In 1989, Canadian educator Jean-Louis LEBEL, at the suggestion of a priest from The Missionaries of the Holy Apostles, began an investigation aimed at knowing the problems of children and adolescents living on the street, in order to find out if he could give contribute to the problem. This research was initiated in Cuzco, where contacts were established with homes and institutions to learn about methodological proposals, and continued in Lima. At this time there were very few state or private shelters to cater for the population of street children and adolescents.
In December 1989, Jean-Louis LEBEL began work in the streets and squares of central Lima, with St. Martin Square being one of the key points. As a result of this experience, it concluded in the immediate need to offer an alternative to children and adolescents.
Founder - President
“I went every day, mostly at night because in the day the children were scattered. From seven o’clock at night, children, young teenagers and adults on the street began to cluster in the southwestern part of the square. Until twelve or one they were engaged in the theft and consumption of Terokal or basic cocaine paste. I couldn’t intervene to stop him because I had been “thrown away” from the square. They respected me and knew that I did not share their activities. It was a taboo subject between us. If a child dared to take out his bag and if an adult (from the street) noticed, he would give him a slap sound saying, “Respect the little father.” From the beginning it was for me a rule of not bringing them clothes, food or whatever. Other support groups helped them but I thought that helping them right there was making it difficult for them to leave the street. My intention was to earn their trust and friendship and then open a center to welcome them. It seemed clear to me that it took them out of there in order to really help them.”
This is how the idea came to give children and adolescents a home to live in. Without a plan formulated, a house was rented in the center of Lima. It was the beginning of the open house-home. The fundamental principle was based on the voluntary entry of the child or adolescent and the development of a rehabilitation proposal according to their needs. In June 1990 the first child was housed and the child integration centre in neglect was legally created - CIMA on 14 August 1990. At the beginning, the reception capacity was 8 children and adolescents. Gradually, staff with psychologists and social workers were increased, in line with the need for
In September 1991 all children and adolescents were transferred to a new location donated by Engineer Federico Jahncke, located in Huarangal, Cieneguilla district. Gradually the number of residents was increasing, reaching 60 children and adolescents. The offer of proposed workshops to children was also expanded and the number of tutors doubled.
In 1996, residents moved to another land, also located in Cieneguilla, where the CIMA home continues to function to this day.
In conjunction with the growth of the home, a process of formalization was developed, through the incorporation of staff on the agenda in 2005 and the adoption of several internal documents (staff code, internal regulations, organizational manual and functions).