UNDP restores Peru orphanage

12 Mar 2009

Children at the Pérez Araníbar orphanage will benefit from the agreement signed by UNDP.  Part of the building will serve as the new house of the United Nations in Lima.
Lima, Peru – In one of Lima’s prominent historic landmarks, the beautiful installations have decayed.   Resources have not been sufficient to cover full maintenance costs or to radically improve services.

But through a US$300,000 donation and a US$144,000 annual contribution over 10 years, UNDP will rent a vacant section of Lima’s public orphanage, “Puericultorio Pérez Araníbar,” as part of an agreement signed by UNDP with Lima’s welfare organization (Beneficencia Públic).

The orphanage, which was built on donated land and functioning partly on self-generated funds, volunteer work and donations, “is home to 540 children – a very small number for a city of 8 million, and in such a large complex,” noted Bishop Luis Bambaren, an active religious leader committed to the poor and Puericultorio’s social mission.

Sister Ana, a nun who is the lead caretaker of the girls section, said that the money would allow the orphanage to house twice as many children.  It will also help improve educational offerings, such as skills-oriented programs for teenagers and early education for more than 100 toddlers.

Inspired by a “green office” concept, an additional US$1 million will be invested to restore the orphanage into a modern office space for six other UN organizations:  UNAIDS, UNDSS, FAO, UNOPS, IFAD and UN-LiREC, which will collectively be called the UN Common House.  

“Settling into a common house responds to a good practice recommended by the UN Reform,” stated UNDP Peru Resident Representative Jorge Chediek in his presentation at the signing ceremony.  “Moving into the Puericultorio is a great option at many levels: the social impact on children and the restoration of a landmark of the city of Lima.”

Former UN Secretary General Javier Pérez de Cuellar, the ceremony’s witness of honor, gave the final address. “This is a very profound moment for me,” he said.  “This building symbolizes the universality of the UN, not only because of the number of countries that are part of the organization, but for the broad array of social areas tackled by the United Nations.”