house several times and they are important for the project especially because they come with new ides and initiatives that make the days much more fun for the guys at the house. The latest volunteer was Marcus who wrote on the blog before and the guys talk and ask about him all the time. To make the days a bit more enjoyable for the guys we’re planning to get them a volleyball net on the backyard. Today we had “movie-time” and it is actually much more fun to watch the guys commenting the movie than it is to watch the movie.

Take care!

I’m back!

Emmas resa September 2013 Posted on Fri, September 20, 2013 05:27:52

Finally I’m back in Lima and I’m here by two purposes – to continue my research about tuberculosis and socioeconomic determinants in the poor areas around Lima and to follow up on our project “Sembrando Esperanza Peru”.

I was quite jet-lagged when I arrived at the house in Villa Maria today, but it was indeed fantastic to see all friends again at “Casa de Jenny”.

There were also lots of new faces. For the moment there are 15 persons living in the house which is a bit too many considering space and budget. Therefore the guys who are healthiest need to help out with the everyday work in the household.

Alex is one of those that I haven’t met before. He has a brain injury, probably from a birth trauma, and as a grown-up he has nowhere to live and no one that looks after him. With our project he now has a new family and he even attends evening courses so he can learn to read and write.

One of the best things was to see Raul again. First I didn’t recognize him because he looked so vital and healthy. Last time I saw him was at the hospital and at that moment I didn’t think that he was going to survive much longer. He’s almost done with his tuberculosis treatment and hopefully he’ll soon be able to start a new life without hospitals and medicines.

Finally, before I left the house for the day, Alvaro presented his latest piece of art – a house for the new dog.

Hasta luego!