This past week we visited IRID and also with the Director of the Cuna Jardin, Corazon de Jesus, and a social work student doing her practicum we also visited to homes of some of the children who attend the Cuna Jardin.
The Director of IRID, Dra. Mary Luz Barreda , presented me with certificates of appreciation –for me and for the SUPC Board members.
IRID is located on the outskirts of Arequipa and did not suffer damages from the intense rains that fell throughout January, February and most of March. However, in discussions with Dra Mary Luz we went over some of the issues affecting the Centre. The main issue is the lack of Government funding, including lack of support for the therapists, who work with the residents of the Centre. As well, funding support from Europe has also decreased as the former support is now being directed to the needs of refugees arriving in Europe.
We also went to visit some of the families whose children go to the Cuna Jardin. Most of the parents are single mothers whose partners have left, however we met a single father caring for his child as well.
The area where many of the families live was affected by the rain – the roads are made of gravel and were washed out, we had to make a long detour to get to one of the homes.
The homes are basic, two have tile floors; the others were concrete. One mother, whose partner had left her, was living with her child in a single room the only furniture a single bed and a two burner hotplate for cooking.
The Cuna Jardin does more than just offer classes for the children. They keep longer hours than most nursery schools or kindergartens also provide child care while the parents work, and study time for older children in the afternoons after their regular classes are over.