Rae with a few of the early Shelter kids in 1989
Words are not enough to share the CW journey and gratitude I feel...
The children found me in 1987 and little by little took over my heart. Chicuchas Wasi was founded that year as an emergency shelter for abandoned children. All the trials and errors one might imagine occurred over those first few years as we grew in numbers and programs. Joy and sadness filled our days with the reality these children faced as Peru was experiencing political chaos and unrest - Cusco was getting risky for young boys the terrorists wanted to recruit. The next step fell in front of me with an old Urubamba house.
In 1990 I bought a big old house with many bedrooms in Urubamba with my family's help and created a California style B&B that supported us all in the Shelter for about 8 years. Soon an energetic 22 year old Ruth joined the kids and I and CW took off. Two strong and dedicated women, a Peruvian and a Californian made quite a team and both listened to the guidance of the Divine Mother- we could not fail.
Urubamba was a grand adventure: fixing up the old house, making bread, fun with a house full of teens and more. Ruth (a trained and experienced educator) and I (Nurse from USA) each had special skills and by 1996 realized the need to do more to prepare the children for long term change. The resident children were moving on to University or to start their adult lives and CW was reorganized in 1997. We founded The CW School for Rural Girls ignored by the Peruvian Ministry of Education to address the gender inequality embedded into the Andean rural culture.
Ruth created the magnificent system of education for our girls that has had so much success in changing the rural community we serve. We attack academics, empowerment, values and many special programs. First she had to convince the families of the value of educating girls and invited Gloria (17 year old student teacher) to help out. My role was to continue to fundraise and manage the B&B until we returned to Cusco. As if on a train driven by a divine choker, Ruth and I hung on.
Today we have a fully functioning primary school serving 123 girls who will gradate to public high school in December. Our Alumnae girls are showing their smarts at the high school and honored as the highest achievers in their public high schools. They are empowered with confidence and preparation in many areas. They will never have to live in extreme poverty as the women before them have. We are extremely grateful for the clear guidance we have received and the support from all of you to make CW the success it is today. Together we are changing the lives for so many girls, their families and future children. THANK YOU for YOUR Donations
Giving Tuesday begins on 11.27.18
With YOUR help CW School remains open and free to poor girls
Please DONATE on Giving Tuesday to educate girls
Street kids in 1988 in Cusco at our front door
Ruth and Rae merge skills and leadership for CW
The shelter boys having fun making the house bread
Ruth& Gloria open first 4 y/o CW class Urubamba
The CW School for Girls today 123 girls