Advocate and make a difference

This testimonial was written by Micheal Cotton, V4Peru Advocate:

mike-photo02Recently, Emily and I had the honor and pleasure of visiting Dan and the Voices4Peru school in Peru. The trip was amazing and one I would recommend to anyone that sponsors a child. We got to meet both our little girl, Geraldine, as well as my father in law’s boy, Valentin. As much joy, compassion, and pride we can feel by giving to these children, and knowing that they are being taken care of by such wonderful people, the hugs we were given dwarfed all of that and added LOVE to the mix. If you have children, or nieces/nephews, it is very similar to when you first hold them after waiting to meet that little person for so long.

Beyond that initial, amazing meeting, Emily and I got to teach, play, and learn with all of the children. They were all so eager to share their school-work and games with us. It was also great to speak with the kids and hear them laugh as we butchered their language, but then happily teach us the correct word or phrase we had been attempting.

mike-photoWe were also able to meet many of the older children/young adults that Voices4Peru helps through their community center programs and soccer club. The older kids at the community center were very interested in who we were and what our lives were like in the United States. The young men we met at the soccer practice and game were very respectful and courteous. Each player took the time to come say hello and shake our hands. I believe it is a testament to the good work that Voices4Peru is doing with the community center and soccer programs that all of these teens were so well adjusted, happy, and respectful towards us and to each other. Teens often get a bad reputation as a group, but V4P shows that with the proper support and opportunity, even teens from tough backgrounds can be wonderful people.

Of course, I would be remiss to not mention Dan, Saul, and the other adults, coaches, and support staff in Peru that made our visit such a good experience. Everyone had a beautiful, upbeat attitude. Voices4Peru has done a very good job of putting together a team that can tackle the very real problems faced by the school and its children with the kind of optimism that breeds more optimism within everyone around them. It is this optimism and strength that buoys and builds my faith that this organization is worthy of even more of my time and effort.

michaelemilyI know that it is not possible for all of you to go to Peru and that my words are not enough to convey what Emily and I saw or experienced, but I want you to know that what you are doing by supporting this organization is real and important. Emily and I were not able to visit because the two of us sponsor a child; we were able to visit because ALL OF US sponsor children. Even though we have not met many of you, all of our lives are now intertwined through this tiny school in Las Lomas, Ventanilla District, Peru. We are all making a difference together. Emily and I will continue to support Voices4Peru so that someday some of you will be able to go and visit an even better version of this place. Thank you all for allowing us to have our lives blessed through this trip.