By Fr. Tomás Gordo, an Idente missionary and Director of the Home of the Infant Jesus.
The Home of the Infant Jesus is located in the central part of the city of Abancay, province of Abancay, in the department of Apurímac (Peru). It encompasses a total area of land of 1,630 m2.
The population that lives in the department of Apurímac is considered one of the poorest in Peru, as a result of having lived many years of postponement, with very low living standards and high illiteracy rates. This adverse situation is aggravated in the peasant population, and especially in the children and young people who have to live in poverty.
The creation of the Home is due to the need to house children and youth coming mainly from poor rural communities of Apurímac. Most of them are orphans, due to the social violence experienced during the years of terrorism in the 80’s and 90’s. There are also children and youth from dysfunctional families with low economic capacity and in need of an education better than that given in peasant communities.
The Home was founded by Monsignor Enrique Pelach and Feliú (second Bishop of Abancay, 1968-1992). It is a 140 year old adobes construction that had to be demolished because it had been classified as ruined construction by the Civil Defense.
At the end of 1984, the Bishop of Abancay entrusted the administration and direction of the so-called “Home of San Martín de Porres” to the Idente Missionaries, who from August 12, 2006, with episcopal authorization, changed the name to “Home of the Infant Jesus”.
In March 1999, after 15 years of reduced works, the reconstruction of the Home resumed. Also at a very slow pace since the assistance is mainly from abroad: Spain, Italy, France, Luxembourg, United States, etc. Municipal subsidies are occasional, based on some non-perishable food items, and in very insufficient quantities. However, they are appreciated.
As of 2009, the reconstruction works advanced thanks to donations from the US, Spain, Italy and Luxembourg. Also we are sincerely grateful to all our permanent benefactors. All of the assistance has been invaluable. At times, with commendable efforts, such as, for example, the case of CANINCA (Canary Islands, Spain) that for many years, and even today, contribute a lot of their economic capacity. At present, the aid we receive is from Italy (mainly from Busseto), the United States and Spain.
All of this assistance has declined surprisingly over this last year (2016). Could it be the effects of the global economic crisis? The most essential thing is the amount allocated to the daily food of the boys so that the Home can remain open and continue the charitable work that has been provided for more than 30 years to so many generations of boys and youth of this Andean land; deprived of means to dream a professional future and “sense of life”.
The Home of the Infant Jesus’ mission is to provide dignified accommodation, food and human and spiritual training to forty boys from the region, between the ages of 8 and 18, who are in a situation of limited economic resources and social and family difficulties. They are also provided primary and secondary education of quality, prioritizing their human and spiritual training. Restoring and raising their self-esteem, while favoring a coexistence where values are developed and the boys can develop their talents in all areas.
In addition to the financial resources for food, childcare and the physical infrastructure, which is constantly improving, other important needs are the computer lab, the constant updating of the Library with good texts and current teaching materials, and equipment for the screening of films.