Education  Peru Project #21396

Free education for 60 deprived children in Peru

by Globalteer
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Free education for 60 deprived children in Peru
Free education for 60 deprived children in Peru
Free education for 60 deprived children in Peru
Free education for 60 deprived children in Peru
Free education for 60 deprived children in Peru
Free education for 60 deprived children in Peru
Free education for 60 deprived children in Peru
Free education for 60 deprived children in Peru
Free education for 60 deprived children in Peru
Free education for 60 deprived children in Peru
Free education for 60 deprived children in Peru
Free education for 60 deprived children in Peru
Free education for 60 deprived children in Peru

Hello everyone, 

Recently, we had the privilege of having our group from Durham University visit. They had a great trip and did a fantastic job with the kids. Some students helped with homework, and in addition, our teachers at Piqaflor House helped our Peruvian students with core subjects, and then in English, learning basic classroom words in their last lesson. 

The greenhouse was sprouting, and the cooks were busy working hard to feed the kids a nutritious lunch of quinoa, avocado, and tomato, so they would get the necessary nutrients to keep growing and learning. Then, the place was a flurry of activity as the Durham students helped make kites, and put on traditional costumes to dance with the children. Last, there were some tearful goodbyes as bonds had been made and it was now time to return home. 

In addition to the UK group’s physical work, they each raised a large amount of money, personally, in order to fund the lunches, the staff, and the important work Piqaflor House does every day. With this amount, we can continue to change the trajectory of these Peruvian childrens’ lives, providing education, and a safe place to grow into their bright futures. It was truly an honor to see many people give out of their own generosity, and the students raise money to help those less fortunate. We continue to be humbled by the altruism of others and the large hearts with which they are willing to help others. 

If you have any questions about what our programs or the work we do, please don't hesitate to ask.

Best,

Daniel

Director of Development, Globalteer

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Summer Holidays

For most of this quarter, Picaflor House was running its holiday schedule. This means we focused more on fun ... but we didn’t leave academic learning behind. Continuing academic reinforcement in core subjects – communication and maths – was particularly important this year, after the two-year school closure. And it paid off, as schools finally re-opened in mid-March! But we made plenty of time during the holidays for recreational activities like sport, dance and a big favourite, arts and crafts. It is so important for children to explore other activities, not only to “give them a break” but also to help them develop different skills and think more broadly about what life could hold for them.

 

Registration and attendance

We worked at full capacity during the holiday programme, with 80 children registered. We kept class sizes smaller by splitting the day into two sessions (morning and afternoon) and bringing in 40 children at a time. Average daily attendance for the quarter was 85%. We have had a lot of children registered this quarter from, rural villages, who have been visiting relatives in Oropesa.

 

Return to school

The best news we’ve had for a long time came when the government confirmed that schools would finally open in March 2022! Unlike pre-pandemic years, the children were all very excited to return to school and even see their teachers. Since schools started in the middle of March, Picaflor House has returned to its pre-pandemic schedule and now only opens in the afternoons (our children and teachers are at school in the mornings). We currently have 60 children registered and attending every afternoon.

 

Build

One of the most exciting developments at Picaflor House is that we built 2 new classrooms on the property! Thanks to a generous grant from the Jephcott Charitable Trust we have built our first two covid-safe, mobile classrooms. These classrooms have a large footprint for social distancing, natural ventilation and can be moved should the need arise in the future. They were finished right at the end of the quarter, just in time for the return to school.

 

A little learning goes a long way

Pablo (not his real name) is from a rural town in a difference province, around 2 hours from Oropesa. He and his three brothers were visiting their aunt and uncle in in Oropesa during the summer holidays, to help with the family’s cows, sheep and pigs. Pablo is in the second grade and Spanish is not his first language, so reading is hard for him. However, he is excellent with numbers! He also makes a real effort to study and improve. The further you get from the big cities in Peru, the worse the quality of education gets. Even a couple of months at Picaflor House gives rural children the opportunity to learn new things and advance a little further academically.

 

With schools finally back in session, there is hope that children can finally go back to living their "normal" lives. We're so happy to return to normal scheduling at Picaflor House, to enhance children's learning and help them stay in school for longer.  Thank you for continuing to hlp provide brighter futures for children in rural Cusco!

Waiting to start class at Picaflor House
Waiting to start class at Picaflor House
Play is the best way to learn for younger children
Play is the best way to learn for younger children
The new classrooms at Picaflor House
The new classrooms at Picaflor House

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Hanging out on the Picaflor House playground
Hanging out on the Picaflor House playground

Happy New Year!

There has been a lot more stability in Cusco over the last few months, so we have been able to continue offering homework support, supplementary education sessions, and a safe space to be, without further interruptions. Due to continued restrictions and school closures, we maintained our reduced schedule of two hours a day, for groups of 20 children. This has been going well, with children receiving more personalized attention, but of course parents – and the children themselves – keep asking when we will get back to normal! In particular, they miss the lunch programme and English classes, which are very important in a touristic area like Cusco. This quarter included Christmas and we were so happy to be able to hold our annual Christmas celebration at Picaflor House.

Christmas Festivities

Christmas is a big deal in Peru, so we didn’t want to skip our annual celebration again. Thanks to the large outdoor space, as well as the large room on the property, we were able to welcome all our students for an afternoon of fun and festivities. The children had prepared song and dance performances to share with their peers and teachers and, as is customary in Peru, we all enjoyed a cup of hot chocolate and a slice of paneton. We also prepared some small gifts for our students, including some school supplies and of course, a toy!

Picaflor Build Update

Just after we published the last report, we received a generous grant from The Jephcott Charitable Trust that covers the cost of two of the classrooms that we want to build! We had hoped to make a start on building in December, but due to availability of contractors and the end of year holidays, we will now get to work in January. Luckily, they are quick to build, so they will be ready for our return to normal scheduling (hopefully) in March, when school starts.

Expanding our Reach

Thanks to fundraising efforts of dedicated supporters earlier in the year, we were able to purchase a vehicle in December, to be used for the Picaflor House Mobile Library. This is an educational outreach initiative to take books, qualified teachers, and other learning resources to the children of rural villages around Cusco, whose access to education has been particularly affected by the pandemic. The mobile library hit the road in at the beginning of the month and the children and their families are excited really enjoying our teachers’ weekly visits already!

From January, Picaflor House will remain open, on its current schedule, to offer holiday activities and continue helping the children catch up. We will start the classroom builds and the mobile library will be out and about in the villages.

Enjoying hot chocolate at the Christmas party
Enjoying hot chocolate at the Christmas party
Opening Christmas presents
Opening Christmas presents

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Our playground is always a favourite
Our playground is always a favourite

As we reported previously, back at the beginning of July, we were finally able to open the doors of Picaflor House again! We've been running a limited programme, but it’s been great to build up some consistency with the children again.

Summary of the Quarter

In order to test out how our programme could work in the new format, and keep everyone as safe as possible, we started with groups of 15 children attending for 1.5 hours at a time. The kids and parents alike quickly started asking for more time onsite. We assessed that our new location is big enough that we could safely bring in 20 children at a time for 2 hours each, so we started doing this from August. During these sessions, we offer much needed homework support, as well as time for the children to play in the playground and enjoy art activities.

Enrollment and Attendance

We have had 76 children enrolled for the past three months and have been seeing an average attendance rate of 67%. That’s pretty good based on our experience, as average attendance in normal times is around 70%.

Reasons for non-attendance include other commitments in the home, for example tending the family shop or looking after siblings. To make the most of our children’s and teachers’ time we generally separate the timeslots by age, but to help increase attendance, we do invite siblings of different ages to come together.

Are Schools Opening Soon?

Peru’s vaccination programme continues to move forward slowly, with 32% of the population now fully vaccinated. However, at the beginning of September, Cusco’s regional government surprised everyone by extending the vaccination offering to 12 to 19 year-olds. They justified this early call with some worrying figures about the mental health of children and young people in the region and the logic that the sooner children are vaccinated, the quicker they can go back to school, which will hopefully improve mental health.

Some of the key figures cited include:

  • 27% of children and young people are suffering from anxiety related to not being able to leave their houses freely and go to school.
  • 15% of this age group are suffering from depression.
  • Half of teens say they have lost motivation to participate in activities they usually would.
  • Almost a third of young people feel pessimistic about the future.

No official announcements have been made about the region’s schools re-opening, but the last few weeks have seen many schools opening at least one day a week to students. Individual schools seem to be making their own decisions at the moment, but we hope this indicates a move towards blanket reopening soon!

Building a New Picaflor House

The children and staff alike have been enjoying our new location, particularly because there’s more space to run and play! Outside sessions have been great during dry season, but with increased winds and the imminent onset of rainy season, we’re in desperate need of safe, indoor spaces. The property has one large room, which works while we operate at reduced capacity, but if we want to go back to normal, we need more classrooms.

We are now seeking funding to build 7 covid-safe, mobile classrooms. The classrooms have large footprints to promote social distancing and they have high roofs with open ends to allow for natural ventilation. These classrooms are relatively cheap to build (around $5,700 each) and we can move them should we need to change locations again. We have applied for various grants and are waiting with bated breath to hear back! If you think you can help us raise money for the building these classrooms either through your own personal donations, your contacts or by fundraising for us, please email Jenny at project.development@globalteer.org.

Giving Tuesday is coming up on November 30th and this year, GlobalGiving is offering a $1 million incentive fund. Please share our project with anyone you think might be able to support us on that day, to help us receive a bigger share of the incentive fund!

THANK YOU!

Eliana (11) showing off some of her work
Eliana (11) showing off some of her work
Games with the younger Picaflor House children
Games with the younger Picaflor House children

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The first group of kids at the new Picaflor House!
The first group of kids at the new Picaflor House!

After 15 months of saying, “we hope to be able to open our doors soon,” we are so happy to announce: WE ARE OPEN! Monday was our first day of on-site activities since March 2020, and we cannot tell you how overjoyed we are, to welcome back our teachers and children.

 

A New Location for a Fresh Start

The lease on our previous location came to an end last month, so Picaflor House had to move. It was certainly sad to leave the place we have called home for the last 10 years, but we are excited about this new opportunity. The new property is larger, so gives the kids more space to run around and play, and it means we can expand in the future!

We moved our playground and reinstalled it on the new site, as well as building toilets and creating a covered outdoor area for reading, playing and studying. There’s only one building on the property at the moment, but since the Covid-19 restrictions only allow us to operate in outdoor areas anyway, we have time to get that sorted. We have plans to build our own Covid-safe, mobile classrooms (which we will be able to move, along with the playground, should we need to move again in the future) and are currently applying for funding to help us do this.

 

A Change of Pace

While Covid-19 restrictions still prevent schools from opening, they now allow almost all open-air activities. That means that we can open our outdoor areas, particularly the playpark. We can also offer homework support and some academic activities in our outdoor covered area. In order to ensure the safety of our students and staff, we will be inviting children to attend in small groups (15 at a time) for 1.5 hours at a time. This means that for now, we can welcome 60 of our students back on this reduced schedule. We have been talking to the parents over the last few months to find out what their needs are, and it seems that homework help, and outdoor play are the top needs, but we are using this week to reconnect with the children and work out what schedules and activities will work best.

Claudia* (pictured below), is 7 years old and has spent most of the last 15 months at home, helping in her family's shop. When asked what she thought of the re-opening and the new space,she said, "I am really happy! I think it's a beautiful place to be and I really like the park."

(Not her real name)

 

Expanding Our Reach

Jim, our general manager, has been visiting some of the villages around Cusco since April, to find out if the community members feel there is anything they need help with. And the answer we keep getting is EDUCATION. Not only are schools closed, but many families in rural villages don’t have internet connections or computers at home, so receiving and handing in schoolwork has been hard. Some villages are tucked into folds in the hillsides, so mobile internet doesn’t even reach them!

During conversations with the communities, we came up with the idea of a mobile library. We carried out a test day in May, during which we took books, educational resources and two of our Picaflor ouse tHeam members to two communities one Saturday. The kids were so excited to see us, have the chance to read books and get creative. They told us that they even miss sitting in their classrooms and following their teachers’ instructions! The plan is to take books and educational materials to the villages on a regular basis, offer homework support and run academic reinforcement activities, as well as offer art sessions. We are looking for a vehicle now and will hopefully be able to get started soon.

 

We are so happy to be able to share the great news about Picaflor House and the Mobile Library project with you. As ever, we are so grateful for your continued support; we wouldn’t be able to do this without you. We still need help with covering some of the costs of the move, as well as building the new classrooms and setting up the mobile library, so please donate whatever you can.

THANK YOU!

Claudia was so happy to be back!
Claudia was so happy to be back!
The older children have missed playing too!
The older children have missed playing too!

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Organization Information

Globalteer

Location: Totnes - United Kingdom
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Project Leader:
Stephen Elliott
Totnes, United Kingdom
$59,339 raised of $65,000 goal
 
591 donations
$5,661 to go
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