Dear Friends and Supporters
We hope you are in good health and that you´ve had a great start into the new year. Here in Peru, Omicron is on the rise, but fortunately its health impact does not seem as strong as in the previous two COVID waves. Close to 70% of the Peruvian population is now fully vaccinated.
The 2021-I academic semester of our local public university, the UNAP, ended in November, so the indigenous students of the OEPIAP have been on vacation since then. However, the new semester, the second one of 2021, is just starting now. (The studies are still half a year behind schedule due the pandemic)
During their vacations, many students traveled to their communities to see their families.At the same time, new young applicants arrived at the city of Iquitos and the OEPIAP with the dream to continue their studies and enter university or a technical college. So far, more than 30 youth has arrived, and more are likely to come over the next two months, preparing for the admission exams.
Chaikuni has been supporting the young students all along the way with extra tutoring classes in a range of subjects. Until the end the year, we had offered 53 classes of Basic Mathematics, 28 classes of Advanced Mathematics, 27 classes of Physics, 21 classes of Statistics, 5 classes of Chemistry, and 25 classes of Mathematics for applicants. Now we are coordinating the start of the academic tutoring for the new semester.
In November, the Organization of the Indigenous Students (OEPIAP) organized a series of activities to celebrate their 18 years of institutional life. The anniversary event included conversations on indigenous youth and higher education, sports, puppet theaters, traditional dance, and singing and beauty contests. These types of events promote reflection on identity, integration, and a sense of belonging to the organization. Chaikuni was present to support in different ways, as presenters, jurors, allies, and friends.
Also in November, we organized an important audiovisual workshop with indigenous women and female students at the facilities of our permaculture center, in the rainforest outside of Iquitos. The product of this 4-day event is a short film with testimonies of indigenous, addressing many of the challenges and problems they face. We thereafter visited six Kukama communities along the lower Marañon River, with the protagonists of the short film, where we screened the movie and encouraged discussions on gender.
And finally, we have some more exciting news to share. Our project with the indigenous students was elected by GlobalGiving as project of the month for this month of February, from a pool of more than 5,000 nonprofit projects in 170+ countries. We are honored and very grateful for this selection, which gives us new motivation and some important additional funding to keep doing what we do.
Thanks so much for your continuous support to the indigenous youth in Iquitos, and for the trust in the Chaikuni Institute to accompany them. You help us keep going.
With much gratitude and optimism,
The Indigenous Students of OEPIAP and The Chaikuni Institute Team
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