Runaperu, a pioneering disability centre, was opened in Montero, north Peru in 2009, by the organisation Peru People to offer physiotherapy to disabled people and the wider community. There are no other similar facilities locally, with the nearest hospitals 4 hours away and often hard to reach. It also runs skills workshops for disabled young people. Due to the many needs of the rural community, Runaperu quickly outgrew its rented building and required a purpose-built centre.
The local population numbers around 12,000 people and since 2009 more than 10% of those have been through its doors. Runaperu has become well-known across the region and people sometimes travel miles to visit the centre.
Imagine suffering a debilitating stroke and having no ongoing care. Imagine being a young person with a disability who never had a chance to go to school, to hold a paintbrush or to learn to cook. Imagine being a young mum with a baby who has Down's Syndrome and having nowhere to go for advice and support. Runaperu is supporting people in these situations by giving them somewhere to turn for help.
The centre staff go out visiting in the communities around town twice a week. They teach, treat and support disabled people who are unable to get out and about. The centre aims to support people in flexible ways, which could mean offering nutritional advice, helping with roof repairs or providing incontinence pads.
Where it is welcome, the team love to pray with people and they know that often their time and spiritual support is of immense value to people, especially to those who are isolated in their homes.