Founders with a Vision
More than 30 years ago, Father Jack Davis and Sister Peggy Byrne answered the call to live among and serve the poor residing in the neighborhoods surrounding Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish in Chimbote. Both left their native countries and devoted decades of their lives to help these people escape poverty and to provide the opportunity to become self-sustaining members of their community. The founders recognized education was the path out of poverty but that children who were sick, hungry, or without adequate shelter could not study and be successful. Thus the mission programs began to take shape beginning with just one soup kitchen and a handful of employees.
Expansion and Growth
Friends from the United States and Europe began to visit Chimbote returning home to share the inspiring stories of the mission work being accomplished. Sister Parish relationships were formed, contributions began to increase, and in 1998 Friends of Chimbote was formed and received formal approval from the IRS in 2002 to operate as a 501(c)(3) allowing donations to be tax-deductible as allowed by law.
With growing revenue, the mission programs expanded to include libraries, tutoring labs, kindergartens, a medical clinic, scholarship programs, micro-lending, additional soup kitchens, and the first-known hospice in all of South America. Local people were hired to assist the founders in administering mission programs and the visitor and volunteer program expanded with hundreds of people traveling to Chimbote every year.
In June 2013 Father Davis retired from his mission work in Chimbote followed by Sister Peggy Byrne in 2015. Administration of mission programs was turned over to the local people and because of Father Jack and Sister Peggy’s succession planning and mentorship of Chimbotanos, the next generation of leadership is now in place at the mission with continued financial support provided by Friends of Chimbote.