MEDLIFE began planning for our first Wawa Wasi Day Care construction project approximately seven months ago, in April of 2012. The Wawa Wasi is an important national day care program for low-income residents in Peru; it began as a partnership between UNICEF and the Peruvian Ministry of Education in 1993 to address childhood poverty. 66% of children five years old and younger are growing up in poverty in Peru. The Wawa Wasi program serves 150,000 of these children nationwide, according to UNICEF. The centers give mothers the opportunity to work or study while leaving their children in a safe place. The Wawa Wasi provides children with educational activities and daily meals made in a local community kitchen. In addition, teachers are trained in health care and early childhood stimulation, and help educate parents about the importance of proper hygiene and preventative health care.
MEDLIFE is currently expanding this important and established program to the community of UniÃ³n Santa Fe. After breaking ground in June, 2012, we have made steady progress with the center’s construction. Although the inclement weather of Lima’s winter months has stalled progress, we are back on track with the help of community residents. Now, community members have completed the seven-meter deep retaining wall, which will secure the building. They have also made progress with the iron framework, and started constructing the building walls. On a recent visit to the construction site, MEDLIFE Director of Peru Carlos Benavides brought community members MEDLIFE t-shirts, as well as additional safety gear such as helmets and gloves.
The Wawa Wasi project in UniÃ³n Santa Fe is slated for completion in early 2013.