Inti Runakunaq Wasin is dedicated to helping poor children before and after school by providing them with a safe place, a warm meal, help with their homework, and teaches them new skills. The organization is small with virtually no overhead with 75 children attending. That means every dollar donated really does go to the children.
The population IRW work with is primarily comprised of children and adolescents that come from families living in extreme poverty. Most of the families have migrated from small villages in the countryside surrounding Cusco. The children find in the streets of Cusco their primary space for personal development. The population of children we work with participate in various activities. They are the kids of the streets, the beggars and the workers.
The house is open every day from 10am to 1 pm and from 3pm to 7pm, Monday through Saturday. The house is run by a staff of professional social workers and it is important to note that the children come to the house voluntarily. The children participate in different actives each day: formative, educational, artistic, musical, manual, occupational, etc. At the end of each session a snack is provided. Three days a week we offer a healthy snack, and three days provide something sweet with bread (e.g., chocolate, oat meal, milk, etc.).
In this early stage of life, the children are learning the importance of values and self-respect. At IRW, they develop habits of personal cleanliness and learn about social values and norms. They participate in educational activities, workshops, and help to prepare food. Also important is how those children have described IRW as a place where they are accepted and appreciated, where they seem important and are stimulated.