Ashaninka Children’s Project Growing and Impacting Communities
Aoti, Peru – Since June 2013, the leaders of Bright Hope’s partner project Segadores in Aoti, Peru have made significant progress and transformation through the Ashaninka Children’s Project. Antonia Yalta, leader of the Ashaninka Children’s Project, has been building relationships with the local communities and church leaders.
The children and adolescents of Aoti are learning about God in a personal way by being taught the Bible in chronological order. This is a critical step in leading them to let go of their traditional animist ideas and beliefs. For many tribal groups in Peru that Antonia works with, animism is the belief that physical things can have spiritual qualities, or that spirits can inhabit objects, animals, and more. This is often manifested by them worshiping the sun, believing it is a type of God or spirit. They also often worship fire, water, and other natural phenomenons. Now they are learning about the value they have in the eyes of their Creator and about God’s unconditional love for them, which is increasing self esteem. These children are realizing that although they were abandoned by their parents, they have not been abandoned by their heavenly Father. Additionally, members of the community have invested in the lives of the children, taking care of their physical needs in addition to caring for them in the absence of their parents.
The Ashaninka Children’s Project provides a healthy breakfast to each child before attending school, which ensures that they receive necessary nutrients to keep them healthy and give them energy. As a result they are more attentive throughout the school day.
Recently, a week-long training workshop was offered in six local communities where 51 teachers were trained. During the training in the Capajeriato community, the Segadores project leaders evangelized to the community with the Good News of the Gospel. Leader Antonia has been speaking truth into the lives of the community leaders and church leaders. As a result, the local children are attending Sunday school more frequently, and lives are on the path towards transformation.
Rosa, a mother and teacher from the Oviri community, attended the training in August 2013. She learned about how the world was created by God and became excited upon hearing and understanding this new information. She said, “Now that I know where we come from and how the earth came to be, I will pass along this truth to the children I teach. Thank you for showing me this truth!”