Shoes for the girls of San Judas

The short story: the money that will be collected from this site will be used to improve the lives of the girls living in "San Judas Chico" Orphanage in Cusco, Peru. The money will go towards protect the girls from sun damage, keep their personal hygiene and buying them shoes.

The long story: When I started my journey in Peru, I really didn't know what to expect. The experience I had was beyond my imagination. My goal was to volunteer in an orphanage for girls with an age range of 4 to 16. Some of the girls have no family to care for them, and some were taken out of their family homes for all kinds of horrible reasons. The orphanage is located in the wonderful city Cusco, but a lot of the girls come from various small villages in Peru, and even from the jungle. The girls are sent to San Judas Chico Orphanage by a court order, for various periods of time. The orphanage houses about forty girls in total.

 When I first arrived, a bunch of girls ran up to me enthusiastically, calling me "Miss! Miss!" Each one of them already had her plans for me—one wanted help with her math homework, another wanted me to read her a book, and another one just wanted to play. The first thing that caught my eye was the outside yard with broken and rusty playground equipment. My heart skipped a beat each time one of the girls would swing there. Afterwards, the girls took me on a little tour and showed me the place where they slept. A scene which I knew mostly from movies appeared in front of me—a big hall with two endless rows of bunk beds, a tiny nest for each girl in a house with no privacy. When I noticed a little girl running in the hallway with torn shoes, it started to sink in—how much these girls depend on the goodwill of other people.

My job was mainly helping with homework with other volunteers. The local staff is tiny and needed a lot of help. The girls themselves have their chores (among them, cooking the meals).They study in a school located on the same street as the orphanage and don't see much of the city where they live. I must say that all of their basic needs are taken care of and that San Judas is a good place for them to be. However, notwithstanding the lack of warmth and attention, they also lack many material things.

Right now their needs are:
-50 bottles of face cream (about 8.5 dollars each).
 * A little comment- the air in Cusco is extremely dry, and some of the girls have cuts on their skin due to the weather.
-50 bottles of sunblock (about 7.5 dollars each)
-50 bottles of shampoo (about 5 dollars each)
-40 pairs of shoes (about 24 dollars each pair)

 A little bit more about those precious girls I have left in Peru—each one is unique, but they all have huge hearts. One of the experiences that touched me the most demonstrates the kind of girls they are. The girls have a dirty and stinky dog who lives in the yard. One day one of the women who works there decided to give him a haircut. The poor dog was shaking (nights in Cusco can get really cold). One of the girls didn't think twice and dressed the dog with one of her shirts (and you can guess she doesn't have many).That evening the girls asked me for the first time (after 2 weeks) to buy them something. They wanted clothing for their dog Aslan. There were so many things that they could have requested for themselves, and yet they decided to ask for something for "someone" else.

I couldn’t upload pictures of the girls due to privacy reasons, but you can see the place itself and a picture of Aslan the dog with his brand new clothes that the girls asked me to buy.


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Yael Bar- Shachar 
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