“Te Amo” means I love you- Giving warmth to the children of Peru (Part 1)

“Alison Mcquillin is a beautiful young lady at my Church in Aberdeen. I recently got to talk to her about the charity, Te Amo that she established and runs. The interview with her was emotional for her and even as I go through it, it brings me close to tears. She is an inspiration to everyone who cannot sit by and watch innocent children suffer…..”


Kemi. What is the goal of Te Amo?

Alison. Project Te Amo is an international outreach which specialises in knitting jumpers for street children in Lima, Peru. It is a practical way of reaching out to those children who never or very rarely hear the words “te amo (I love you)”.

Kemi. What gave you the idea?

Alison. I was inspired by what someone told me at a conference for Latin Link, the charity that Te Amo supports. A lady told me: “you might be the only Jesus that these people will ever meet”.

Something clicked inside of me then…about just how true that statement was and I felt as though I was to start something to help children living on the streets of Lima, Peru. 

  I would consider myself as a person who cares in a practical way, so I knew that I wanted to help out the street children by doing something that they can really benefit from.

   When I was little, my grandmother regularly knitted me and my siblings jumpers for Christmas or Birthdays. My brother, sister and I loved to receive these gifts because our granny had taken so much time and care into making each one of them to fit up exactly, we had different colours reflecting our personalities, and it was her special way of saying “I love you”. This inspired me to start-up an outreach to children who very rarely, or never hear those words, “te amo”…I love you. I like to think that Te Amo is a way of showing the street children of Lima that there are people out there that love them dearly even though they cannot see us or will perhaps never meet us. Just like Jesus.


Left to Right: Kathleen & Alison with lovely knitted jumpers, ready to be posted to Peru.

Kemi. I know you are a student, how much time are you able to commit to it? Who works with you?

Alison. As a final year student, my timetable is quite hectic! As part of the worship and youth work teams I also find myself busy during the evenings with assessment deadlines creeping up behind me…! But I have been very blessed in that I have a large support network of people helping me. Especially Kathleen from church. She really is my Wonder Woman! As a novice knitter I really am unable to advise with patterns, or needles or wool, but Kath takes charge of that part.  We have about 15 volunteers knitting for us which is amazing! Project Te Amo is certainly not a “one woman show”, I am extremely grateful for the dedication of all who are involved.

Kemi. Have you ever visited Peru? What was it like?

 Alison. I visited Peru on short-term mission with Latin Link back in 2008. This was post-earthquake and we worked near the town of Pisco, just a few hours south of the capital, Lima. I was part of a team of 10 who helped construct a mother and child centre; ran church services and children’s work. As a town planning student, I loved the building project especially learning how to build a construction which would withstand another earthquake. It was a very humbling experience because even though the people we worked with had lost family, friends and their church in the quake, they were always so thankful and joyful.

To be continued….

 Project Te Amo can also be found on Twitter –
@ProjTeAmo or on Facebook


  1. This is lovely! So simple, yet meaningful and useful. Thanks for sharing it.


  2. Good work, indeed.


  3. victoria says:

    Bless you for this piece. loving the next person does not start one day. it starts from within you. from there it extends to the children, siblings, parents, and then your neighbours and the world. i really liked it. keep it up.


  4. Dear Alison
    A group in our Church has been knitting jumpers for the children of Peru, but we have heard that the increased costs of sending them out to Peru is putting he project into question. Our ladies not only get pleasure from thinking they are helping children in Peru but they themselves get enjoyment from knitting in a group and meeting socially. We are based in Dundee and are happy to make a donation of £2 per jumper, if this would help continue the project. I can make arrangements to deliver them to yourself in Aberdeen every 3 months. I look forward to hearing from you.
    Kind regards,
    Anna King



  1. […] children of Peru (Part 2) 23 03 2011 “I interviewed Alison Mcquillin a week ago. The first part of the interview describes how Te Amo came to be. The second part below describes what her vision is for the […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: