Our History

The Perú Fund was founded in 1991 by Dorthe Hviid and Evie Reda who met in Peru in 1990 where they spent several months each adopting a child. During the course of finalizing their adoptions, they, along with Patrice Clark and Patti Montgomery who later joined the Perú Fund as trustees, stayed in a small pensión in the Miraflores section of Lima.  Feeling a strong connection to their children’s heritage, they sought to find a way to help relieve some of the extreme poverty they witnessed in Peru.  And so, in addition to supporting each other through the long adoption process, they began to establish connections with people who were doing humanitarian aid work in Lima.

The idea of developing connections with organizations that could be trusted to serve their constituents was of primary concern from the start. Mishandling of funds in the management of charities, and corruption in bureaucracies involved in the adoption process were widespread in Peru at the time. “It is of paramount importance to us that our intended recipients in Peru are the beneficiaries of every dollar of our fundraising, and that the programs we help to fund are well run,” states Evie Reda. Over the years, the trustees of the Perú Fund have visited the projects in Peru to be assured of their being well managed.  The administrative costs of the Perú Fund itself are covered solely by trustee donations.

One of the connections Dorthe and Evie made in Lima in 1991 led them to André Franche, the then executive director of Fondation Père Ménard, headquartered in Montreal. This organization, which the Perú Fund undertook to support, had mainly focused its humanitarian work in Peru on healthcare. When André Franche became executive director of  Les Ailes de L’Esperance  in 2000, more of the Perú Fund’s contributions shifted to that organization. This allowed the Perú Fund to become more pointedly focused on sustainable development, through projects built and managed by the communities that directly benefit from them.  Among these, access to clean water is one of the Perú Fund’s primary areas of focus today.