NEW YORK, New York — The World Health Organization (WHO) stated that Peru has endured an approximate number of 2.5 million confirmed COVID-19 cases since January 2020, resulting in more than 200,000 deaths. As of January 7, 2022, Peru administered more than 51 million vaccine doses. With a population of more than 32 million and a slowed international vaccine rollout from the COVAX Initiative, it could take a while before each citizen receives the COVID-19 vaccine. The delayed rollout is dangerous for several reasons. One of the reasons is that it allows more mutations of the virus to generate and emerge. It places the unvaccinated population at a higher risk of critical illness or COVID-19 complications.
Given the current worldly presence of the highly contagious Omicron variant, nearly 40,000 new cases have emerged since January 14. A particularly neglected Peruvian population is families in the Cusco region. In a rural area, children and orphans do not have the means to support themselves or their families. Additionally, they frequently have little to no educational opportunities. This leaves the population disadvantaged, especially in the wake of COVID-19 in Peru. Herzen für eine Neue Welt e.v’s prior commitment to the Peru region has led to it providing a COVID-19 response in Peru.
Formed in 1998 by a German doctor, Dieter Arnold, Herzen für eine Neue Welt e.v. is a nonprofit that aids underprivileged children living in or around the Andes region in Peru. The organization works with “Corazones para Perù” to offer an array of educational and health programs. Herzen für eine Neue Welt e.v. acts as the sponsor to on-the-ground “Corazones para Perù.” According to a Borgen Project interview with Herzen für eine Neue Welt e.v.’s public relations manager, Esther Strunck, the nonprofit organization runs “two education centers: the children’s village “Munaychay” and “the agricultural education center “Santa Rosa” with various workshops” and educational courses for beneficiaries. Part of Herzen für eine Neue Welt e.v’s programming is its commitment to promoting and providing medical care in this neglected region.
Medical Assistance via Herzen
Herzen für eine Neue Welt e.v. boasts having several medical and dental assistance programs for underprivileged children in the Andes region of Peru. A “Healthy Living” program seeks to orchestrate health and dental campaigns and training in villages to promote and sustain chances for independent stability. To achieve this admirable mission, Herzen für eine Neue Welt e.v. works closely with partner organization “Dentists help e.v.” According to its website, Herzen für eine Neue Welt e.v. has stated that more than “30 doctors and dentists from Germany make a significant contribution to maintaining the dental health of the mountain population.” Cooperative assistance is important in stabilizing the autonomy of remote villages in the Andes.
COVID-19 Response in Peru
Given the aforementioned statistics on the battle of COVID-19 in Peru, the imagined plight of the families who live in the Herzen für eine Neue Welt e.v. is far from imagination. With distant proximity to major medical centers, families in the Andes of Peru largely had to assist themselves during the spread of COVID-19 rather than relying on a COVID-19 response. According to a Koenigstein article, “almost 400,000 cases of infection were now registered by the end of July” in Peru alone. “Corazones para Perù” worked closely with those afflicted, even setting up educational meetings on how to deal with COVID-19 and installing citizen security with “breakfast and warm drinks.” When German volunteers were not available, their partner association was.
Herzen Education Programs
Alongside the “Healthy Living” program, Herzen für eine Neue Welt e.v. offers an array of other programs that aim to stabilize Peru’s Andes villages. Other initiatives include the “Learning with Heart” program or the “Social Assistance” program, which supports school education by providing financial and social care and helping young mothers. The German nonprofit’s drive to promote independence and self-sustenance in this long-neglected region is inspiring in its charitable initiative.
Support of Herzen and US Aid to Peru
Herzen für eine Neue Welt e.v. provides an individual success story to inspire collective change. Strunck was elated to share the story of a young woman named Joyce, who originally grew up in Herzen für eine Neue Welt e.v.’s Munaychay village. Despite her unfortunate past, Joyce’s love of learning propelled her forward. At 16, she graduated from the Colegio Valle Sagrado and started an information technology career. Strunck stated that “Joyce began her work as assistant/secretary to our director Corazones para Peru, which she still does today with great commitment and joy.”
Herzen für eine Neue Welt e.v.’s global initiative to educate others and implement change has garnered attention. As COVID-19 continues to change the livelihood of millions around the world, it is imperative to increase a global consciousness toward aid and assistance currently. According to a UNICEF article published in June 2021, the COVAX Initiative’s plan to distribute approximately 80 million vaccine doses to Latin American countries has proven to be helpful in restabilizing countries globally.
– Maia Nuñez