Fundacion Yanapak Yachachikuna (FYYChE) provides community-directed English, Kichwa, and arts education to rural Kichwa communities of Chimborazo, Ecuador. In a country where discrimination against Indigenous peoples continues in educational policy, FYYChE stands as an Indigenous-led educational initiative which seeks to bridge the gap and enable communities to access new opportunities in post-secondary education.
Educational policy in Ecuador requires students to know English as part of the entrance exams for college. However, there are not enough English teachers in the country to serve all the schools. This results in a concentration of teachers in the cities, leaving the rural (mostly native Kichwa) communities with the decision to either move off their ancestral lands or deny their children access to college. This educational inequality contributes greatly to the 90% rural poverty rate in the region.
FYYChE directs the necessary resources to communities seeking to determine their own futures. We partner volunteer English teachers with community schools and support extra-curricular programs focused on traditional Kichwa music and folk arts, organic agriculture, and building small businesses. And as an Indigenous-led foundation, the needs and resource disbursement are determined by the communities themselves, not a board of directors thousands of miles away.
Through bridging the educational gap between rural communities and the cities, hundreds of children will have the opportunity to continue their education beyond grade school and be a force for development in their own communities. And by providing support to students' families through agriculture and business workshops, communities are gaining the acumen they need to maintain programming apart from outside funding.