Relaxation room finished!

After letting the walls dry for a couple of months, a few volunteers decided it was time to finish the relaxation room. Laura, Ida and Jolien painted the 2 new class rooms which now look absolutely fabulous. Jolien, Tanja and Stefanie worked on the interior of the classes, adding some cool lighting effects. The ceiling was provided with a fluorescent moon and some stars and the ground was covered with synthetic grass. The result resembles the feeling of lying in the grass on a beautiful night! Thanks to everyone who helped and everyone who donated lighting materials and relaxation (snoezel) materials over the past years!

Puka Puka 2

Our first challenge was to remember the name correctly, and with that under our belts, the three of us drove to the village school nearby. We sat down with the four children as they listened carefully to the story of the Frog Prince, and then watched their little brains whirring as we played a maths game; searching for frogs with eyes of a certain shape or colour.

The highlight of the morning came when we set up a jousting course outside, which involved the children running from the starting line, jumping over ropes, hopping through hula-hoops, aiming their ‘lance’ through dangling targets, and finally knocking down the monsters. It’s not hard to imagine how much the children enjoyed this, so after a calmer session of piercing holes and exploring which items floated/sank, we let the brave knights loose to play again, before heading back down the road.

By Catrin Harris

Happy news!

Belgian project leader Valérie Demol got married on the 17th of June in Halle with her Peruvian husband Dussan. We want to congratulate them and wish them all the best in their life together!

Second visit to Cachora orphanage

On Sunday 12/06/2016, we visited the Cachora´s orphanage, which is situated on the bottom of a valley on the feet of a huge mountain with a big glacier and an amazing view. The orphanage gives hospitality to a lot of children between six and fourteen years. Since the first moment of our arrival, we felt we were in a special place.

Even if for most of us it was the first time there, the children gave us an incredibly warm welcome, with big hugs and smiles, and called us “hermanos” and “hermanas” (brothers and sisters). We played all together some team games and had a lot of fun! Balls, a volleyball net and hula hoops were left in the orphanage, so the children and adolescents are also able to use them without our presence.

After feeling the sun burning, we enjoyed a tasty cake together and the typical peruvian gelatin. Just a little time was left to play some more games and unfortunately we had to leave. It was hard to say good bye, but we feel that there is a special connection between everybody. We are grateful for this experience and for sure we are going to come back “see you soon mis hermanos!”

By Alessio Vecchiato (Italy)

Oye LENA on the loose!

As you could read in the newsletter of December, one of our students started to give classes in October explaining the project in the small village schools. She did so for three months. During summer holidays and as Stefanie, the project coordinator, had to travel to Belgium, this project was temporarily stopped.

Starting from Thursday, June 9th, some of the volunteers have been returning every week to one of 2 mountain schools in Puka Puka (5 toddlers) and Ccocchua (8 toddlers). As on the project, they instruct the toddlers in the same way through a certain theme. We started with the theme ‘ space and day/night ‘ with the following lessons: astronauts training (jumping, throwing, crawling, ..), shadow theatre: “guess how much I love you”, star weaving and a mathematical game with aliens in different shapes (square, circle, triangle) and the basic colours.

The preschoolers and all of the teachers are more than excited! The level of the children, however, is much lower than it should be, largely because these children are even poorer than those living in the Centre of Curahuasi and speak Quechua. It is clear : our help is more than welcome.

Photos by Tanja WIllekens

Day of Kindergarten

On Tuesday, May 24th there was the day of kindergarten in Peru and of course this occasion was celebrated also in Curahuasi. Together with our toddlers, their siblings and parents as well as other families, we had a great march throughout the town. The children prepared beautiful lanterns for their excursion and created a whole sea of lights. The celebration was accompanied by nursery rhymes, dancing clowns and singing parents. It was a great feast with a solemnly mood and a lot of joy for the children. We enjoyed this celebration together with the kids and their families and are looking forward to participate next year.

By Emma Schneider

Monthly excursion: swimming in Cconoc

The day after leading my first class here at Oye LENA, I was bundled into the van for yet another adventure; a visit to the thermal baths of Cconoc. We collected the children, and a few jam sandwiches later (after being slathered in suncream) they raced into the pool armed with plenty of inflatables. Their beaming smiles did not leave their faces for the next hour, as they splashed and played about together; it was amazing to see how much they enjoyed being in the water. I was honestly impressed with how their initial fears and doubts about not being able to swim were put aside, as they quickly got to work with just having a great time. It’s safe to say that, after all that excitement, we had a van full of sleeping children on the way back home!

By Catrin Harris 

Mother’s Day

Like every year, the Oye Lena moms were celebrated with a big party on the project. The kids handed over their handcrafted gifts and sang a beautiful song they had learned for the occasion. Then, we had organised different activities in which moms had to play with or against each other to earn coins. These coins were used in the traditional Peruvian guinny pig game, in which you have to guess what box the guinny pig will enter.
Afterwards everyone enjoyed some hot choco and pancakes. We also opened our occasional clothing’s shop in which they can buy donated clothes for 10 cents.

At the end of the afternoon, the moms returned happy and the kids joined them proudly. Every year a big succes!

Brayan and Jesús living in an orphanage


At the end of february, right before leaving on a holiday to Belgium, Stefanie found out that two of our most loyal kids, Brayan and Jesus, had been left by their mom in an orphanage in Cachora. This explained their absence on the project the weeks before but we didn’t have any more information and weren’t able to get hold of their mother on the cell number she had left on the contact information sheet.  When Stefanie arrived back in Peru, she went  to visit them in Cachora, which is about an hour and a half away from Curahuasi, together with Kim Dierckx. Sadly, the gossip we had heard was correct and we found them living there, together with 12 other kids between 6 and 14 years old.  The first contact was hard and both the boys were obviously not behaving as we knew them. It was clear they were suffering from the situation.  We gave them both some gifts (a backpack, a sweater and some school supplies) and talked with them for quite some time after which they opened up partially. We promised to go back and visit them with the whole group so we’ll keep you posted in our next newsletter.


A while ago, we decided to expand our playground because we lacked space to play ball games, use the steps and, more importantly, for the kids in wheelchairs. Clariza can move around independently with her new wheelchair but had only limited space to do so and found herself left out of most of the fun during recess. Our old playground consists of two levels, a concrete playground on the upper level, connected to a lawn with playing equipment via a slope. This slope was transformed into a wall and was filled up so we could add 108 m² to the upper level.

The kids can go down to the lower level using the new stairs or slide and play in the lawn where our old swing has been replaced and the “tyre-dragon” and seesaws are still very popular! Upstairs, we were finally able to install the slide we had ordered a year ago thanks to the donation of Kasterlinden. The rest of the playing equipment was payed for by Oye Lena thanks to the monthly donations of our godparents. Thank you very much, without your support we wouldn’t be able to realize these developments. So now, extra fun for everyone!