We aim to provide better primary education for 60 children in Sachaca on the outskirts of Arequipa in the desert in Southern Peru. With only three teachers to cover six grades the children are set work whilst the teacher moves to another class. Thanks to donations we currently employ one other teacher and hope to add more in the future. We also provide individual text/workbooks and daily food and fruit.
Many families migrate each year from the jungle and the Altiplano to reach Arequipa in the hope of finding work though due to language barriers and lack of education they end up in the "pueblos jovenes", similar to shanty-towns, on the outskirts in the desert. There is limited education in these communities and this is where we work. The school currently has three government teachers and our own teacher, covering six grades. There is also limited governmental food or school resources.
By adding more teachers and providing classroom resources including actual classrooms, individual text/workbooks the students will have more time with one teacher and receive a better education. The teachers can remain with one classroom to answer questions and correct work. Add to this a daily fruit and food programme which may often be the children's only substantial and healthy meal of the day, we are going a long way to improving health and education in the pueblos jovenes.
By improving the standards of education in the current school where we work we are showing what can be achieved in the many pueblos jovenes surrounding Arequipa. A better primary education will help prepare the students for secondary education. Depending on donations we can add more teachers in other schools. Migration will always continue to Arequipa due to its economic pull so we want to make sure we provide the much needed stepping stone from the altiplano to the city - education.
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