November 27, 2006

Donation button now available

Filed under: PDC News — Administrator @ 9:54 pm
Hello again,

Thanks to a suggestion from a friend of mine in Texas, I will be including an easy button in these letters to facilitate any monetary donations. Please make sure you correctly designate as the recipient since is at least one other similar email address with Yahoo.

Also, I have received from Ely their proposal for their Christmas project in Chupaca. It’s scope is much, much larger than I had expected. The amount of money they need for the day-long program is much higher because they hope to provide gifts and activities to approximately 400 children from the town. They have also requested donations and loaner furniture from local businesses and contributions of food and supplies as part of their proposal.

Although I know that she is looking for funds from a few different sources, but I want to help them as much as I can. As I have said before, the dollar is very strong and just a little helps. My original goal was to send about $150. But now I am thinking that the sky is the limit. She will probably not get every dollar (sol) she is hoping for, but I want to help her get as close as possible.

Please consider this my “official” plea for donations. I know that some of you are absolutely unable or already have regular donations to some other organization. If this is the case, I understand. However, if you can spare just $5 or $10 it will definately make a difference. If everyone on this list just sends $10, I will be able to send Ely over $600!!!

Please think about it.

November 26, 2006

Introducing Presli Ordaya

Filed under: PDC News — Administrator @ 1:52 pm

Hello to all. I hope your long weekend was peaceful, safe and restful.

I am writing with some exciting news. First, we are days away from having all the red-tape taken care of to send money to Ely and Nilton for the Chupaca orphans. It took some doing, but my mom has been tirelessly searching the web for a way to send the funds without a large percentage taken up in fees. All the standard ways that we think of are too expensive for small amounts. By Friday it should all be set up and there will be only a few dollars lost as compared to the $40 fee of a standard bank-to-bank wire transfer. Who would have thought it would be so expensive. I guess as Americans we are used to things just working smoothly and assume other places operate the same way. Mom and I can tell you that is not the case. She found much worse conditions in other places she has visited, so she already knows what to expect. I am glad she is doing the legwork on this part, because I ran out of steam after only about 3 inquiries!!

We are still asking anyone who wants to help to please send a little if you can. Although $5 or $10 sounds like such a small amount and that it would not do any good, you would be surprised. In Peru the dollar is so strong that with just five dollars, Ely could buy one or two pairs of socks, a small toy and maybe even some other nicknack for a kid. It seems unlikely, but it’s true. The dollar goes VERY FAR. I ask you all again, if you can spare just a few dollars (skip Starbucks just once) your few dollars could make a large difference this Christmas for a child. It really is worth it. So far we have just under $100. This is close to the goal I had hoped for, but let’s see how many $5’s we can get for them! If you would like to help but don’t have a PayPal account, reply to this message and I will give you a physical address to send your check. I am closing out on December 10 so that I will be able to get it to Ely in time.

As for Project Presli, I have not really shared this one yet. So before I share the big news, let me give some background: Eleven-year old Presli lives at the Aldea del Rosario in Huancayo, Peru. My mom and I got to know him a bit during the one week that we spent working there teaching English and tutoring in math, chemistry and reading with the orphans who live there. Presli has severe burn scars on his face which make it impossible for him to close his mouth, he has no nostrils and his right eyelid does not work right. He also has extensive scarring on the majority of his face. As he is right now, he is subject to increased risk of respiratory infections, dental and oral problems, his speech is impaired and his peripheral vision is limited on the right side. Presli was born in Lima, Peru. His parents were extremely poor and lived in a small place with no water or electricity. They had to use candles to light their home at night. One night his mother fell asleep with him and woke their home in flames. This happened when Presli was six days old. After a few more children, his parents divorced. His mother remarried, but their home was a violent place. Presli suffered extra abuse at the hands of his step-father who could not handle his deformities. He and his siblings were all removed from the home, but his birth-father did not take Presli with the other kids, since he did not know how to care for him, and he too was abusive to the boy.

Through the work of various people, several years ago Presli was placed in the Aldea del Rosario, where he receives an education, peer support, healthcare, mental health care, life skills, etc. He is in a loving environment where he is truly treated just like any other kid there. However, with his extreme scarring and shocking appearance, I became concerned that once he leaves the orphanage that his life will suddenly become quite harsh. He will not be likely to find a job where his education will be useful. He will most likely end up working at a job that is essentially slave labor, if he can find a job at all, and he will most likely live a quite lonely life in the streets. The health care and dental visits that he has now will end and he may have to brave the winters alone, fending off pneumonia and bronchitis with no medication.

For this reason, my mom and I decided to see what could be done surgically to help him. Our contacts in Huancayo informed us that when he first arrived at the aldea, that some inquiries had been made, but there are no facilities in Huancayo that can help him. That was a dead end for them. When I met Presli, I knew that he could be helped somewhere, somehow. At first my mom and I considered some very grand and lofty ideas of sending him to a surgeon in Lima with a chaperone several times for surgeries, fundraising the monies and paying for what we could ourselves. (Little did we know that these ideas were not quite as lofty as we once thought).

Then mom sent out some emails…..

We had a response yesterday from a surgeon in Sacramento who is the Medical Director of Rotoplast, Inc. Int’l, a group of volunteer surgeons with the Shriners who do just this kind of work. He has taken quite an interest in Presli’s case and mom and I are working with him, Terry & Alison in Oakland, Russell Jenkins in Huancayo and Ely & Nilton on finding out what options are available. Mom has been glued to her computer, finding out some wonderful things that are out there and making contacts with organizations who can help put this project into full swing.

While we have not officially begun to ask for monetary donations from individuals or organizations to help with this project, we know that there are many things that will have to be provided somehow.

This is what we think we will need:
-transportation to the city(ies) where his assessments/surguries/recovery will occur;
-a chaperone for his travels, preferably bilingual in Spanish and English and with medical experience;
-room and board for both of them during their stays, wherever that may be;
-any costs related to the doctor’s visits and the surgeries themselves;
-nursing support while he recovers from each round of surgery;
-physical therapy as he gets used to his newly funcional body parts;
-mental health support to help him deal with these drastic changes;
-and probably more we have not considered.

Mom has found some exciting information on the web about a program with an airline which flies patients such as Presli wherever they need to go for treatments. She has also found an organization who provides chaperones door-to-door. The surgeon we are in contact with is in Sacramento. If we will be bring Presli to his facility for his many surgeries, we would like to have a home that Presli (and the chaperone) may stay in for the few days they are not in the hospital each time. If this home has a Spanish-speaking family, that would be an incredible boon to help Presli adjust the strange new surroundings. Mom has also heard that individulas can donate their airline miles for projects such as this. It seems the possibilities are endless, mostly since these types of things have been happening more and more; there seems to be some stuff already in place. We just have to get the word out as much as possible and know where to look. We are asking at this time if anyone knows of a non-profit/volunteer organization or ministry who can help with any of these things, please let us know as soon as it occurs to you.

I was assuming that we would not even be looking for a surgeon for another year or more. So to have one on board so quickly, even if he is just serving as an advisor, well, that is absolutely amazing. Both mom and I were nearly in tears when we heard that there is already interest.

At some time in the future, we may put out an appeal for monetary donations. This will be far in the future as there are so many things that need to be straightened out first. At this time, we are forwarding photos of Presli to Dr. Capozzi for he and his colleages to review. We will be sending more photos and video of Presli obtained by Terry and Alison and others who are still in Huancayo. The next step would be for an assessment in person. Since I don’t know how long these things take, we could be asking for airline miles or other kinds of help soon or several months from now. We will know much more as Dr. Capozzi guides us in this process.

I was hoping to provide Presli with these surgeries before he was 16. I assumed it would take several years to get underway. It seems that the wheels have been greased by the Great Beyond (insert higher power of choice here). Keep this project in mind as you hear news stories or read in the paper or a magazine of similar happenings. In this type of situation, there is no such thing as Too Much Information! Also, if you have any contacts in the media, please have them contact us. Perhaps we can get the word out to a very large audience and something surprising will fall into our laps!

I will attempt to attach some photos of Presli and his current home to this email. Please let me know if they did not come through.

Have a great week.

December is upon us – drive safe and, if you live in Hawaii, stay out of the sidewalks.


November 24, 2006

Christmas in Chupaca donations

Filed under: PDC News — Administrator @ 12:34 am
Aloha again to all. Hope you had a nice and safe Thanksgiving.
I received an email today from Elizabeth in Peru. She gave me a target date to have all the funds for her to buy the gifts and stuff she will need for her Christmas party with the orphans of Chupaca, Peru.Given the time it will take to transmit the funds, I will need all donations for this project by December 10. I will be sending it to her right away and that will give her enough time to get when she needs before making the trip to Chupaca.

If you have not decided yet if you will give to this project, there are two weeks to think about it. If you think you will not give for the Christmas gifts, but are willing to help with our bigger dreams of “Project Presli” (providing plastic surgery for an 11 year old orphan’s facial burns), we will be working on that project very long-term, so there is no rush. Speaking of “Project Presli,”if you have any information about an organization that does or funds this kind of work, PLEASE let me know.

If you like, you can also be added directly to my mailing list. Send a note to (this is also the address to use to send money through – please use a bank transfer instead of a credit card because it is fee-free). You may already be on this list. If you would like to be taken off the Yahoo mailing list, just send a note and I will take care of it right away.

Here is a pic of Ely with some of the keiki in Chupaca:

Again, I hope you are all having a nice holiday with your families and staying off the rainy roads.


November 21, 2006

How you can help

Filed under: PDC News — Administrator @ 5:42 pm

To friends of Peru orphans,
Thanks to you for your interest in helping the Chupaca village children in Peru this Holiday Season. Some of you have contacted us about what you can do to help our orphan project in Chupaca, here are some options: 1. If you want to send clothing, toys, or school supplies etc., we made some friends in Huancayo who are sending some donations of this sort. Terry and Alison are sending a package to Ely (Elizabeth) and Nilton for their visit to the village for Christmas. If you would like to add to the gifts, please contact them directly to make arrangements. Their email address is

2. If you would like to add to the monetary donations we have collected, (a much more efficient and cost effective way to help) contact Lisa or Sheri at this email address and we will arrange to have it forwarded to Ely who is preparing the Christmas party.

3. If you have an interest in joining us with looking into facial surgery for fire victim 11 year-old Presli (a very long-term project) we would love to know about it. Contact us about any of your interests and we will let you know what can be arranged. Any questions or ideas you have will be gratefully accepted. We will get back to you as soon as we can with each new change.
Sheri Sturm and Lisa Sturm

November 13, 2006

AOP and photo link

Filed under: PDC News — Administrator @ 8:52 pm
Hello again. I hope this letter finds you well.
This is a short update:
Two of the people I worked with at Tinkuy have told me that they are also working with Eli and Nilton and other volunteers from Tinkuy Peru in their efforts in Chupaca. They also creating a volunteer organization called Andean Outreach Program (preview their website at ). Terry and Allison were in Huancayo for nearly a year and also know the area very well. They are also painfully familliar with the needs of these communities. They were integral to the operations of Tinkuy and were dearly missed when they left. Although I left later the same day, I could tell the that staff were very sad to have these two family members leave the home. In fact, their was a palpable mourning for days before they got in the taxi!!
Terry and Allison are hoping to reach out to as many people as possible in order to make their project a success, so I figured I would share their dream with my own mailing list. They are also planning to make Eli and Nilton’s Peru Luz de Esperanza a part of their service network. Please keep checking in to see how things are going.
Also, for any of you who have not had the chance yet, please take a look at my photos from my time in Peru. Visit The first few albums belong to my mom from her other trips, but she has one called “Sheri’s shots from Peru” and then there are about a dozen albums from the various places we visited. You will see Terry, Allison, Eli, Nilton and some of the orphans we worked with – look for “Aldea del Rosario” and “Tinkuy crew goes out”.
As usual, if you want to be taken off this mailing list, please hit reply and let me know.
Aloha no,
Lisa Sturm

November 12, 2006

Intro to newsletter

Filed under: PDC News — Administrator @ 9:54 pm

Hello all. As most of you know I spent a month in Peru this summer. The last week we were there, my mom and I worked with an volunteer organization, Tinkuy Peru, who placed us in an orphanage teaching English to the students there. We had a classroom with children from the ages of 3 – 15. We also did some one-on-one tutoring in English, chemistry and math. These children at La Aldea del Rosario are very fortunate. In Peru school is not compulsory, so these 70 orpahan children in this very poor city will have the advantage of not just an education, but one which will place them above their peers who may or may not be attending school at all.The daughter of the director of Tinkuy, Elizabeth Tinoco, has a heavy heart for children in surrounding towns who are even more poor and suffer from malnutrition and other diseases of poverty. Many of these children live with extended family or just with their mothers. This is the result, in large part, of the civil unrest and terrorism that swept through Huancayo and other cities of Peru in the 80’s and 90’s. The terrorism is basically under control (if you don’t count the Mafiosos), but so many of these kids have to live without their parents who were assisinated during this dark time.

This Christmas, Elizabeth (who holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology) and her husband, Nilton (who just earned his Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering) are going to spend some time in one of these towns. The town is called Chupaca (like Chewbacca) and is situated a few hours by car over very bad mud and gravel roads. Elizabeth and Nilton are planning to move there some time early next year to begin their own program of volunteers and thereby extend the work of her father in this very needy area. Although I was only there for seven days, I could tell immediately that Elizabeth is a special person and that her heart breaks every day.I bonded very strongly with Elizabeth and Nilton while I was there. We started by talking about raising children, their work in Huancayo and music. They are both musicians and they have a rock band, he is the singer and she is the singer/drummer. As we were sharing the names of the bands we like in common, Nilton was pulling CD after CD out of the pockets of his jacket. It was almost like a farce. I began to joke that if I poke at a particular spot on his back that a U2 CD will pop out his chest! I was unfortunate to arrive in Huancayo one week after their last gig, but the other volunteers said that they are very talented rockers.

My mom spent a day with her mom shopping and teaching her to cook some American food for the family. This day was the most significant day in the whole month for her since we had had so little contact with “real” Peruvians. What mom saw and experienced that day really made the trip for her. She noted that so many of the things we take for granted are just not part of their lives. For example, that they don’t have a refrigerator in their house. They store their perishables in a sort of basement, like a root cellar, where things stay cool. NO REFRIGERATOR!! And these are the people who want to help the poor!

So, why am I telling you this? I know that we all have our obligations and priorities this holiday season. Everyone will be demanding of our time. Our kids will whine and complain if they don’t get just the RIGHT Christmas present. We ourselves will feel put out if our partners and families don’t read our minds and give us just what we want. We will measure our friendships by the amount we are willing to spend on the gifts. And don’t anyone dare deny it. It’s what we do.

I am asking that anyone who feels so inclined to send a very small amount to me to forward to Elizabeth and Nilton. The dollar goes so very far in Peru, that even if I send her only a small amount by our standards, those kids in Chupaca will have the most memorable Christmas ever. In fact, most of them have never received a gift of any kind from any one for any reason, so this will be a real treat for them.As an example of the power of the American dollar, one can get a 1 L bottle of water for under 30 cents, and one hour of internet in an “internet booth” is ONE DOLLAR! Imagine what as little as $50 or $80 can do for these kids.

Elizabeth said they need things like socks, clothes, dolls, toys, etc. They are also hoping to have enough to host a party for all the children so that they can experience one wonderful night of gift-giving and singing as a community.I know that there are a lot of organizations who use the the holiday season to pull on our heart strings. I am just asking for $5 or $10 dollars (or whatever) from anyone who wants to help put a smile on a child’s face, if even for just one day. I personally know Ely and Nilton. They will make sure that your donation will be maximized and used well.If you want to help, send any monies to through PayPal. Make a note including your name (unless you want to be anonymous) and a note that it’s for Peru. Elizabeth is setting up a PayPal account on that end so I will be able to send it all to her electronically when the time comes.

Whatever I collect will be sent early or mid-December so that she can buy what is needed before she leaves for Chupaca. (Or if you know me personally, you can give me cash or a check if you prefer, but PayPal takes credit cards if you like that better). Unfortunately I am not designated as an non-profit org, so I can’t give you a receipt for your taxes. ;-) Ely and Nilton are in the process of setting up their own non-profit volunteer organization, as I mentioned above, and in getting all the red-tape out of the way so they can begin as soon as possible. It is called “Peru Luz de Esperanza’.

I am in the process of translating their introductory page for their website into English. Their site is nearly ready to post – I will send out another bulliten when it is up for anyone who wants to follow or help their work in Chupaca.

On another note, I am also in the very fetal stages of looking into plastic surgery for “Presli”, a resident of the Rosario orphanage. I will put the whole story down later when I have more information and time. If any of you know of a plastic surgeon (anywhere in the world) who specializes in facial burns and reconstruction, or you have knowledge of an organization who provides this kind of service, please let me know. He is eleven now and I would like to help him before he reaches the age of majority or leaves the orphanage for any reason. I have two people in Huancayo working with me on this dream of mine, but they will likely be leaving the city at some point and I will want to have things under way.

If you feel like you don’t want to help financially with either of these projects, please don’t feel bad. But I will ask you to keep reading my posts regarding my projects in Peru just in case something occurs to you. And of course pray to the Higher Power of your choice to make the lives of these children better and to open the doors of their futures.Have a nice three-day weekend and make sure you drive safe!


Add PD to address book

Filed under: PDC News — Administrator @ 1:34 pm
Hello again,
I will be sending you periodic updates and photos from Peru from this address, so please make sure it does not go into your junk mail. If you want me to remove you from this list, please send me a note and I will take you off. No harm, no foul
Que Dios te bendiga,

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