Friday, 20 November 2009

Miracle Fund

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The town of Pisco

Pisco is a coastal town in Peru, South America. On the 15th August 2007 a massive earthquake destroyed over 80% of the homes, killing around 600 people. Today, over 2 years after the disaster, there are still many people without adequate housing and sanitation. Large numbers of people are still living in makeshift tents and shelters or squatting, after their homes were destroyed in the earthquake.

Pisco Sin Fronteras

Pisco Sin Fronteras (PSF) is a small non-profit organisation which was founded in August 2008 on the first year anniversary of the massive earthquake which devastated the city of Pisco. PSF gives assistance to the people who need it most by helping to build houses, schools, sanitation units and helping with other community-based projects. It is a fully voluntary organisation which receives no government funds. We are supported entirely by donations, fund raising and volunteering.

Unfortunately the amount of aid and help available to the people of Pisco has declined in the last 12 months due to the extraction of Non Government Organisations (NGO´s), leaving many people with no way of providing their family with adequate housing and respectable living conditions. Besides the obvious primary impact of the earthquake, Pisco is now facing the subsequent social and economic problems an event of this scale creates, such as high crime and unemployment.

The current need for aid is as high as ever.

A large percentage of PSF’s work involves providing cost free labour for those families who can afford the materials but not the labour. In order to help those families who can not afford their own materials and those most in need, PSF relies on money from fundraising and donations to buy the materials.

Currently there are many families living in small makeshift shelters built from scrap materials, esterra (crushed bamboo) and plastic. The quality of the materials is poor, leaving the families vulnerable, with poor protection and security. They are normally built directly on dirt floors, therefore families are forced to live in constant dust and dirt. Along with the poor sanitation this leads to disease and poor health, especially among young children.

How you can help

Nearly everyone in Pisco needs help. At the most basic level this involves getting people out of tents and makeshift shelters and into more substantial housing and providing adequate sanitation.

One example that shows just how little an amount of money can help is the building of a modular house:

For less than 400 pounds a modular (wooden) house can be provided on a solid concrete floor, allowing families comfort, security and better sanitation. The cost breakdown is shown on the next page, showing just how small a donation can help:

As we, PSF, provide all the labour needed for the preparation and construction of the concrete foundation, and the company that provides the modular house also provides a skilled local worker needed for safe assembly. Therefore all the money donated goes directly to providing for those in real need.


We, Eddie and Alice, are hoping to raise some money in order to set up our own project to help a family (or families, depending on how much we raise) in need. The amount of money we raise will determine what exactly we spend it on, whether it be providing a family with housing, better sanitation or helping provide for a school. Once we know how much we have raised we will assess where the money can be of most help and will update those who have donated on the details and progress of our project. We hope to have raised the money by the New Year (2010) and to be in Peru to see the project through.

Unfortunately due to various (legitimate) reasons, PSF does not have its own bank account at the present moment. This means that any donations have to go via our personal bank account so that we can withdraw the money here in Peru. This is much easier for us than going through the PSF website ( donation option that sends the money to a contact in the USA which is a very lengthy process.

Therefore in order to donate either:

  1. Email: and we will reply with information on donating straight into our bank account.
  2. Send a check made out to ´Edward Kelly´. Please email ( for our UK mailing address). Please enclose a note with your contact information and name.
  3. If the best way for you to donate is via the PSF website then make sure to you make a note saying the money is to go to ´Alice and Eddie Miracle Fund´.

With all donations please email us ( when you have donated so we can keep track on all the much needed donations and keep you updated on the progress of the project(s). If you have any questions please email us.

The people that need your help

Following are examples of the residents of Pisco that need your help. A volunteer has approached each family and assessed their needs based on several criteria. It is important to note that the money raised will go to helping those in real need, but not necessarily the examples in this handout.

Name: Erica Date of assessment: 04/05/09

Background information: A fisherman and family of 5 people (Husband, 35; wife, 28; grandmother, 52; two children 8 and 4 years old). They lived in a typical, poorly constructed adobe (poor quality and cheap bricks) house, but it was destroyed by the earthquake and no longer stands.

Current living conditions: They live in a tent at the same site as their destroyed house. There are no hygienic toilet facilities; a bucket in the corner of the tent is all they have. Drinking water has to be boiled and there is no electricity.

What they need: To clear/demolish the current area in which they live. Construct a modular house providing protection, security and better sanitation for the family. Provide proper toilet facilities.

Name: Maria Date of assessment: 03/05/09

Background Information: Maria has 6 children. Maria’s 7 year old has a hernia but they don’t have the necessary money for the surgery. Her husband is a builder but is currently unemployed. He used to work as a caretaker but the wage was too low.

Current living conditions: They are currently living in a plastic and bamboo shack which is based on a dirt floor. The home has no toilet facility and all 8 members of the family are sharing 2 mattresses.

What they need: A modular house to provide better sanitation and security for the family. Toilet facilities also required.

Name: Rosa Date of assessment: 03/05/09

Background Information: Woman and husband with 4 children. Husband is a mototaxi driver. The family lives in a village on the outskirts of Pisco. The youngest child is 5 months old and is suffering from bronchitis and isn’t recovering due to the family’s bad living conditions.

Current living conditions: The family’s home is made of esterra (crushed bamboo sheets) and plastic. The house is surrounded by rubbish and faeces. The home has one large bed in which all 6 members of the family sleep. The village is located on a hill which tends to be very breezy at night. This is jeopardizing the baby´s health.

What they need: A modular home, allowing a clean environment, better shelter from the weather and better protection for the family.