28. December, 2012UpdatesNo comments
Dear Friends of Casa de Milagros,
It is hard to believe that another year is drawing to a close! We wanted to take the opportunity during this holiday and end of year season to give you all a quick update on how things are at Casa…
First and most importantly, the children are happy, healthy, and in wonderful spirits! Like raising any family, there are regular ups and downs but overall, the kids continue to grow in every sense and in the most positive way imaginable. 2012 began with much uncertainty and many, many challenges. It has since become the most incredible year of development and progression for Casa at just about every level, continuing to build on the fantastic legacy left by our beloved Mama Kia.
2012 has been, more than anything, a year of change. Positive, needed, and critical changes. There have been changes within the US Board, a few new awesome members of staff caring for the children and the appointment of a new Casa Director, Claudia Miro. Added to this, we have appointed three new members to the Peruvian Board, all of whom are incredibly capable people who will assist in the development and growth of the project. Most importantly, we have worked exhaustively to get the stability and structure of the organization right, both in Peru and philosophically, on the US Board. It is fair to say that in so many ways the work is still only beginning, but there are new foundations being laid, on which we will be able to build and provide safe care and sanctuary for the children of the Sacred Valley for years to come.
One of the biggest changes of 2012 saw us move to a new (though temporary) home, after almost 15 years at the Hacienda that Mama Kia built. Our new home is still in Lamay, Cusco, but far less isolated, much easier to get to, safer and more efficient in every way. This was a huge, but somewhat inevitable decision….the financial arrangements around the old lease on the hacienda, the total disrepair of the structure, and lack of accessibility made moving an absolute necessity. Obviously the Hacienda holds many memories and a beautiful history, so the decision was not an easy one, nor was it one that we made over night. Our biggest single concern was the potential upheaval to the children. Well, as always, they never cease to amaze…not only were they totally excited about the switch, but within a week or two of moving in, the new place just “felt” like home and the kids were totally settled.
After several years of uncertainty and instability, it finally feels as if the foundation is being put back in place, and the future is looking incredibly bright. Many of the operational changes introduced by Claudia have helped everyone feel “safe” and grounded again, and the new sense of security has helped the children’s well-being enormously! While the operations are better than ever, as with so much of this type of heart-based work, funds are a continual challenge. The last year we have made significant savings on our operating costs while never compromising the care of the children. We are just finalizing our budget for 2013 and we will be sending out an appeal for next year within the week, so please keep a look out for that. Your help in any way would be immensely appreciated, in the form of a donation, or by simply forwarding the appeal email to every single one of your contacts.
Of course there is always so much more we could say, as every day is so full in our family! But we just wanted to give a quick update and to let you know that there are many more exciting, positive changes that will be announced over the next few weeks and months, including new programs for the kids, new ways to help and volunteer, and a brand new website with tons more info and pics of the kids! We also want to send a heartfelt thank you for your continued interest in our children of Casa de Milagros, Peru and wish you and your loved ones a wonderful Christmas and abundant Blessings for 2013!
With much love from our family to yours,
Casa de Milagros, Lamay, Peru
John Munn & Claudia Miro
Click Here to Donate: http://www.casademilagrosperu.org/help
19. June, 2012Events & ActivitiesNo comments
This past week I had the pleasure of meeting the most amazing couple who founded and run a medical clinic here in the Sacred Valley in our neighboring town of Coya (Qoya). Their clinic is called Kausay Wasi, and they offer general medicine, dentistry, gynecology, obstetrics, operating facilities, and currently offer the only fully functioning x-ray lab in the entire Sacred Valley. In addition to their general care services that are offered 7 days a week, Kausay Wasi hosts between 12-15 visiting Volunteer U.S. Medical teams a year. Volunteer doctors have worked with Association Pro Salud Calca since 2003 and have operated on children with hearing difficulties, restored sight to elderly people blinded by cataracts, conducted orthopedic, cleft lip, palate, and reconstructive facial surgeries for burn and accident victims.
The founders, Guido and Sandy Del Prado, graciously invited the children and I to come and take part in the Optometry Campaign they were hosting this week in partnership with a wonderful group of expert optical care physicians from the United States. This group came as part of the non-profit, VOSH International, a non-profit dedicated to facilitating the provision and the sustainability of vision care worldwide for people who can neither afford nor obtain such care.
Casa De Milagros has always provided the best medical care possible to our children, however, funds and access to quality care are a constant challenge here in Peru. This was an incredible opportunity for the children, and for 10 soles ($3.50) each, they each received an expert eye exam, eye glass prescription, and free eyeglasses for those that needed them. I knew some of our children needed them, but was shocked that 9 of our kids left with brand new, much needed prescription eyeglasses.
One of our older boys, Belisario, was found to have an eye infection that the doctors said he might have had for quite some time, and was diagnosed as having an extreme light sensitivity. He was given some medication to clear up the infection, as well as 2 pairs of extra dark sunglasses to protect his sensitive eyes from the intense Andean sun. Each of the kids left with a brand new pair of sunglasses, and were very grateful for the amazing care and generosity from both Kausay Wasi staff and all of the wonderful VOSH volunteers.
On behalf of all of us at Casa De Milagros, MUCHAS GRACIAS!!! :-)
About Clinica Kausay Wasi:
Asociacion Civil Promotora de Salud Social Pro Salud Calca is a registered Peruvian non-governmental non-profit organization founded by Guido and Sandy Del Prado to provide basic health and dental care to thousands of Peru’s poorest people. Guido is a retired U.S. Foreign Service Officer and former Peace Corps Director. Sandy is a former Peace Corps Volunteer and USAID Health Project Officer.
Kausai Wasi provides General Medicine that is available at the Clinic seven days a week. They also offer Gynecological exams, Dental, Physical therapy Prosthetics General medicine are also available on a daily basis and pharmaceuticals are available at very low cost or provided free of charge to those who cannot afford to purchase them.
Over 100,000 low income patients have been provided with quality care over the past five years. Their General Practitioners see approximately 500 patients a week.
For more information, please visit their website at www.kausaywasi.org
14. May, 2012UpdatesNo comments
May 14, 2012
Dear Friends of Casa de Milagros,
Further to the recent announcement of dissolving of the organisation in the US, there have been a number of developments that I wanted to share with you.
Many of you are aware that without the extremely generous financial support of a very few individuals over recent years, the Casa would not have survived this long. However, in recent weeks, many of the management issues at the Casa have begun to be addressed and there is a possibility that we can come up with a plan to save the Casa and the dream that was Mama Kia’s.
I am pleased to advise that Claudia Miro has offered to take up the role of interim Director to work on the ground in Peru to try and stabilise the Casa. I have promised Claudia that I will stay on as President of the US Board whilst she is there. Very simply, the immediate objectives are get the Casa running properly on a daily basis through day to day management, staffing, and accounting. Claudia and I have many initiatives to start implementing to address the long term financial sustainability of the organisation. The stark alternative is to arrange the closure of Casa and find alternative homes for the 24 or so children that we have there. We are focusing all of our energy and resources on the former.
We have just agreed locally to a 13% reduction in monthly expenditure. Our reduced monthly spend is now running at $13,000 a month…Based on what remains from the generous contribution of our past donors, we currently have sufficient funds in hand to operate through to the end of August, 2012.
I am now asking for 10 generous people to come forward and commit to $1,000 a month at least from September through to the end of the year. The balance of $3,000 a month, my partner Dee and I will continue to give. If 10 people can commit $1,000 a month, each for the rest of this year, it will give us a fighting chance. This commitment of funds will also do a few things…
I will be very honest and admit, that during my involvement the last year or so, there have been many times that I have felt like giving up. But the difficult issues always revolved around adults…very rarely the kids…and the whole operation is about the children. Giving up means that all of the children in our care, who are family to each other, would be split up and found new homes and that would be a tragedy. Claudia and I both believe that we can turn this situation around, and are prepared to give it everything to the end of the year…if we have not done it by then, at least we will know that we really did give it everything.
I was never blessed to have known Kia and this email is written as an appeal to all of you who did and indeed anyone who was touched by her work and vision for the children of Peru at Casa de Milagros. I am appealing directly to you…all the friends of the Casa to come forward now…help us keep a home for the children…your help is urgently needed!
We realize that the communications have been inconsistent in the past, so Claudia will be focusing much of her energy on restructuring the Casa communications…stay tuned for many more updates and opportunities to stay in touch and stay involved.
Please feel free to contact me via cell phone or email…all contact will be treated with utmost privacy and discretion.
US Board of Casa de Milagros
Please visit www.casademilagrosperu.org
16. December, 2011UpdatesNo comments
Buenas Dias, Todos!
My name is Rick (Tio Ricardo) and I am one of Mama Kia’s two sons. I have been living in the Sacred Valley of Peru for over a year and during this time, I have been working directly with the Casa, in all areas, on a volunteer basis. I am providing this update to inform you about our state since Mama Kia’s passing.
As some of you know, my sister Marie and her husband Allen stepped down from the role of Executive Directors and returned home to the United States with their family. Shortly after, Mama Kia’s close friend Alonso took on Casa Directorship, but in August he had to return home for personal reasons. Since then, my partner Julie (Tia Julia) and I have focused every bit of our attention on rebuilding a healthy, functional internal structure for the Casa. This undertaking is both a challenge and an adventure as we are learning to speak Spanish while we navigate through Casa operations and the Peruvian way of doing things. We are grateful for team members on the ground with us, which includes a brand new, experienced support staff. This includes Micheal, one of Mama Kia’s first adoptions. We have promoted Michael to the Head Tutor position and are happy to report that he is performing flawlessly, beyond our expectations! The children have shown a positive response to the direction we are heading.
Recently, there have been concerns circulating through outside communication networks regarding the condition of Casa and the children. To clarify any misinformation, I will now speak openly about some of the issues we are facing:
1. They must maintain a GPA of 2.0 (75% or C average) in school.
2. They must obtain and maintain a part time job to a) develop ethical work habits, b) learn personal financial responsibility and c) for personal spending money. The Casa will provide assistance with housing and school expenses while funding 100% of tuition fees.
3. Most of our young adults live in Cusco near their university. The lifestyle under the safety of the Casa is starkly different from the outside world. With this transition comes the development of different habits and a whole new perspective on life. During the past year, we have witnessed an adverse impact on the other children directly due to the influence and actions of the young adults. It is our primary directive to protect everyone in the house, so we are experimenting with a new policy where anyone 18 years of age or older must receive permission from myself in order to visit the Casa. An additional reason for this is to help the young adults understand that consequences, good or bad, are always attached to their actions. The young adults will continue to be invited to Casa functions and will have supervised contact with their siblings. We are implementing behavior expectations for employees and children, including any who are 18 years of age or older.
Our visitors program has been closed for the past few months and we are very excited to reopen our doors to guests in Spring of 2012. This allows us to continue our rebuilding and implement many necessary changes for the health of the Casa, and all who are involved with it. We also need some time to have fun through the holidays and of course, get past the rainy season! Please watch this website for details on visiting us in person as well as information on the coming changes. Expect the same Casa, with a new and improved appearance, including a brand new logo with a heart and wings, in honor of my mother, Mama Kia.
Casa is reaching out to you in a new and positive way as we appreciate support in all forms. Though we do need a solid donation base to function, we are requesting for your positive on-going moral and spiritual support.
My promise to everyone is to continue to keep Mama Kia’s spirit alive in this project by guiding and nurturing my brothers and sisters in the same way my mother raised me. This will be done exactly how she did it: with patience, understanding and when needed, tough love, but, always with love.
Thank you for your support and Happy Halloween,
Monday, October 31, 2011
10. April, 2011UpdatesNo comments
Just below is a video story of Mama Kia, an amazing woman with an inspirational story. Not only has she adopted more than 30 abandoned and orphaned children off the streets of Peru, but she has also established a soup kitchen, Sopa de Dia, that feeds 88 children and elderly twice a day. She renovated a pre-existing structure, which was in ruins, installed a kitchen with new floors, roof and windows; outfitted the kitchen with the basic necessities; and planted a sustainable organic farm, involving the children at a local school all along the way.
The school children help with the farming, meal preparation and serve the less fortunate children and elders in their community. Meals are hand delivered by the same children to those unable to make it to the soup kitchen. Watch this powerful video to hear Mama Kia’s story in her own words.
PLEASE NOTE: The address at the end of the video to send donations to is no longer valid! For donation information please visit our how to help page.
10. April, 2011UpdatesNo comments
Just below is a short video slideshow by Alonso Munoz – Alcaide. The images show past and present scenes at Casa de Milagros in Lamay (Cusco, Peru) in April 1999 and December 2010. Some are color, others are black and white. Sit back and enjoy the scenes of wonder, beauty and life that permeates the House of Miracles.
5. April, 2011UpdatesNo comments
Things have been a little bit upside down recently! You may have missed us the past several days as Casa De Milagros transitioned to a brand new website.
We are very excited and proud to share images, stories and love from the Casa and we welcome you to join in. Leave comments, read more about our mission, donate your old musical instruments or make a pledge to our organization.
Recent Updates show all
Dear Friends of Casa de Milagros, It is hard to believe that another year is drawing to a close! We...Read more
May 14, 2012 Dear Friends of Casa de Milagros, Further to the recent announcement of dissolving of the organisation in...Read more
Buenas Dias, Todos! My name is Rick (Tio Ricardo) and I am one of Mama Kia’s two sons. I have been living in the SacredRead more
Just below is a video story of Mama Kia, an amazing woman with an inspirational story. Not only has she...Read more
Just below is a short video slideshow by Alonso Munoz – Alcaide. The images show past and present scenes at...Read more