Dear Friends and Supporters,
We hope you are healthy and safe. Here in Peru, the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be returning more intensely. On January 25th, the Government announced once again strict quarantine measures for some regions of the country, which have seen a stark increase in new COVID infections. Fortunately, the measures for our Loreto region are moderate for now. We sincerely hope that the situation doesn’t get worse.
Due to the pandemic, most indigenous students of the OEPIAP began the first semester of the 2020 academic year in July and finished in December. Despite all the difficulties, as detailed in previous reports, we are happy to let you know that most of the students have been able to improve their academic performance. Of 68 students enrolled in the National University of the Peruvian Amazon (UNAP), 38 approved all their courses and 53 approved the semester. Comparing these results with last year’s, where of 61 UNAP students in total only 21 were able to pass all their courses, it means that almost double the amount of students approved all courses, which is a gratifying progress.
This has been possible thanks to all of your support. The additional intensive tutoring classes that we have been providing have been key for this improvement. Here are some more numbers: Until December, we have held 28 advanced math sessions, 17 physics sessions, 18 statistics sessions -with three hours each-, 41 basic math sessions, 17 oratory sessions and 13 English sessions, two hours each. In total, 53 students have participated in at least one course, many of them in more than one. The general academic improvement and the big interest of the students in the tutoring classes reassure us that our effort is worth it and motivate us to continue and further intensify our support this year.
Last month, the second semester of 2020 started. Several of the indigenous students, who were affected by the pandemic last year, returned to Iquitos and the OEPIAP to continue with their studies. In addition, 30 new indigenous youth arrived to the OEPIAP with the dream to enter one of the institutions that offer higher education in our city. The most popular institution is the UNAP, which so far held two entry exams for 2021. Of 19 indigenous youth who participated, seven passed the exam.
With the second semester of 2020 just begun and many indigenous youth preparing for the entrance exams next month, the year 2021 begins strongly. At the Chaikuni Institute, we want to live up to the demands through reinforcement courses for both those who are already studying and those who require preparation for these exams. We also continue with the individual student accompaniment and monitoring, especially for those who are restarting their studies after an extremely difficult year for them and their families.
On the other hand, as part of the personal development activities, the "Women's Circles" were carried out during the months of October and November. A total of 17 brave and intelligent women participated in these gatherings, addressing issues related to gender-based violence. Many of the participants have themselves been victims of such gender-based violence.
Furthermore, in November, to mark their 18th anniversary, the OEPIAP organized a small conference with local stakeholders, where reflections about the situation of indigenous youth in Iquitos were shared. These kind of activities have been extremely limited over the past year due to the pandemic, but we do hope they will be possible once again in the very near future.
We would once again like to thank you for your vital support during these difficult times and hope you will continue to stand with the indigenous youth of the Peruvian Amazon.
The Indigenous Students of OEPIAP and the Chaikuni Institute Team.