As a participant of the campaign “It`s Time to Talk – Children’s Views on Children’s Work”, LENTCH accomplished two consultations with 27 girls and boys in total in October 2016. The consulted children and teenagers are 8-17 years old. The children enjoyed the program. They were the centre of attention and had the chance to express their experiences with paintings, words and other creative expressions like body mapping (one of the activities during the program).
The children from the project appreciated the opportunity to express their feelings and their point of view about the work they do and their lives. It is time to talk about the wishes for their lives and their opinions about their situation. The organization got valuable information and many impressions – and the children got their time to talk.
LENTCH stands for “Luz y Esperanza Para Los Niños Trabajadores de Chimbote”, which translates as “Light and Hope for the Working Children of Chimbote”. At least 250 children were registered working in the streets of Chimbote, a port city located in the Ancash region of northern Peru. The Asociación Lentch was created 10 years ago to support and accompany those working children in order to enable them to attend school and fulfil their basic needs. The organisation is a project partner of “Kindermissionswerk – Die Sternsinger”.
During the consultation the children were also asked about their motivation to work. Miguel Stockinger, the project coordinator of the Asociación Lentch, reports that the children feel a lot of pressure to supply a part of the income for the family: “If the children work and bring money back home, it makes them proud – because the family needs this money. If the children do not earn enough they are very disappointed, because they feel like a failure.”
Furthermore the children recognized that while they are the age of a child they already have to act like small adults who have to take responsibility for their siblings and who have to earn a living the hard way. They are aware of the risks associated with working in the dark on the streets like being kidnapped, robbed or beaten. Despite this and Lentch giving the children the opportunity to attend school and providing for their basic needs, the organisation learned through consultations that some children are still working. This is important information for the organisation and its future: The families of the children obviously look differently at the issue of child work and child labour than the organisation. Therefore LENTCH will have to put a higher focus on this in the future as it continues on its long way to a better life for children in Peru.
Visit LENTCH’s website (spanish).
Visit the website of the Sternsinger (german).
The partner reflections are contributions written by our partner organisations about their experience of the “Time to Talk”-campaign and their consultations.