Feeling at Home at Wawa Wasi: Limne’s Story
By The Berry That Cares On September 04, 2018

Though Wawa Wasi means ‘Children’s Home’ in the native Quechua language, our daycare, Wawa Wasi Rayito de Sol, has made many of the parents feel at home too. For nearly 12 years now we’ve opened our doors to the children of the mothers and fathers who are part of the workforce at The Berry That Cares. Staffed by trained caretakers and just a short bus ride from our berry fields, Wawa Wasi is the best alternative solution for families in the district of Chao.

“Wawa Wasi was like the light at the end of the tunnel after all we’d been through,” Limne Vicencia told us one balmy afternoon as we sat at the entrance of the daycare. Her daughter Paola, not even two years old, playfully bounced around with friends nearby as we listened to her mother’s story.

For the past seven months Limne has worked in the packing line of The Berry That Cares, carefully placing the pre-selected berries into the clamshells so they can be shipped internationally. Though her time with us has been short, it’s been a long journey for Limne and her family to reach financial stability and peace of mind.

“I’m from a small farming area in Chimbote called La Carbonera. My husband and I used to work on a field planting onions. One day, a bacteria got into my husband’s eye while he was working and eventually he lost his sight in that eye,” Limne calmly recalls. “He lost his job because of that. Even though I was pregnant at the time I was constantly out in the fields because we needed the money - especially at that moment, with his medical bills and a baby on the way.”

When daughter Paola arrived and Limne and her husband were no longer just a couple but a family, they decided they needed something better. Friends in Trujillo had told them about job opportunities at The Berry That Cares so the young family made the two-hour trip up north. Soon after arriving, Limne was quickly hired and was elated to learn about the offer of Wawa Wasi to team members.

Newcomers to Wawa Wasi are often welcomed by the friendly face of Rosa Bravo Uriarte, the daycare’s coordinator. The daycare has the capacity to care for 50 children, ranging from as young as six months to four years old, and is open from 4am. to 8pm. And while there are many members of The Berry That Cares’ team who have young children, there is a process and evaluation taken in order for children to enter.

“The evaluation considers where they live, their economic standing and if they have family members that could watch their children,” details Rosa. “The workers who are at risk, that is to say, who have extremely low resources, are given priority to enter Wawa Wasi.”

Despite making the big move to a new town absent of relatives to offer an extra hand, Limne has found plenty of support at The Berry That Cares and Wawa Wasi. Not yet able to articulate full sentences, her daughter Paola expresses her joy with her new daycare in her own way.

“She’s filled with happiness now. She hugs all the workers here and loves them as if they were family,” says Limne, as her eyes began to well up. “They treat her so well here and always let me know how she’s doing. Before it was impossible for me to work because I didn’t have anyone to look after Paola. And now I’ve found a company that provides me with childcare and has offered my husband a job despite his partial loss of vision. Not many companies will do this.”

There’s nothing more satisfying than grabbing a handful of fresh berries and knowing they come straight off the bush. But a blueberry’s journey from field to table requires more than just a skillful hand. A few factors attribute to our product being as plump and fresh as it is.
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