Peruvians celebrate Independence Day “Fiestas Patrias” on July 28 of every year, the date when General San Martin liberated Peru from its conquerors. We celebrate independence day with our children to instill a sense of patriotism and connection to their country. During our celebration Walter, a manager of the casa hogar, gave a brief speech highlighting the importance and pride of being Peruvian. The ceremony ended with the older groups leading a parade throughout the Santa Martha campus. We finished the ceremony with a delicious barbecue!
Drug Prevention Program
On August 22, 2013, we instituted a drug prevention program, called "I can decide." The program focuses on adolescents between 12 and 17 years old living at Villa Martha. Several volunteers supported this effort.
The campaigned aimed to teach our children about the various psychosocial problems that come with drug usage, including: anxiety, depression, sex, school, and addiction. Each of these topics was discussed in talks led by our group leaders and volunteers. At the end of the program, all participants completed a mental health questionnaire. Every participant also had the opportunity to submit anonymous questions concerning doubts, feelings, and fears to be answered by an adult.
"Villa Martha" Library
We have officially reopened the Villa Martha library! With the help of one of our volunteers from Colombia, Freddy, we cleaned and redecorated the library to make it a more inviting place for our children to study and read. All books have been reorganized and children have already expressed that finding books is now an easy task. Thank you, Freddy!
On June 14 we celebrate Father's Day in Santa Martha. Our children presented song and dance performances. Papá Roberto was the central figure of this celebration receiving affection from their children.
After the performances everyone enjoyed a delicious lunch prepared by Mrs. Martina, our cooker.
On October 13, twenty four children and adolescents received the sacrament of baptism. Father John was the one who celebrated Mass, baptizing new Christians of House-Home.
After the ceremony we had the dining room where everyone enjoyed a special lunch prepared by Ms. Martina. After that we tasted cakes to commemorate this important moment.
On August 16, we sponsored our first ever songs contest! Music and singing encourage the development of a child's intellectual, sensory, auditory, and motor development and is also a great form of cultural and artistic expression. All groups participated in the contest, with performances consisting of singing and dancing. "Las Niñas Grandes" (the girls) won first place for the song "Yo tengo fe", using a drum and tambourine.
Visiting the Lord of Miracles
In October the Peruvian people made the procession in honor of the Lord of Miracles, an image of Christ crucified that was painted in the seventeenth century by an Angolan slave named Benito. This image remained intact resisting many earthquakes. It is currently located in the Sanctuary of the Nazarene in downtown Lima.
Every year in that month, we take all of our children to visit the image of the Lord in Sanctum of the Nazarene, who are co-founders of Santa Martha.
This year, once again we had the support of Oltursa a bus company that lent us two luxury buses to transport the entire sheltered population and of all employees. ¡Viva el Señor de los Milagros!
It’s the summertime and our children are on vacation. This is the time to have fun, relax, but also to learn new things. Therefore our program known as the "Useful Vacation" began in January. This is a period in which we conducted several workshops as Computer, Sewing, Bakery, Academic Support, Singing, Dance and of course, recreation.
Also is part of this program workshops taught by the Department of Psychology at Santa Martha. The three psychologists, held talks on many topics related to the person, their feelings and their environment.
The "Useful Vacation" will end in the first week of March, when children and adolescents restart their classes.
June brought us a great joy. Our dear Julio Rosas Malma has graduated as a cabin boy in the Peruvian Navy. The ceremony was at the Callao Naval Base and attended by the highest command of the Navy.
We are very proud of Julio, who has shown a great capacity we overcoming and willpower.
Christmas at Santa Martha
On December 25 we celebrate the birth of the Holy Child in Villa Martha. To start the party, the liturgy was conducted in the chapel directed by Sister Micaela, with the reading of the Holy Gospel and Communion. The children also sang hymns and then came the moment awaited by all: receiving gifts. By this time the Benavides, friends who collaborate with us for many years, delivered gifts. At that time you could feel the delicious smell coming out of the clay oven where Uncle Tom prepared a delicious meal. In the evening we enjoyed a delicious lunch with some former housed guys who visited us. At the end we enjoyed a rich dessert (crepes with berries and cupcakes) prepared by volunteers who join us this December.
Last Sunday, October 6, 27 children and adolescents attended the first Spiritual Journey. They will celebrate their First Holy Communion on December 08 at the Church of the Lord of Miracles in downtown Lima.
This journey took place in the “Eni’s House”, a property that is part of the Santa Martha Foundation and is a few minutes from our Home.
This time we had the presence of Father Francisco and Sister Marita who were accompanied by his team of catechists: Ana, Maria and Carmela. Two specific themes were discussed: "The Rock " and " The Banquet".
The first theme focused on how Jesus Christ entered in our life and the safety that He has brought to us, mentioning Psalm 18:2 : " The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.. "
The second theme explores the idea that Jesus Christ is the food that gives us life through the symbolism expressed in the Word of God.
At the end of the day, children and adolescents were happy to be able to share the Word of God in an atmosphere of harmony and peace.
First Dance Contest
The first Dance Contest took place on November 28 in Santa Martha. The children and adolescents chose the music, the choreography and costumes. We enjoyed a great afternoon seeing them dancing with a lot of talent.