Warmi Huasi - the future

Warmi Huasi (Women’s House) is a small non-government organisation (NGO) founded in 2003 by Columban missionaries in Lima, Peru. Its story continues …

A big step forward for the work of the Warmi Huasi team, which has benefitted the Children & Adolescent Committees, was the recognition by the Municipality of Carabayllo in Lima and the Provincial Municipality in Pausa, Ayacucho, of the expertise of Warmi Huasi as a consultant to them in their child protection policies. In Peru, each municipality is obliged legally to have a COMUDENNA (Municipal Committee for the Rights of Children and Adolescents), but often they exist only on paper. Warmi Huasi has helped make them a reality.

In Carabayllo, we helped the municipality set up norms and laws to protect young people and promote their participation in the life of the district. Over 113,000 young people who live in the district indirectly benefit from the work of Warmi Huasi with the COMUDENNA of Carabayllo Municipality. Their voices have been heard, and their actions are beginning to transform their communities.

In Pausa, the capital of the Province of Paucar del Sara Sara, the Warmi Huasi team encouraged setting up the COMUDENNA Committee, which is now in place. The Warmi Huasi team monitors its progress, offering workshops to help the different municipal officials know their responsibilities, along with the leaders of the local communities and representatives of the Police, the Judiciary, and the Ministries of Education and Health. Nearly 4,000 young people who live in the Province of Paucar del Sara Sara indirectly benefit from the work of Warmi Huasi with the COMUDENNA of the Provincial Municipality.

The local communities in Pausa and Lampa are now more aware of the need to protect and listen to young people, and the news is spreading around the villages and towns of the Department of Ayacucho about the reading clubs and the growing voices of young people demanding they be treated with dignity, that their rights be respected, and that they not be mistreated or abused.

The voices of our young are being heard in both the Province of Paucar del Sara Sara and the Districts of North Lima, and they are making a difference. They influence decisions made at the municipal level so that the needs of young people are not only kept on the agenda but are being resolved, albeit slowly.

With the efforts of Warmi Huasi in the formation of new generations of young people, there is hope. These young people are capable of analysing what is happening around them. They can come up with ideas and translate them into a work plan. They can then present their plan to civil authorities and expect an answer. So we in Warmi Huasi have hope that they will form part of a civil society that expects the authorities to work for the common good and demands it. We are also working with their parents, especially their mothers, and the community leaders so that the children are not alone. We are accompanying local government officials with training so that the DEMUNAs (Municapal Office for the Rights of Children and Adolescents), COMUDENNAs (Municipal Committee for the Rights of Children and Adolescents) and CCONNAs (Advisory Council to the Municipality) can function well and that the officials and authorities appreciate that young people can be and should be allowed to be protagonists for change in their communities and the wider society.

The prayer of praise in the Easter Vigil, after lighting the Paschal Candle, comes to mind: “The Lord our God, full of love and mercy, has passed amongst us and filled us with His grace.” When we see young people full of life and involved in activities that enhance their dignity and show solidarity with other young people, we feel that the Lord is alive and well in them and that His grace is very much present.



“I was born in Lima and live in San Benito with my mother, my older sister, an aunt, and a cousin. The pandemic has been very difficult. But now, with the return to school, I feel that my routine has changed for the better. One of the new things I am doing is participating in Warmi Huasi. On Fridays, I had nothing to do, but now I do because I go to the workshops. I have met children I like, and I think the workshops are fun. My goals are first to finish high school, then go to college, if God allows, and have a career. I am grateful to Warmi Huasi and the team there. I have a lot of fun at the workshops, and I know that many adolescents do not have this opportunity.”


“In my family, we are my father, mother and older brother. We all live together in a house in the 5th sector of San Benito. I was born in Lima. I participate in the workshops that Warmi Huasi run and in the Reading Club, and I love it! I go to my workshops and the club because before I only watched television. Because of the pandemic, I couldn't see my friends. Now I feel I have more productive time and have learned many things. When I finish school, I want to study graphic design or psychology to help other children. I want to thank Warmi Huasi and their team for always helping us to have our workshops.”


“I was born in Puno. My parents, also from Puno, brought me to Lima when I was three. I don't remember much because I was very young when I came. I currently live in Los Cipreses with my husband and two children. I do not have close relatives. I have not worked since the pandemic, but I participate in a communal kitchen, spending my time there until noon. My financial support comes from my husband, who has a job. Warmi Huasi supports us through training, other activities and psychological support, which has helped me. When I go to Warmi Huasi, I relax and learn a lot. The message I would give to those who support Warmi Huasi is that they continue donating since the work Warmi Huasi does is very beautiful. What I learn motivates me to teach my family at home. For example, I have a bio garden at home now, and everything I learn at Warmi Huasi I do at home and pass it on to my children.”


“I live with my husband and four children in San Benito. I am a seamstress and participate in Warmi Huasi through the program for Community Leaders. Before, I worked at home doing housework. Now, the workshops relax me and get me away from the many stresses at home. They help us encourage each other and create a calmer community in which we can raise our children safely. I thank the workshops very much because they give us some time for ourselves to continue improving as people and as mothers.

My goals and plans are to keep well and share everything I have learned with my family, to value myself and know myself better, and to improve my relationships with my children. My faith has motivated me because it has helped me believe I can achieve what I set out to achieve.”

Columban Fr Ed O’Connell lives and works in Peru.

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