My phone has been buzzing with texts, WhatsApp messages, and calls. So many of you are reaching out to say you are thinking about Perú.
In case you missed it – over the past week Perú has been through a topsy turvy time . . . with a presidential impeachment, political demonstrations and riots (including clashes with police that led to two deaths), an interim presidential government, resignation of the interim president, congressional stalemate and finally a majority vote for a new interim president and administration. Talk about a hectic week.
For many of us familiar with the Perú of the late 1980s and early 90s – the last week has been a bit re-traumatizing. It’s felt like the country was sliding back into a dictatorial government. Thankfully, and through the clarified voice of thousands of young people who took to the streets chanting “you picked on the wrong generation” – a crisis was averted and a caretaker government was put in place before the April 2021 elections.
Things are not completely out of the woods. The congressional vote that led to the election of a caretaker government and interim president was not without controversy. The Peruvian congress is a notoriously fractured legislative body with lawmakers from 9 different political parties and another 15 jockeying for elected seats in 2021. Gaining a majority and building a collation in the Peruvian Congress is challenging under the best of circumstances.
The pandemic, a crushing decrease in GDP, record levels of unemployment, and decades of angst over corruption and the arrogance of the political ruling class have led Perú to a tipping point. What will happen next is not entirely clear. Change is coming. A movement is underway. Perú is seeking change.
What does this mean for our work? We’ve been a part of a movement for over two decades. Ours is a movement of service. The movement we are a part of is about expanding access to evidence-based health services, training healthcare professionals in best and promising practices, and overhauling child welfare services and structures to ensure every child has access to the life they deserve. We’re dedicated to this movement, and we’re not going anywhere.
We stand by our brothers and sisters. We stand for our beloved country of Perú.