The Paul Lammermeier Foundation helps children-in-need reach their full potential by providing houses in Peru, centered on family and the Jesuit values of education and service to others.
Be a small part of little miracles…
When I came to Peru as a missionary in 1988, my primary goal then was to teach and work in a Jesuit high school, teaching and running a community service program. This I have done and am completing my seventh year at a small, inner-city Jesuit parochial school (San Francisco Javier) near the center of Lima.
While I do not see myself leaving the teaching field here and still plan to continue at the school, I have experienced God leading me in a different, yet somewhat related, area. Namely, that of working with homeless children. More specifically, providing a home and education for a limited number of boys who, for one reason or another, cannot live with their families. Through the community service programs which I began at our school, I have come to know many children who are “homeless”, academically capable, but behind in school (not at their grade-age level). Boys who need an opportunity and “safe home” to develop their abilities and talents in a home setting.
This came quite by accident in July, 1992, when the first boy came to live with me. While this particular young man did not work out, I am currently supporting two boys, Edgar (age 17) and Donato (age 18). Edgar has been with me for over two years, and I have experienced how a stable setting can have a very positive effect. He is ready to graduate from high school next month and will probably attempt to enter a national university for engineering next year. I think that it would be realistic to care for between five and seven boys. The commitment (as I see it and as I have promised the boys) will be as long as they are still in school and until such time as they can support themselves, which in Peru might mean as many as ten or twelve years.
To realize this goal of providing an adequate home for between five and seven boys, I need a much larger home than the one I am currently renting (44 square yards). Right now I cannot even consider taking in more boys without more room. The three of us are continually bumping into each other and do not have adequate privacy.
Thus, I need a larger home with four bedrooms and adequate bath and kitchen facilities, and a common area for recreation and study. Renting such a house, even here in Breña (the neighborhood where I live and want to stay) where housing is less expensive, would be prohibitive with my teachers’ salary of $250.00 per month ( of which , I currently pay $130.00 for rent and utilities). While housing is much cheaper here than in the U.S., salaries are unbelievably low.
To realize this goal, I am asking for outside help in two different areas: 1.) to purchase a home and 2.) provide continuing support for these boys – day to day living in addition to their education. After the home is functioning, I also hope to find some existing group to ensure that this work will continue after I am no longer able to do it personally.