Why you should be volunteering with *Mothers* not Children

I saw a very interesting youtube interview with Emma Redfoot (Credit: Lainie Liberti from  www.raisingmiro.com). Amongst other things, Emma, who is researching Volunteer Tourism in Cusco, Peru, was discussing the areas that volunteers preferred to work in, compared to those areas that are in most need:

ER: “The group that most people (volunteers) want to work with is with kids, especially young kids, however *single mothers* are absolutely the group than needs the most support: 24% of Cusco is impoverished and of that group 75% are single mothers. Very often, single mothers are seen as an economic burden by their families, who are unwilling to support them, they are then drawn to large cities like Cusco, that have seen rapid growth in recent years. As a demographic, single mothers generally work 7 days per week, in poorly paid jobs, they are transient, have no social circles and lack any kind of ‘support structure’ that could help in bringing up their children.”

Rather chillingly Emma adds:
“A lot of single mothers become pregnant due to rape which is a huge problem in Peru, one thing about Peru that is absolutely stunning is that for women aged 18 or over, rape is called *seduction*. Women don’t think of it as being rape so much unless they become pregnant.”

“Familial rape is also a significant problem, one of the organisations I like and support is Casa De Mantay, a centre for women who have been raped and become pregnant. Most of the women in the Casa had been raped by family members.”

Watch the full interview here:

Casa De Mantay (aka: La Casa de Acogida Mantay) :

Other organisations that work with single mothers:

4 thoughts on “Why you should be volunteering with *Mothers* not Children

  1. Emma says what other people don’t want to say and others don’t want to hear. It is good that you’ve help draw attention to what is happening with rape in Peru. I hate the bs macho culture that exists in many South American countries. Negative international publicity is a first step in getting the Peruvian authorities to take this issue seriously. cK

  2. I live in Cusco and it’s depressing to see the number of single mothers here. Broken families are the norm rather than the exception.

    Women here are generally treated as second class citizens even though they are often the backbone of the family. It is perfectly normal for men to get women pregnant and then leave them for another woman who will probably also end up pregnant. Some men are changing their ways but the society is so set in its ways that often young men feel pressured to conform and so a new cycle begins.

    Hopefully with time Cusco and Peru will move on but I’m not going to hold my breath.

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