The 2007 Peru earthquake, which measured 8.0 on the moment magnitude scale, hit the central coast of Peru on August 15, 2007. The cities of Pisco, Ica and Chincha Alta in the Ica region, and San Vicente de Cañete in the Lima region were most affected. The Peruvian government stated that sadly 519 people had lost their lives as a result of the quake and 58,581 houses were destroyed. Thirteen years after the earthquake, a high percentage of schools are still affected, posing a considerable risk for children and teachers studying in these schools.
On January 13, 2020, we started work at Institucion Educativa Inicial 140 Kindergarten of Santa Cruz de Villacuri, which has been declared unsafe for use by the Civil Defense authority due to the insufficient and precarious structural design of the building. Children continue to study in temporary, prefabricated classrooms in the yard of the school; these conditions provide an unsafe and unsuitable learning environment. As a result, our team set out to rebuild six classrooms, an office/kitchen, toilets, sun shelter and a water retention tank. Additionally staff and volunteers actively partake in community activities and organize renewal projects. Additionally staff and volunteers actively partook in community activities and organized renewal projects.
In March 2020, we had to suspend our operations due to COVID-19 and since then have been closely monitoring the situation for changes that would facilitate a program restart. We’re pleased to announce that we have now resumed work and are supervising a local contractor to complete the program. In addition, we are finishing our work on a school repair program—designed to support schools built by Happy Hearts Fund between 2008 to 2011—and we are constructing a new classroom and kitchen in Arequipa. This school is the ninth and final school to be repaired as part of the legacy project and all work is completed by contractors, who are managed directly by a small Project Development Team in Peru. After many months of hard work, the roof for Villa Magesterial school is near completion and work on the interior flooring has begun. This is a momentous occasion for our team.