Dear friends and supporters,
The news that WHO declared the end to COVID-19 as a global health emergency, led us to reflect on how these lasts 3 years the pandemic changed our lives. COVID-19 accentuated gaps and visibilized problems that remained ignored. Although we are living better time, indigenous youth continue to face challenges on the road to fulfilling the dream of becoming professionals.
In these last months we have been able to take back physical spaces with the young indigenous women, to see with great joy that new students were able to enter the university, and to create areas in which we reflect with them on the role they want to play within their communities.
We were very happy to resume the women's circles, an activity that we have carried out with the students since the beginning of the program. In addition to these circles, we also involve them in activities related to arts, such as poetry, music and theater, and recently we have also incorporated personalized psychological sessions. So far, 27 women have participated, a higher number than in previous years. We believe in the importance of contributing to strengthening their capacities, as well as providing them with information and tools to help them face the difficulties of being indigenous women in the city.
After the criteria for the admission processes of the indigenous preferential modality in the local university (UNAP) were modified, the board of the OEPIAP, which we constantly advise, has been making efforts to demand conditions that improve these processes and make them more relevant. As a result, the native language and indigenous cosmovision exam was reinstated, the age limit was annulled as an application requirement and now the OEPIAP is also recognized as one of the organizations that can accredit the indigenous origin of the applicants. This, added to the academic tutoring that we offer, has allowed that, so far this year, 12 young people from OEPIAP have already entered the UNAP. In addition, at the same time, 4 other young people have entered technical colleges.
The academic tutoring has proven to be key not only for the students' admission to college but also for their permanence in it. In recent months, we have offered 10 advanced math classes, 6 basic math classes, 11 differential equations classes, 9 organic and inorganic chemistry classes, and 6 kinetic chemistry classes. Thanks to these, along with continuous monitoring and the development of personalized long-term study plans, more young people are catching up and will complete their studies in the next few years.
As of March, three young Awajún have graduated from Education and Law programs and are currently working on their theses thanks to scholarships obtained with the advice we provide. Furthermore, Roldán Tumi, whom you may remember from previous reports, published his book "Dayac Menequin", based on his thesis research about the ritual practice of toad venom acate. Roldan is currently in Brazil studying for a master's degree in Anthropology. We are very proud of him and the example he is giving to the whole world and, mainly, to the indigenous youth (you can read more about him in this article: https://chaikuni.org/news/i-do-not-lose-the-desire-to-return-to-my-community).
We are also pleased to tell you that we started the program "Building intercultural leadership for the future of the Peruvian Amazon", with which we seek to strengthen and complement the academic training that students receive at universities with tools that allow them to contextualize this knowledge and apply their skills to promote the good living of their peoples. Currently, we are working with 11 indigenous youth, who participated in a first workshop in our Permaculture Center, where they reflected critically on interculturality, different visions of development and the way different projects have been carried out in their communities.
Finally, we would like to tell you that you can already find in our Vimeo channel the stop motion videos produced by the young people of OEPIAP as part of the workshop that we made in partnership with the British Academy. You can see them here: https://vimeo.com/user20568308
None of this would have been possible without your great and unconditional support. Thank you so much for being part of this!
With much love,
The Indigenous Students of OEPIAP and The Chaikuni Institute Team
Roldan Tumi published his book "Dayac Menequin"
We started a program focused on interculturality