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Lunelis's story

Sense International (Peru) is turning around the life of six-year-old Lunelis from Lima.

Born into economic hardship, the future for multi-sensory impaired Lunelis looked bleak.

Her father moved to Italy when Lunelis was seven months old, leaving her mother, Elizabeth, without financial support and needing to make precarious decisions about even the most basic of food purchases.

Early days

When Lunelis started at CEBE La Inmaculada school in 2009, she appeared sullen and easily upset, and found it difficult to adapt to new surroundings or people. With a short attention span and avoiding eye contact, her reluctant participation in classes offered little opportunity for progress.

Having moved to live with Elizabeth's mother and three aunts in Mariscal Castilla, a poor settlement in the district of Rimac in Lima, home became the second floor of an unfinished hillside house. To reach her home, she needed to climb150 steps – including a ladder – to reach. Unaware of her real heath issues or the positive future ahead for Lunelis, her family despaired for her.

Transformation

In addition to transforming her communicative abilities and social interactions, Sense International (Peru) is helping Lunelis to progress her learning. With increased attention capabilities, Lunelis now widely receives information and stimulation through her senses.

Lunelis with her teachers creating some art

Therapies in the multi-sensory room enable Lunelis to learn about her surroundings by integrating smell, touch and hearing.

She now takes real pleasure from playing musical instruments and feeling their vibration, and loves the smell and feel of different fragrances and creams on her body.

Becoming more tactile, Lunelis is happy painting with her hands and mixing and experiencing different elements such as flour, water or sand.

Her family are surprised at Lunelis's accomplishments and achievements – and this, in turn, has altered their perception of her impairments, hugely transforming her home life to become more loving, affectionate and supportive.

Life now looks brighter for both mother and daughter.

Delighted with Sense International (Peru)'s facility, Elizabeth said:

"Lunelis enjoys the room. She likes the olfactory stimulation, the different smells and textures, the feel of touch and massages. In general, my daughter is considerably happier."

First published: Friday 7 June 2013
Last updated: Wednesday 20 September 2017