After learning that his wife was expecting a second child, Giovanna’s father became angry and asked her to have an abortion. But the young mother decided to have her baby. She found out that her husband had another woman and already had children with her, so Giovanna’s mother kicked her husband out of the house.
The father did not care about supporting his two children. So after Giovanna was born, her mother worked hard to support the children by herself. The family lived in a precarious house made of matting, cardboard and plastic. When her mother learned about Compassion, she registered her children.
But Giovanna’s father liked to drink alcohol. Whenever he was drunk his partner kicked him out of the house, and he would go to visit his wife only to have sex. He became aggressive if nobody opened the door. He did not care about the two scared children watching.
After some time Giovanna’s mother was expecting a third child. She decided to leave the house and go to some other place in order to stop the family violence and the sad consequences of her husband’s behavior. For example, two children at the child development center had the same last name as Giovanna; they were her half brothers.
Although her father thought that women should not attend school because it was a waste of money, Giovanna was smart enough to take advantage of all the opportunities she was receiving. She showed leadership at the child development center and at church and was a good student at school.
When she was 12 years old, she began to help as a teacher’s aide at the center. When she was older, she was appointed to take charge of the little children and also at Sunday School, besides being the development center’s secretary.
After finishing high school with high honors, Giovanna entered a government university to study education.
The five years of study were quite difficult. The university was located far from her home; it took two hours by bus to arrive there each day.
Therefore, she had to wake up at 4 a.m. and had to be at the bus stop at 4:30. Her mother used to go with her because it was dangerous to walk several blocks alone in the darkness.
Giovanna had no money to buy a meal at the university and sometimes she stayed without having anything to eat at the campus all day. She would get home at 10:30 p.m. with an empty stomach.
During the summer Giovanna practiced teaching at her child development center and earned some money to buy her school supplies. Although the money she received was just an offering, it seemed a great amount to her. Finally, she finished university with high honors.
Giovanna used her skills in education to prepare Compassion’s children’s curriculum for the child development centers. Now she is working as a Partnership Facilitator in the Compassion Peru office.
Her main duties are representing Compassion to the leaders and pastors of our church partners. She helps to ensure the development of the children and church partners in accordance with the program’s desired outcomes. Her long-term vision is to help young children from birth to 3 years old in the rural areas of Peru.
Giovanna has witnessed that because of the work Compassion does together with the church, children are helped not only in the spiritual aspect, but also in the intellectual area. From then on God develops the gifts that have been given to each child.
“When I was a teenager I was surprised to find out that there were also professionals who were Christians.” Giovanna says that all the Christians she had met up to that time were the center workers and church people who were laborers and just simple workers.
Compassion’s Partnership Facilitators were the first Christian professionals she ever met, and they were the ones who motivated her to continue going ahead.