Post-traumatic stress plagues families, Compassion responds

By August 27, 2007

Peru (MNN) — Compassion International has joined the multitudes in helping victims
of the earthquake in Peru.

Although Compassion's Country Director in Peru, Christina Zavala, says the situation seems
to be stable in Lima, they are still looking for seven of their sponsored children. They are searching in hospitals as well as stadiums where families have fled.

They are working with nine churches in the area to provide aid. They've given food, 5,900 bottles of water, 1500 blankets, and 2,050 kg of hygiene supplies. Compassion has 1,400 sponsored children in the areas affected by the quake. 

"We will continue providing these as needed in the days to come. This food only lasts for three days. We are also helping not only the 1,400 children; also this means 1,400 families," said Zavala.  

Many of the children and parents are suffering form post-traumatic stress. Compassion began helping in that area this weekend according to their Country Director Christina
Zavala. "A group of psychologists and Sunday school teachers will go in to teach, and it is our first city that we will visit to give relief of post-trauma stress to the children and the church members and give prayers of their faith in the Lord."

Adobe is the most common construction material among Peru's poor population, and homes are constructed in an informal way. As a result, 80 percent of homes in the area collapsed during the earthquake. Many families are left without personal possessions, and only a few have received tents to sleep in. 

The winter weather there is cold and windy, according to Zavala. The wind is carrying dust and sand that "are causing respiratory illness, especially to the children" Zavala
explained.


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