Peruanitos Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for Peru’s poorest children, especially those forced by poverty or violence to live on the street.
The foundation works to provide street orphans with safe shelter by repairing and remodeling Peru’s homes for abused and abandoned children. The foundation strives to prevent the abandonment of children by supporting day care centers that offer poor families a safe place to leave their children during working hours.
Peruanitos Foundation was founded by Jimmy Perez Johnson, who emigrated from Lima, Peru to the United States as a child/young man in 1989. As a businessman in Southern California, Mr. Perez Johnson made regular trips to Lima to visit family and friends. Distressed by the countless children he saw sleeping on the streets, under bridges and in alleyways, he resolved to make a difference in their lives. Mr. Perez Johnson’s first step was a visit to Lima’s main shelter for street orphans. He was shocked by the poor condition of the facility. In 2005, Mr. Perez Johnson organized his first charitable project and donated gifts of toys and clothing to some 120 boys and girls living in Lima’s four shelters for street children.
Determined to make a more lasting change in the lives of children, Mr. Perez Johnson and his volunteer board of directors have focused their energies on repairing and remodeling shelters and day care centers.
Peruanitos Foundation was established as a 501(c) 3 organization in 2006. Mr. Perez Johnson volunteers his time as president of Peruanitos Foundation. Two paid staff members in Lima identify centers in need of repair and organize the projects.
Working with local officials and staff in Peru, Peruanitos Foundation identifies youth facilities in need of improvements. Peru’s temporary homes for abandoned children, called Preventive Centers for Children and Adolescents, are administered by the National Police. Boys and girls of all ages stay in these shelters until they are reunited with family, adopted or placed in an orphanage.
Peruanitos Foundation also works with local groups that run community day care centers. By giving poor families a safe place to leave their children during working hours, Peruanitos Foundation relieves the pressure that can break up a family and push a child into the street.
Peruanitos Foundation develops a work plan, acquires the materials and organizes work crews that can include volunteers from the United States and paid laborers from the local area. As part of every remodeling project, Peruanitos Foundation donates mattresses, linens and furnishings. Peruanitos Foundation completes each project within 4-6 weeks at a cost of approximately $5,000.
Peruanitos Foundation’s goal is to execute 5-6 remodeling projects every year, ultimately improving conditions at every Preventive Center in the country.
Jimmy Perez Johnson