La Casa de Acogida Mantay, our partner in Cusco, Peru. Mantay is a refuge for teenage mothers who have been victims of abuse and are unable to stay with their families. The refuge provides these young mothers and their children with accommodation, food, clothing, medical care, counseling, basic education, parental guidance, legal counseling and vocational training. All of the women at Mantay apprentice at a leather workshop on the grounds of the refuge as part of their vocational training, learning how to make beautiful hand-sewn leather goods. Once the women reach the age of 18, they transition out of the home with their children but have the opportunity to continue to work full-time in the workshop, providing them with the opportunity for long-term stabilized income.
Marcelina Quispe Huahuasoncco: Marcelina arrived at La Casa de Acogida when she was 15 years old with her son Anderson, who was four months old. Before she came to Mantay she worked for her uncle on a coffee plantation, where she and her siblings were exploited and abused. Every day when they finished the coffee harvest, she was locked in a room with her four siblings until the following day.
After Marcelina reached Mantay she completed her primary and secondary education. Subsequently she trained in the workshop, where she discovered her ability to sew.
Today, Marcelina is 25 and lives with her partner and two children. After receiving a loan from Mantay, which she has already repaid in full, she purchased a plot of 200 square meters, where she plans to build a house.