The school year in Peru is now well underway having started in March and most of the girls in Peruvian Promise have started their classes. There are currently five young women beginning their second year of college, three girls who just started their first year of their post-secondary education, and five other girls who are studying for their university entrance exam, which they will take in August. Maribel, one of the girls who graduated from secondary school last December, was recently accepted into the very competitive national university in Cusco to study accounting. We are incredibly proud of how hard Maribel has worked and want to wish her and all of the other girls a wonderful school year.
For the first two weeks of March, 15 of the girls in Peruvian Promise participated in the first annual Peruvian Promise in Action Leadership Institute. The institute was comprised of an intensive two-week leadership course taught by local female university professors followed by a six-week activism track in which three groups of girls created and implemented community service projects. The two-week curriculum examined important themes around leadership, culture, and self-awareness and the girls also read specific case studies about local health issues and the positive effects of clean water and clean cook stoves.
The girls were incredibly involved during the entire institute and were incredibly thankful for the opportunity to attend the institute. They found the topics and discussions to be very interesting and informative and mentioned that they had never before studied or learned anything like it in school. After the two-weeks of courses were over, the girls brainstormed and presented their ideas for community service projects and spent the next six weeks implementing these projects in indigenous communities with the help of a local female mentor. The three groups of girls visited different local communities and did research and assessments as to the best way to implement their projects. The girls really took the lead on their service projects and showed great leadership as they brought dozens of clean water filters to a very needy families, built 18 clean cook stoves, and hosted a presentation on leadership to a large group of primary school students in Cusco. The girls will continue to work with one of the professors from the institute on a regular basis to reinforce the important issues and topics discussed and to help the girls retain what they learned. This institute proved to be incredibly beneficial to the girls and will now be held annually during the girls’ summer vacation.
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