Latin American Foundation for the Future

Back to school – a good start but we need your help.

Fundraising News

If you can spare £5 a month, £10 as a one-off or any other amount to help disadvantaged young people in Peru get an education, please visit our JustGiving page.

The start of Peru’s school year in March is always a busy time. Market stalls entirely dedicated to school stationery spring up all over Cusco. Parents flock to these with long lists of items such as books, pens, coloured card and all manner of other bits of stationery demanded by their children’s school. Among all the parents were Roberto, LAFF’s current International Partnerships Assistant, and Dante, one of the older boys at Azul Wasi, one of our partner organisations which is a home for children who have been living or working on the streets.

Roberto and Dante spent a full morning investigating different qualities of notebooks, designs of pencil cases, brands of crayons, metal versus plastic pencil sharpeners, determining what exactly is the difference between papel (paper) ‘alumunio’, ‘crepe’, ‘microporoso’ and ‘lustre’, and why the school requires the children to have lollipop sticks (answer: for arts and crafts!).

Once bought, the next challenge was transporting it all from the centre of Cusco to Azul Wasi, about an hour’s drive away. Luckily one of our other volunteers, Ivan, was able to lend us his car for the occasion. This was duly loaded up, inside and on top, with the morning’s purchases and Dante and the other volunteers squeezed in around the glue sticks and rulers.

Volunteers Ivan, Chiara and Roberto stand proudly beside their purchases

Volunteers Ivan, Chiara and Roberto stand proudly beside their purchases

On arriving at Azul Wasi, the car was swarmed by the other children who very enthusiastically divested us of dictionaries, boxes of erasers and rolls of coloured cardboard and carted it off to be stored in the office of Alcides, the Director. They were certainly happy to have the tools with which to go to school!

Fredy, Nilo and Edy carry boxes of notebooks from the car to the office.

Fredy, Nilo and Edy carry boxes of notebooks from the car to the office.

Nilo shows off his new sketchbook while Andis carefully examines his.

Nilo shows off his new sketchbook while Andis carefully examines his.

Some of the stationery all carefully stacked away.

Some of the stationery all carefully stacked away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

However our work was not done as, knowing the Azul Wasi boys and how they can sometimes get carried away in their enthusiasm to be doing things, we wanted to talk to them about taking care of their possessions. Many of things we bought them would be used up in the year, but others should last them into the next school year and beyond, and so we wanted to make sure this was the case. We had a chat about why it was important to take care of their things (also offering a small prize for those who were able to do so), and then set to work covering their dictionaries with sticky back plastic to make sure they didn’t get damaged.

Dani concentrates on getting his dictionary covering just right.

Dani concentrates on getting his dictionary covering just right.

This wasn’t everything though. Another day found Roberto, this time with Alcides, in another commercial centre buying shirts, trousers, belts, shoes and all the other items of uniform that the children required. Apart from not being allowed into school if they don’t have the correct uniform, having new and well-fitting uniform is a source of pride and self-esteem for the children. They could use the same jumpers year after year, but a faded and tattered jumper is a sure sign of a child coming from a children’s home which brings up the stigma associated with this. We’re very pleased that the children from Azul Wasi can walk into school with shiny shoes and their heads held high. We know they are too.

Some of the Azul Wasi boys and girls in their school uniforms.

Some of the Azul Wasi boys and girls in their school uniforms.

Other things also went on behind the scenes to enable the children to go to school; Alcides went to pay the matriculation fee for each of the children who go to the mainstream school in the town of Oropesa, and also for the four children who go to non-mainstream catch up school. Fredy, 15 years old, is one of the boys who goes to this school. Before arriving at Azul Wasi a year ago, he was living in one of the jungle regions near Cusco and was collecting coffee on a plantation. He never went to school. One day he was bitten in the coffee plantation and almost lost sight in one eye as a result of infection. He became very ill but thankfully survived his ordeal. He went from hospital to Azul Wasi and is now catching up on his education. Fredy told us, “my happiest moment last year was when I learnt to read”. Fredy is now finally getting an education, the right of every child, but it costs money as the catch up schools are not funded by the state. This is why your support is so important.

The educational costs of Fredy, Andis, Nilo, Dani, Edy and all the others at Azul Wasi is thankfully covered due to very generous funding from Lush Cosmetic’s Charity Pot. Now we really need your help to cover the education of the mothers and children at Casa Mantay, a home for teenage mums, and the girls at Sacred Valley Project, a dormitory for girls who come from rural villages where there are no secondary schools. They have the right to an education too and it will transform their future.

£107 will pay for one of the young mums at Casa Mantay to go to school for a year. £187 will pay for one of the girls at Sacred Valley Project to go to school for a year, as well as covering afterschool tutors who help the girls progress at school, and internet which they need to do their homework.

If 11 people give just £10 then we can send a young mum to school. Or if 3 people sign up to give just £5 a month then we can send a girl from a rural village to school, as well as covering her afterschool tutor and internet. Now that’s pretty amazing.

Can you spare £5 a month or £10 as a one off? If so, please visit our JustGiving page. You will really be making a difference.

 

 

 
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