Malnutrition, teenage pregnancies, sexual violence against girls and poor quality of education are some of the obstacles that Peruvian children face in their daily lives. The country stretches along the northwest coast of South America and can be divided into three parts consisting of coast, jungle and highlands. Climate change is leading to landslides, droughts and diseases such as malaria.
Climate change threatens both livelihoods and lives for many people. The indigenous peoples of the Andes and the Amazon are protesting against environmental degradation caused by, among other things, mining and deforestation. A devastation that destroys their entire lives and cultural heritage. In 2017, floods led to a national emergency that affected almost 500,000 children and young people.
Although Peru has had a rapidly growing economy for several years, growth has stalled in recent years, which has led to cuts in social policy resources. The fact that almost a quarter of children and young people live in poverty is proof of great socio-economic inequality.
The Peruvian state has a good framework for children’s rights, but lacks to follow, mediate and carry out the work for children’s rights.
Plan International works in Peru to reduce inequality so that all children and young people can fulfill their potential. Our focus areas include
– children’s early health and development
– children’s early health and development
– sexual and reproductive health and rights,
– protection from violence
– preventing and managing disasters.
In connection with the flood disaster in 2017, we supported, for example, over 3,000 families, with, among other things, emergency supplies and psychosocial support.
Imagine a world where you never have to be afraid
When Solange was 15, she moved to the Peruvian capital Lima to study. Life in the big city was tougher than she could have imagined. It did not matter if she was walking, taking a bus or a motorcycle taxi.
Everywhere, men and boys took on her and subjected her to insulting comments and unwelcome attempts at snatching.
– I put up a facade and avoided talking to protect myself.
Now she tells herself about how she committed herself to making the city safer for girls:
“A good start is to talk to guys in the class. We should not be afraid to say if they have sexist attitudes. If we talk to them in a respectful way and make them see our perspective, they will understand us better. We can also ask our teachers to address these issues and how they affect our self-esteem.
If I had to talk to the government, I would be honest and tell them that we live dangerously. The authorities must begin to understand our situation and how the violence and harassment affect us. I do not think they understand. We constantly hear the news about how girls and women who have been raped take their own lives because they have not received support and help.
They need to ensure that the law protects girls and that safety is improved. Inequality is enough now, it affects everyone. ”
Young chocolate entrepreneurs
We chose to invest in chocolate – and we sell well! Now I am also in a business club together with three classmates and we tell other students about our successes with chocolate.
Adriana, 11 years old, entrepreneur and school student
Ensuring that young people gain knowledge about finances and entrepreneurship has been shown to have a good effect on the students who will eventually enter the labor market in the Peruvian capital Lima. In collaboration with financial experts, Plan International started the project to give young people the tools they need to take their business ideas further.
To learn to love oneself
I have gained better self-confidence, new friends and learned that each person is unique.
Sharon, 16 years
The transition from child to adult is a time when many are facing tough choices about school, sexuality and the future. This is especially true of girls in a country like Peru, where violence, gender discrimination and lack of power and resources are widespread problems. To strengthen girls’ self-esteem, Plan International has started the project “Love yourself”. Art therapy is used there to get girls to think about and process their life situation, see their potential and identify their personal goals.
Facts about Peru
Population: 31 million
Life expectancy: 75 years
Infant mortality rate: 12 per 1000 births
Proportion of children starting school: 91.8%
Proportion of women in parliament: 27.7%