In 2002, at the age of 71, Sonia Newhouse decided to leave her life in England and move to Peru.
She began her adventure by dedicating five years to volunteering in Cusco, where she lived and worked closely with the people of the Sacred Valley. While she formed meaningful relationships with the locals, Sonia began to recognized the presence of issues such as malnutrition, and domestic violence. Sonia couldn’t stand to see these issues persist with such little recognition and even less assistance from the international community, so she committed to raise awareness and support for these vulnerable people.
Although she had no experience running a restaurant, Sonia was fueled by a drive to help, and so she opened Hearts Café in the Sacred Valley village of Ollantaytambo, a popular stop for tourists on their way to Machu Picchu. The café placed an emphasis on educating visitors about the highland communities through educational materials and by employing local women in need. The publicity from Hearts Café allowed Sonia to start the Living Heart NGO in 2007. The charity is registered in the UK and in Peru, and it was dedicated to helping with education, health, and nutrition projects in several communities above the valley.
With the success of many of Living Heart’s initiatives came more publicity and more requests for help. In 2015 Sonia passed the leadership of the NGO on to Io Sophia Gillhuber, who maintains the organization’s commitment to helping people to help themselves while respecting their self-identified needs, visions and desires. We believe firmly in the potential of the people in the remote Andes to overcome adversity and we are here to help them however we can.
The Mission is two-fold.
First, it is to build a lending library for the schools and Children that Living Heart Peru is supporting (www.livingheartperu.org or www.livingheartperu.com) – secondly, I am trying to raise $10,000 to continue supporting this charity and all of the work that they do with education, health, and wellness, for this vulnerable community.
The mission of Living Heart Peru is as follows: Our mission is to help develop self-sustaining agriculture, health, and education initiatives in remote, impoverished highland communities above Peru’s Sacred Valley. In order to support over 2,500 vulnerable children, elderly, women and men we employ a community-based, holistic approach and encourage partnerships with community members that empower them to make the initiatives thrive. My mission is to bring awareness to this charity and this group of people, through the raising of funds and through bringing education via the lending library.
We believe our organization is necessary because it helps some of the most vulnerable in Peru; the communities it serves helps the people of communities located high in the Andes, near Macchu Picchu where it is very remote, and where the climate is difficult; children are being abandoned, alcoholism is a problem, and it seems that there are challenges facing many in the community. Living Heart Peru is dedicated to helping empower these communities through education, literacy and creating self-sufficiency.
Connect with this Inspirational Organization Here. Consider getting involved!
Gofundme page: www.gofundme.com/livingheartperu