My name is Jack Birtles, and in early July I will be putting touching down in the capital of Peru; Lima, a beautiful city filled with vibrant culture and stunning architecture. An unmissable tourist destination. However I will not be sticking around to take in the beauty of the central city, but rather venturing out into the outskirts, a part of the city that does not feature in the travel brochures.
This is home to one of the largest slums in the world, where 70% of the population of Lima live. Thats around 5.74 million people (equivalent to the entire population of Singapore) Most of the houses are either falling down or are built using unstable material. These houses do not keep out the cold in the harsh winters, leaving the occupants freezing, using whatever insulation they can just to keep warm. These are conditions that no human being should have to endure.
I will be traveling out with the charity Quest Overseas. An organisation who look to improve the living conditions of some of the worst off in the world. Over the course of a month, I and a group of other volunteers will be helping to build new living spaces for families in desperate need. Alongside this, we will be teaching the youngsters of the area sports and other activities, as well as putting on interactive stage performances. Many children in the slums are vulnerable to getting caught up in gangs and drug abuse, so these activities provide them with distractions and skills that can hopefully help them avoid slipping into this alternative way of life.
Operation R.E.D stands for Rebuild, Educate, Donate; all elements that will be applied and required for this project to be a success. All proceeds will go to Quest, who use the money in their non profit scheme, enabling the funding of materials required to build the houses. This will also include flying myself out to Lima. Any donation towards this trip will no doubt improve the quality of living for a number of families as well as providing some of the younger generation with a better shot at life.
For more information into the details of the project please visit: