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After losing everything, a plan for happiness awaits

After losing everything, girls like Esther are looking forward to take part in Plan International's child friendly spaces, known in Peru as "The Plan of Joy".

“The river can take away everything, except our dreams,” says Esther, a 15 year old girl in Pozo de los Ramos shelter, where hundreds of evacuated families are staying here after being forced to abandon their homes due to the flooding of the Piura River on Monday, March 27th.

Esther is one of the 299,109 people affected by floods in Piura, the province most hit by the rains that have plagued the country since January. There are families that were evacuated by the Peruvian army or the municipality to find that water was destroying their belongings and their homes.

“The night seemed long to us,” said Esther´s mother about that Monday when she left her home with her children and a emergency backpack. Like her, other women in the shelter share their experiences after losing their homes, their livelihood and continue to fight for their children.

To bring socioemotional help to boys and girls, Plan International installed 4 friendly spaces “The Plan of Joy,” a place where they can express their emotions, learn, and have fun to overcome the hardship they are living in. In the friendly spaces, the sessions are divided into age groups that cover ages 5 to 18 years old.

Along with the friendly spaces, Plan International also installed water stations to wash hands that will benefit 500 families in  Pozo de los Ramos, Cristo Viene, Jesús Nazart, and Santa Rosa shelters to promote hygiene practices. To complement these efforts, water kits that contained water bottles, water treatments, filters, and other products are being distributed.

To help the families, Plan International also handed out family hygiene kits that contained toothpaste, pads, combs, and other personal hygiene products as well as 500 kits early childhood kits that conver the basic needs for babies.

Plan International aims to provide assistance to more than 12,000 people in a region that the organization knows well, after over 20 years of developing projects in the area.