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Help Them Hope (HOPE) a Peruvian Non-Profit Association

  |   Ecotourism

At Rainforest Cruises we do our best to give back a few times a year, to causes we particularity feel close to. We work with Rainforest Trust for Amazon Rainforest conservation, and just recently started supporting Help Them Hope, a Peruvian non-profit that helps zero-income families who have overcome a serious illness or who live with disabilities. We have an office in Lima, Peru and we definitely owe some of our company's success to Peru, so we're always on the lookout to get involved with projects like this one. Read on below to learn how to support the cause...

Help Them Hope (HOPE) is a Peruvian non-profit association, based in Lima. HOPE provides educational scholarships, English language support, career guidance, business advice and funds for internet access to youth from low or zero- income families who have overcome a serious illness and/or who live with disabilities.

Help Them Hope


HOPE was founded in 2009 by Irishman John Whelan after witnessing first-hand, while volunteering in Peru from 2007-2009, the lack of educational and employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

While volunteering at  El Hogar de San Francisco de Asis, a local non profit, John worked within the local community where young Peruvians talked daily about their dreams and aspirations in which the themes of Health, Opportunity, Progress and Education were constantly mentioned. These are the founding principles under which Help Them Hope (HOPE) was born and which underpin its endeavours. John started to support one person in 2009 with financial aid to return to school.

To date, more than 130 people have been awarded HOPE educational scholarships across Peru. A scholarship helps cover essential items such as course fees, entrance fees, books, and supplies, travel to and from school, certificate costs, and more.


Help Them HOPE will soon launch a project to help the people it serves start a business. John Whelan, HOPE’s Founding Director, commented, “Due to either want or need, many of HOPE’s service recipients would like to start their own business.”


Some HOPE scholarship recipients who have graduated from universities or higher level institutes have found it hard to find employment. This may be due to discrimination in the workplace or accessibility issues. They feel that, by starting a micro business or by becoming solo-entrepreneurs, they can source an income and become more independent.

Peru boasts one of the world’s highest entrepreneurial cultures with 30% of the population involved in early stage or developed businesses and another 40% wanting to start a business in the next three years*. Taking this into consideration, HOPE believes there is a  strong need and a want to provide a ‘start a business’ support.

The ‘start a business’ project will offer the following supports: how to register a business; sales and marketing techniques; website creation; database support; networking and peer support; accounting and budgeting support. It will also assist with some of the costs associated with starting your own business.  

“In many instances,  self-employment is a route into the labour market for people with disabilities. Every day we speak with service recipients like Juan Daniel, who uses a wheelchair but can’t find employment. This project will not only provide the opportunity to start a business, but will allow people like Juan Daniel the chance to learn skills and gain work experience, which will be a benefit to his career development”, commented John Whelan.  

The project will start in July 2019 and initially benefit five people.


If you like to offer your services to the ‘start a business’ project please contact  or please donate towards the project or a scholarship here, Learn more about the work of Help Them HOPE here,

About Rainforest Cruises

Rainforest Cruises is a boutique travel company specializing in Amazon river cruises, Galapagos Islands tours, and Southeast Asia cruises. We provide you with the finest collection of cruises in Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia, Panama and Southeast Asia. As travel experts we have all the advice you need to help you find and book your dream cruise and an unforgettable adventure.