Carolina is a 15 years old girl from Peru who is ambitious and strong-willed, despite being born into a life of unfavorable circumstances. Many girls like Carolina dream of leaving their local village to go to school or to search for greater life opportunities, but they are uncertain of what lies outside their village’s borders, neither are they given hope that one day they can peruse their dreams. Carolina is different. She has hope.
Carolina lives in extreme poverty with 5 other siblings and her parents in a one-bedroom shack made of deteriorating wood and a roof composed of scraps of corrugated metal. Isabela and her siblings, deprived of proper nutrition, clothing and sanitation, are also victims of being completely neglected by their parents. Her father is an abusive alcoholic without the slightest intentions of changing and her mother is detached and disinterested in the conditions of her 6 children. Carolina and her siblings sleep on old sacks half-filled with coffee beans on the wood floor. Her older brother, 17 years old, has slight learning disabilities and Carolina claims that he has shown aggressive behavior towards her, her younger siblings and animals. Carolina claims that the brother inappropriately touches her and her younger siblings while they are getting dressed. She claims that he touches them as part of a game and has even done so in front of their parents, but their parents do not intervene, neither do they show concern. Her older brother is not the culprit, yet he is another victim; his actions are solely the response of a child that has undergone trauma and neglect from parents that are incapable of managing a family.
Carolina’s parents are not assuming their protective role with responsibility regarding the health, food and welfare of their children. Carolina and her siblings are in a situation of high personal and social vulnerability, involving the risk of sexual abuse.
Carolina and her siblings have been inserted in our child sponsorship program but unfortunately, there are countless families in Peru that share a story similar to Carolina’s.