When Maria Fitzgerald and Neale Bayly went down to Hogar Belen, Peru, in 2008 to perform a medical mission for the Abandoned Children of Moquegua, they had no idea where it would lead.
Neale had met Maria’s brother, Father Giovanni Battaglini, in Peru many years earlier on a motorcycle adventure ride, and became connected with Maria after his death in 2001. As part of his work in Peru, Father Gio had cared for many orphans around the country, and Maria had been fundraising for him to help the children of Hogar Belen for many years. On their return from Peru, Neale and Maria decided to form Wellspring International Outreach, to further fundraising efforts for the children in both South America and in Maria’s native Canada.
Since that initial trip to Peru, Neale and Maria, through Wellspring, have been providing support for the children, including building a bridge across the dangerous river that separates Hogar from the town of Moquegua and a new bakery and commercial oven for bread baking.
In 2013, Neale led a motorcycle ride that was filmed for American television. In his show, “Neale Bayly Rides: Peru,” the riders arrived at the orphanage to raise money and awareness for the children. Neale and Wellspring have since adopted another project in White River, South Africa, including building homes for orphaned children. This year, 2016, Wellspring will build a community kitchen in South Africa and assess some smaller projects for the children of Hogar Belen.