Latin American Foundation for the Future

We are Recruiting!

Are you passionate about international development?

LAFF is recruiting for a Programme Manager, to manage our Peru-based programmes run in conjunction with local partner organisations that support marginalised children and young people. Working together with our team of national and international volunteers, you will plan, implement, monitor, evaluate and communicate progress on a range of education and sustainability projects; help us build our social enterprises, personal development workshops and internal capacity to continue to support our local partners. Based in Cusco, Peru, the Programme Manager is the main point of contact on the ground and manages all communications with our international board of trustees and supporters.

Please see full job description, requirements and how to apply here. Applicants will be considered on a rolling basis.


LAFF’s Innovative Approach to Sustainability

Former LAFF volunteer and current LAFF ambassador, Catriona Spaven-Donn recently gave a presentation at the Edinburgh University Sustainable Development Conference. Highlighting LAFF’s innovative strategies to promote sustainable development, Catriona pre-recorded her presentation, which was then shown at the conference. You can watch her presentation here.

At LAFF we only work through partnership with local organisations and support them in becoming self-sufficient through capacity building, income generation and cost reduction strategies. Not only this, but we also help empower the young people at the partner organisations to become independent adults by facilitating their access to secondary and higher education and by delivering engaging workshops to build their soft skills. Previous workshops have focused on self-discovery through art, developing confidence, teamwork, solving problems and improving literacy. Workshops are led by both international and local volunteers, who together provide international perspectives and participatory methodology as well as cultural knowledge and sensitivity. LAFF has recently placed a renewed focus on the monitoring and evaluation of these workshops to better monitor our support and ensure that we are always meeting the needs of the children and young people we work with.

Income generation is another of LAFF’s tools to promote sustainability among our partners. Our volunteers come equipped with business, marketing and financial management skills and work in close collaboration with our partner’s social enterprise managers. The LAFF volunteer helps address the enterprises’ most pressing needs, providing guidance as well as hands-on support. Over the years, they have managed to improve the recording of sales and expenses, conducted market research, elaborated marketing plans and established on the ground and on-line promotion strategies. This valuable support has aided the social enterprises to increase their sales and profit, resulting in the partner organisations being able to produce their own income to cover their running costs.

In addition to providing technical expertise through volunteers, LAFF has also supported partner organisations by securing funding to set up their social enterprises. In 2016 LAFF fundraised to cover the costs of ovens and machinery necessary to establish the T’anta Wasi Bakery in the touristy town of Ollantaytambo. We have high hopes for the bakery and that in the future, profits made will go towards our local partner, The Sacred Valley Project. This organisation makes secondary education available to girls from rural communities across the Sacred Valley of Cusco, providing them with accommodation, food and all educational materials they need to become bright and empowered young women.

Another one of the social enterprises we work with is Taller Mantay, a leather workshop run by our partner organisation Casa Mantay. This organisation provides legal, health, psychological and all the support needed by young mothers who have suffered sexual abuse. The workshop produces high-quality leather products and sells them in two locations in the city. In addition to providing the business with marketing expertise, LAFF acquired funding to refurbish the workshop and create an on-site shop, which has helped increase production and sales. The social enterprise not only provides and income to Casa Mantay, it also provides the young mothers living in the house the opportunity to receive training in the crafting of leather goods, and in some cases an income.

The advice provided by LAFF’s skilled volunteers has also proved to be beneficial to our local partner Mosqoy, which runs both the Tikary Youth Programme and Q’ente. Q’ente is a social enterprise that purchases traditionally made textiles from weaving collectives of women in rural communities and sells them in Peru and Canada. In 2016, LAFF provided Q’ente assistance with their financial management and marketing. This included the recommendation to host a networking dinner with key businesses in Cusco to promote the project and products. This resulted in the establishment of contracts and orders, as well as increasing local awareness of the importance of supporting weaving collectives in order to preserve culture and tradition. Likewise, LAFF’s international recognition volunteer network means that we are able to attract opportunities for our partners. For example, last year a previous LAFF volunteer put LAFF in contact with the Latin America Summit university group in Canada, which resulted in one weaving collective supported by Q’ente to receive $5,000 in funds to establish an organic dye garden.

As well as aiming to support our partner organisations to increase their income, LAFF has also helped them identify areas where running and operational costs can be reduced. Both approaches work together to increase organisational sustainability. Over 2015 and 2016, with the support of local and remote volunteers, LAFF conducted a cost reduction evaluation for our partners Azul Wasi, Mosqoy and Casa Mantay. We identified potential areas where costs could be reduced, fundraised, and coordinated the installation of solar showers. This provides the children and young people with hot water all day long as well as reduces the organisation’s electricity bill substantially.

Capacity building is another way LAFF supports self-sufficiency among our partners. In early 2017 LAFF enabled one educator from the Sacred Valley Project and one from Mosqoy to attend a workshop on methods of working with young people with trauma and teaching sexual health. The educators reported that the information learned was useful and will help them better support the young people in their care.

Based in Cusco, Peru, LAFF belongs to the regional Red Semilla Network, which unites around twenty local organisations who work with at-risk children. Members collaborate on activism and combine their individual voices to try and create policy change. In addition, they support each other with grant writing and provide capacity building workshops like the one on mentioned above. Last year a LAFF volunteer carried out a workshop on fundraising strategies for members of the network. It is hoped that by working together, the organisations can become stronger and tackle the issues that children and young people face.

To summarise our approach to fostering sustainability, at LAFF we work in partnership with local organisations, support young people in developing soft skills and self esteem, provide technical, financial and human resource support their social enterprises, cost reduction and capacity building. Helping our partners be more self-sufficient is positive on many levels from enabling them to increase their skills to having more financial resources to do their amazing work. And so to our partners, for all you do we say Thank You.

LAFF Career’s Fair 2017

Two weeks ago, LAFF held its third annual “Feria de Carreras” (Careers Fair). More than 30 young people from our five Cusco-based partner organisations were in attendance. The young people travelled from the towns of Ollantaytambo, Calca and Oropesa as well as the urban areas of San Sebastian, Larapa and San Jeronimo, into the city centre along with project leaders in order to learn about the exciting career paths that may lie ahead of them. They had the opportunity to learn about a range of careers, or for those who already had a career path in mind, the chance to talk in more detail to professionals in this sector and gain contacts, network and the possibility to gain work experience in their desired sector.

Eleven speakers were in attendance from the following career sectors: Accounting, IT, Education, Engineering, Tourism, Restaurant and Bakery Management, Cooking, Hotel Management. A representative of PRONABEC was also present, giving the young people information on how to access government scholarships. These representatives gave up their Friday evening to come along to our event and speak to the students, with the hope of informing them about their career options and inspiring them to achieve their career goals.

As the young people arrived, they were handed an information pack which contained an exercise book, pen, pencil, LAFF t-shirt, as well as several leaflets from local institutions, a CV writing guide, interview preparation guide and a guide of questions to ask the speakers. They were then invited to take part in our “photo booth” where we had a range of fun photo props for them to enjoy and get their pictures taken. After the event, we printed and gave the photos to each project, and hope that this will remind them of the fun they had!

Once everyone had arrived the evening was in full swing. LAFF’s programme manager, Melissa Wong welcomed everyone and introduced each project. This was followed by a motivational speech from local self-employed accountant, Wilmet Sonco. He gave a very inspiring speech and really knew how to keep all of the young people engaged. Then it was time for the fun to begin! Our Vocational Training Coordinators Lucas and Yolanda led with an ice-breaker which saw everyone, young people and adults alike, all on their feet, interacting and having fun. We hoped to get everyone energised before the main event, and it’s safe to say that it was a success! During the next hour, the young people had free time to talk with the representatives and get as much information out of them. We had anticipated having to encourage many young people to partake, but were very pleasantly surprised to see all of them engaging and chatting for the full hour! The whole LAFF team were very proud to see the event going to plan and to see the young people making the most of the opportunity.

Finally, it was time to wrap up the evening. We thanked and applauded each representative individually, giving them a keyring made at Taller Mantay, our partner organisation’s (Casa Mantay) social enterprise. Everyone was invited to enjoy refreshments and delicious empanadas made at T’anta Wasi, the Sacred Valley Project’s social enterprise in Ollantaytambo. This was a great chance to have an informal chat with everyone and build rapport for future events.  

The Careers Fair took place the day before the BECA 18 entry exam, offered by PRONABEC. Javier, the PRONABEC representative, did a brilliant job of informing our students about this exam, and we have since heard that at least three students took the exam. If they pass the exam, the students will receive grants for financial aid with their study at a university or institution, something that they would not otherwise be able to access because of their low socio-economic background. This is a brilliant outcome of the careers fair, and we wish these students all the success in their studies. 

The LAFF team would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helped us and contributed to the great success of the event. We would like to thank Globalteer for their kind donation of the bags used for the information packs for the young people. The bags gave the participants something to take home with them and a way of keeping all of their information together. We would like to thank Gary, the owner of Café Bagdad here in Cusco, who kindly donated exercise books and stationary. This equipment was helpful to the young people not only during the Careers Fair, but will continue to support them in their academic work. We would also like to thank Vinay, the owner of the local business Faces of Cusco, who lent us the photo props. The young people and adults alike thoroughly enjoyed taking silly photos with new friends! We would like to thank our partner organisations’ social enterprises; “Tanta Wasi” and “Taller Mantay” for supplying us with key resources for the event, and we were pleased to be able to support them. Finally, we would like to give a massive thank you to all of the representatives including Laggart Café, Pachatusantrek Tourist Agency and Fuego. The event could not have gone ahead without them, and we hope they realise the impact they had on the lives of the participants.

The LAFF team are thrilled with the success of the event, and we hope we can continue developing and improving this event and supporting these bright young minds as they find their way into adulthood. Until 2018!





International Day of Street Children


To mark this year’s International Day of Street Children, we bring you a report produced by Qosqo Maki, a charity which supports young people living on the streets here in Peru.

This report details the situation concerning street children in Cusco and shows how local organisations are working tirelessly to allow the affected young people to access an education and thus develop a career for themselves. The article notes that in 2013 7,853 young people under the age of 18 were reportedly sleeping in the streets, without reliable access to food, water and of course, education. The article mentions the work of three principle organisations: Qosqo Maki (founded in 1990), Pasa La Voz (founded in 2005) and Apprentis d’Auteuil (founded in 1866 and based in France).

These three organisations exist to provide educational spaces and staff in order to allow street children an education. They also work to accommodate workshops for street children, train and support educators and promote and campaign for the importance of Community Education and the role of educators in general.

These three organisations all hold dear the same values as LAFF. The idea of sustainability is an essential part of Qosqo Maki’s work and as a result, the association provides specialised training sessions and workshops for the street children it helps, to encourage them to develop career paths and thus a secure income. One of LAFF’s partner organisations Casa Mantay has adopted a similar ethos and provides sewing and floristry workshops for the young mothers it supports. The idea of broadening vulnerable children’s horizons and exposing them to actual careers is essential when trying to encourage independence. Thanks to these expert workshops provided in both Qosqo Maki and Casa Mantay, young people are able to leave their respective organisations with the ability, and more importantly the confidence, to work in a professional setting.

The three organisations also create an atmosphere of teamwork and promote the idea of cohabitation in their centres by giving the street children in their care a variety of tasks to contribute to the day-to-day running of the centres. Children may be tasked with jobs such as cleaning common areas or helping to prepare meals. As well as the more career based workshops, the associations also provide lessons and information sessions which deal with sensitive issues such as addiction, sexuality and the changes in Andean culture. The fact that these organisations tackle these potentially polemic issues head on allows the children to develop socially as well as professionally and have a broader understanding of the modern world.

The report also highlights how the problem of street children is still not sufficiently recognised or acknowledged by Peruvian society or government. There is a distinct lack of visibility concerning this issue in modern Latin American society and these organisations continue to campaign for this cause to be addressed by government policies and departments. The article recommends that in order to successfully protect street children more funds are needed. In addition to this, the report stipulates that the educators who work with young street children should be given more importance and recognition in Peru and that eventually the concept of helping street children should become a policy of the Ministry of Education.

Similarly to LAFF, these three organisations all work with vulnerable children and as a result must adopt a very specific and tailored approach. Qosqo Maki, Pasa La Voz and Apprentis d’Auteuil all succeed in striking the balance between encouraging the street children in their care to succeed and develop a career, and being sensitive and attuned to their specific needs based on their previous traumatic experiences. LAFF really admires and values the work of these associations and recognises the issue of street children in Peru to be a serious one which deserves more attention from the state and society in general.

Check out the full report (in Spanish) below.





1. La Asociación Qosqo Maki, la Asociación Pasa la Voz y la Fundación Apprentis d’Auteuil presentan observaciones escritas sobre el Perú, para que el grupo de trabajo sobre el Examen Periódico Universal (EPU) en su 28a sesión las tenga en consideración.

2. Qosqo Maki es una asociación, creada en 1990, que acompaña a niños y adolescentes en situación de calle en Cusco (Perú), proponiendo espacios educativos cogestionados por los mismos jóvenes y los educadores con el fin de que sean actores de su proyecto de vida y aprendan así a gozar del pleno ejercicio de sus derechos y de su ciudadanía.

3. Pasa la Voz es una asociación fundada en 2005, que se ha especializado en la acción y la reflexión en torno a la Educación Comunitaria. Actualmente, despliega acciones en 3 líneas: talleres de participación para niños y adolescentes, formación de educadores comunitarios e incidencia para la promoción y el reconocimiento sociopolítico de la Educación Comunitaria y de la profesión de educador.

4. Apprentis d’Auteuil es una fundación católica que educa y forma a más de 28 000 jóvenes en dificultad, en Francia y en el mundo, para permitirles integrarse a la sociedad como hombres y mujeres libres y responsables, acompañando al mismo tiempo a las familias en su rol educativo. Apprentis dʼAuteuil trabaja en alianza con Qosqo Maki. Ambas tienen una experiencia reconocida en el ámbito de la protección y la promoción de los Derechos Humanos.

5. El informe adjunto resalta las preocupaciones concernientes a los obstáculos y dificultades que enfrentan dichos niños y adolescentes vulnerables y/o en situación de calle : – para que se les brinde un acompañamiento educativo digno y adecuado, – y para que se facilite su inserción social a través de la formación.  Ponemos de relieve les deficiencias que obstaculizan el ejercicio de sus derechos, específicamente del derecho a la educación.

Descripción de la población objetivo: ausencia de censo claro

6. El INEI (Instituto Nacional de Estadística e Informática), en el capítulo Estimaciones y Proyecciones de la Población Total 1950-2050 del Boletín Oficial Especial Nº17i del 2009 estima que la población de niños y adolescentes de 0 a 17 años, en aquel año, era de 10 571 879, cifra correspondiente al 36% de la población total.

7. De acuerdo a las estadísticas de la calidad educativa del Ministerio (ii), la tasa acumulada de deserción de los jóvenes de 13 a 19 años era del 7,6% en el 2015.

8. Señalemos igualmente la injusticia social que genera la existencia de los 7 853 menores de 18 años que duermen en la calle, según el censo nacional del INEI (iii) del 2013.

9. De acuerdo a los datos del Ministerio de la Mujer y Poblaciones Vulnerables, recogidos en el artículo “El reto de Yachay” de El Peruanoiv del 19 de marzo del 2017, el programa gubernamental Yachay acompañaría en 2021 a 50 000 niños y adolescentes en situación de calle en el país.

10. Un conteo realizado por Qosqo Maki en 1998 permitió contabilizar 3 127 niños y adolescentes que trabajaban o vivían en la calle en Cusco. Esta cifra correspondía al 11% de la población económicamente activa de los 6-17 años del departamento de Cusco. En 2017, un trabajo similar se está realizando para actualizar el diagnóstico y consolidar el proceso de acompañamiento educativo.   11. Los niños y adolescentes en situación de calle son la expresión de una injusticia social flagrante. La escasez de datos específicos a este respecto son un indicador de la ignorancia de esta problemática. Ignorar el problema equivale a negar la solución, por lo tanto a perpetuarla.


12. Según el Artículo 48 del Capítulo IV de la Ley General de Educación N°28044, el Estado peruano debe promover, valorar y reconocer las iniciativas de Educación Comunitaria nacionales, regionales y locales con niveles adecuados de calidad.

13. La Educación Comunitaria se expresa mediante los esfuerzos y el compromiso social y político de personas y organizaciones públicas o privadas, cuyo objetivo es ofrecer respuestas educativas a los problemas y las necesidades de todos los sectores de la población, sin discriminación, orientadas al ejercicio de los Derechos fundamentales, el desarrollo de habilidades y la construcción colectiva de una sociedad igualitaria, justa, pacífica y democrática.

14. Se trata de una educación alternativa, distinta de la educación familiar y escolar, que está formalmente reconocida por las leyes del país, adopta formas muy diversas y siempre ha existido. Sin embargo, sigue siendo invisible para la sociedad y el gobierno.

15. Desde 1991, Qoso Maki ha acogido en el Dormitorio a más de 4 500 niños y adolescentes de 6 a 17 años, en situación de vulnerabilidad y/o de calle.

16. Según el registro de la Red Semilla Nueva, en la región Cusco hay por lo menos 40 organizaciones sociales, públicas o privadas, dedicadas al acompañamiento socioeducativo de niños y adolescentes en situación de vulnerabilidad en el marco de la Educación Comunitaria.

17. Qosqo Maki ha desarrollado una pedagogía de Educación Comunitaria que responde a los ritmos y necesidades de los jóvenes. Esta pedagogía facilita la adquisición de savoir faire y de saberes sociales para la vida cotidiana, así como favorece la implicación de los jóvenes en la organización de los tiempos de trabajo y la gestión del espacio.

18. La pedagogía Qosqo Maki se basa en la educación del día a día a partir de los intereses y los cuestionamientos de los jóvenes; generalmente centrados en las problemáticas familiares, los cambios de la sociedad andina frente a la modernidad, y las dificultades relativas a las adicciones o a la sexualidad. Esta visión educativa, que se adapta a los contextos multidimensionales del joven, tiende a abarcar todos los espacios de su vida: calles, plazas, y otros; espacios de intercambio y aprendizaje que instan al profesional a buscar las posturas, relaciones y distancias más adecuadas para crear un vínculo de confianza y escucha.

19. Las herramientas metodológicas de cogestión Qosqo Maki son las siguientes: inscripción diaria a los espacios educativos, responsabilidad de limpieza de los áreas comunes, preparación de los desayunos, aportación a la caja común, participación en las asambleas, formulación de propuestas para la mejora de la convivencia, y conversaciones espontáneas en las que los jóvenes exponen sus problemas íntimos en confianza y en las que las situaciones individuales se desdramatizan.

20. El Estudio de Impacto del Dormitorio Infantil Municipal, elaborado por Qosqo Maki y Jesús Astete Veria, y publicado en julio del 2014, revela el impacto de un servicio de acogida en libertad y cogestión utilizado por los 3 144 niños y adolescentes registrados entre 1995 y 2005, que les permitió adquirir habilidades y competencias: respeto a las personas y las normas, hábito de ahorro, participación en los debates, autoestima, consciencia de sus derechos y deberes, manejo de sus emociones, higiene, prevención, organización de la vida colectiva, y otras que son la base de la ciudadanía.


21. Según el Plan de Desarrollo Humano de la ciudad de Cusco, objetivo 1, estrategia 2, acción 1, hasta el día de hoy no se ha elaborado un diagnóstico que identifique los obstáculos que esta población vulnerable encuentra para desarrollar plenamente sus habilidades y competencias. Esta situación limita la aplicación de nuevas estrategias educativas adecuadas y articuladas.

22. Actualmente, a pesar de la normativa vigente, no existen ni políticas, ni planes, ni programas gubernamentales, sea a nivel nacional, regional o local, que reconozcan, promuevan, articulen y/o consoliden, específicamente, la Educación Comunitaria, o que destinen una parte del presupuesto público a apoyar a las organizaciones en el despliegue integral de su acompañamiento.

23. Ni la Sociedad ni el Estado reconocen la profesión de Educador Comunitario. Por esta razón, no existen ni mecanismos ni certificaciones que garanticen su legitimidad, lo que implica su definición, su rol, su responsabilidad educativa, sus funciones, sus condiciones de trabajo, sus oportunidades de formación especializada de base o de actualización, y su saber-estar y su saber-hacer.

24. Si bien la profesión de Educador Comunitario existe y se multiplica, aún no está reconocida como tal, a pesar de que son educadores comunitarios los“Educadores de Calle”del programa Yachay (Plan Nacional de Acción por la Infancia y la Adolescencia 2012-2021) y los“Educadores Sociales”de los Centros de Justicia Juvenil (Resolución Administrativa de la Gerencia General del Poder Judicial Nº4132015-GG-PJ).

25. Desde el 2008, el Comité de Educación Comunitaria de Cusco (CEC), del cual Pasa la Voz y Qosqo Maki son miembros activos, ha llevado a cabo distintas acciones con el propósito de sensibilizar a la Sociedad Civil y al Estado sobre el aporte de la Educación Comunitaria y de los educadores a la construcción social del país y al desarrollo integral de las personas.

26. Desde el 2013, el CEC y Pasa la Voz, en alianza con otras organizaciones, han realizado una importante labor de difusión y de estructuración de esta forma de Educación. Resultado de ello son: 5 boletines, 4 conversatorios, 1 encuentro macro-regional, 4 reuniones nacionales, 1 política en revisión, 1 proyecto de ley en elaboración, 1 directiva aprobada, y 1 encuentro regional en 2014 que reunió, por primera vez, a 120 educadores que formularon propuestas en pro de su reconocimiento. Con este trabajo de incidencia se ha llegado directamente a cerca de 300 personas e indirectamente a más de 2 000.

27. Por su parte, desde el 2007, Pasa la Voz ha desarrollado 30 cursos para 583 educadores comunitarios de 41 organizaciones locales, con el fin de generar espacios donde puedan fortalecer sus habilidades y sus recursos para la intervención. Algunos de los temas tratados: derechos de la infancia, diseño y evaluación de actividades socioeducativas, comunicación, gestión de conflictos, manejo de emociones, participación y modificación de conductas.

28. Es muy importante mencionar el convenio firmado por Pasa la Voz y el Instituto de Educación Superior Pedagógico Pukllasunchis (IESPP), que ha permitido insertar, por primera vez en 2016, un Curso de Educación Comunitaria en el sistema académico formal. Al curso de 16 sesiones, asistieron 40 estudiantes de las carreras de Educación Infantil y Primera Intercultural Bilingüe del IESPP.

29. Nos preocupa particularmente:

 La falta de visibilidad de esta realidad social tanto en la opinión pública como en el seno de las instancias gubernamentales.

 La recurrente vulneración de los Derechos de los niños/as y adolescentes en situación de riesgo y la negación de condiciones de vida dignas, generan un espiral de marginación ya evidente que conlleva consecuencias devastadoras para el desarrollo social.

 La falta de asignación de una partida presupuestaria por parte de las políticas públicas para apoyar las acciones de las asociaciones no gubernamentales especializadas.

 La inexistencia de una formación de educadores comunitarios propuesta y avalada por el Ministerio de Educación, que responda a los incesantes cambios que experimenta esta sociedad y a las situaciones de vulnerabilidad que afectan a los niños/as y adolescentes en este contexto, vinculando técnicas prácticas de intervención con aportaciones teóricas del campo de las ciencias humanas y sociales.
30. Recomendaciones:

a) Es esencial que las instituciones civiles competentes censen el número de niños/as y adolescentes en situaciones de vulnerabilidad y/o en situación de calle en la región de Cusco y les informen del conjunto de dispositivos de acompañamiento que tienen a su disposición.

b) Recomendamos a las autoridades locales y nacionales que asignen una mayor partida presupuestaria al fortalecimiento de la Educación Comunitaria en Cusco, integrando en sus políticas públicas las nuevas formas de educación alternativas orientadas a garantizar el ejercicio de los Derechos de los niños/as y adolescentes.

c) Invitamos al Ministerio de Educación y a las autoridades nacionales y locales competentes a reconocer la contribución de los educadores comunitarios al desarrollo integral de los niños/as y adolescentes, y a brindarles oportunidades de formación en el marco de la Educación Comunitaria.

d) Solicitamos a las autoridades nacionales y locales que promuevan la Educación Comunitaria e impulsen la aprobación de una Política de Educación Comunitaria por parte del Ministerio de Educación a partir del 2017-2018.


31. Según el artículo 40 de la Constitución Política del Perú de 1993, y de acuerdo al Código de la Infancia y la Adolescencia, los niños trabajadores y en situación de calle tienen derecho a participar en los programas que aseguran su acompañamiento educativo y su desarrollo físico y mental.

32. Los 4 500 usuarios/as del Dormitorio Qosqo Maki se han autoformado en las calles, las plazas, los parques, los mercados, los estadios y otros lugares públicos. La mayoría se ha visto relegada a actividades ambulantes, precisamente por falta de oportunidades legales. Los que han logrado incorporarse a una impresa, aunque sea informalmente, han podido adquirir competencias mucho más diversas y útiles para convertirse en profesionales.

33. El aprendizaje de los jóvenes es un derecho inalienable y no puede estar condicionado a la obtención de un diploma escolar. Efectivamente permite : adquirir un saber técnico, un saber-hacer y un saber-estar, aprender del trabajo en equipo y de sus modalidades; criterios humanos y profesionales que responden al artículo 113, párrafo 3, del Decreto Supremo Nº011-2012-ED de la Ley General de Educación.

34. Estimamos que 300 aprendices se han formado en los talleres Qosqo Maki. Hemos constatado que han adquirido conocimientos y saberes como: trabajo en equipo, puntualidad, regularidad, limpieza, hábito de avisar y justificar su ausencia, solidaridad en caso de dificultades, toma de decisiones, solución de problemas técnicos, cumplimiento de las responsabilidades asignadas, distribución de tareas de acuerdo a las competencias de cada uno, autonomía, comunicación, adquisición de conocimientos teóricos, aplicación de datos matemáticos, acompañamiento y transmisión de saberes a los nuevos aprendices.

35. Al menos 20 jóvenes desarrollaron su profesión, como Wilfredo Mamani Mayhuiri que fue reconocido como uno de los 50 mejores panaderos en el concurso Louis Lasaffre en Francia. Varios trabajaron en empresas como Novotel, Hotel Marriott, Sodexo. Entre los carpinteros, unos 10 crearon su propia empresa individualmente o en asociación. Otros decidieron desarrollar otra profesión como guardia municipal, artista y profesor de música, guía de turismo, comerciante, chófer de taxi, administrador de empresa y otras.

36. En 2016, 16 jóvenes se formaron en el taller de panadería y 22 en el de carpintería. De ellos, 4 pudieron vivir una experiencia fuera de Cusco, ganando autonomía, apertura de espíritu y responsabilidad.

37. El aprendizaje fue fortalecido por el ejercicio de ciudadanía y cogestión : se han realizado asambleas semanales en el Dormitorio Qosqo Maki sobre temas  propuestos por los usuarios (393 debates sobre 149 temas entre los 86 usuarios/as anuales).

38. Consideramos plenamente que, gracias al aprendizaje en nuestros talleres de formación, muchos jóvenes han salido adelante y son socialmente valorados.

39. Nos preocupa particularmente:

 El acceso a la educación de niños y adolescentes desescolarizados o que no han alcanzado un determinado nivel escolar y que desean formarse y dar continuidad a su aprendizaje, pero que no pueden matricularse en formaciones técnicas por criterios de elegibilidad (falta de diploma exigido).

 La discriminación social hacia los niños y adolescentes que no estudian y son juzgados como delincuentes y rateros.

 La inexistencia de institutos técnicos públicos que diversifiquen las oportunidades de formación y que sean accesibles a todos sin discriminación.

40. Recomendaciones: 

a) Invitamos al Gobierno Peruano a enmendar el artículo 7 de la Ley Nº28518, del 24 de mayo de 2005, sobre la Convenio de Aprendizaje, para permitir a los niños y adolescentes con la educación primaria inconclusa el acceso a la formación.

b) Según el artículo 23 de la Constitución Política del Perú de 1993, el Estado debe hacer mayores esfuerzos para promover el progreso social y económico, especialmente por medio de políticas de educación a través al trabajo, como el aprendizaje o la formación en empresa. El Estado debería inspirarse de la experticia y la experiencia de Qosqo Maki y otros actores sociales.

i Plan Nacional de Acción por la Infancia y la Adolescencia 2012-2021, PNAIA 2021, MIMP, pág. 24.


World Health Day

Since 1948 the 7th of April has been recognised as World Health Day by the World Health Organisation in order to raise awareness about various health issues which affect the globe. This year’s focus is on Depression, although an invisible ailment, its effects can be catastrophic to a person’s life.

LAFF’s partner organisations work with and support vulnerable children suffering from mental illnesses as a result of experiencing abuse. Many of the children come from unstable and often unsafe backgrounds and our partner projects dedicate time and resources to teaching the children to live with and manage their difficult memories and experiences. Azul Wasi and Casa Mantay (two of LAFF’s partners) are often faced with supporting abused children and young people. The first of these two organisations takes the form of an orphanage which works to protect children who have suffered abuse or neglect at home or who were found living on the streets. At Azul Wasi, the children are provided with a friendly and caring family environment and are encouraged to confront their prior experiences through open discussion.

Similarly, Casa Mantay is a home for young mothers which cares for girls who have fallen pregnant at a very young age often because of sexual abuse. As one can imagine, these experiences mark a person’s life. The girls at Casa Mantay often suffer from psychological issues, such as depression, as a result of their horrific experiences. The home provides a team of psychologists and social workers to support the girls and show them a way to overcome their difficulties. LAFF and its partner organisations value enormously the importance of mental health. LAFF’s aim of ensuring that all children at our partner organisations complete education can only be achieved if the children have a receptive and healthy state of mind. Thus the importance of good mental health and psychological support is essential.

Although this year’s World Health Day is acknowledging mental health illnesses and issues, this does not diminish the importance of physical and sexual health. LAFF has provided facilitated workshops at the Sacred Valley Project dormitories concerning sexual health. This organisation supports young girls from rural communities to access secondary education by providing board and lodging near a school during the week. Given that Peru remains a rather conservative country, learning about important issues such as contraception and menstruation is essential for the empowerment of the girls. LAFF is planning to facilitate a similar health workshop at our partner project Mosqoy next month. These workshops allow young people to become aware of important health issues, providing them with another form of education in addition to their academic programmes.

Health remains to be one of the most discriminatory aspects of the world with standard of hygiene and health varying enormously based on continent and social background. Here in Cusco, LAFF is working with its partner organisations to promote good health and increase health education amongst the children and young people. If you’d like to help us continue supporting our partner organisation with health education workshops and access to education, feel free to donate!


Cat’s LAFF Blog

It’s almost half a year since I left Cusco, and yet Peru and the experiences I had at LAFF are still a huge part of my day to day life. Let me explain.

In mid September 2016, my partner joined me in Peru and the day after he arrived (from a city at sea level), we hiked up to 4600 metres and did an alternative trail to reach Machu Picchu. Despite ignoring all the (many) health warnings about acclimatisation, he had none of the nasty effects of soroche (altitude sickness) and in fact outpaced me – with a full two and a half months of acclimatisation – for most of the weekend!

We then spent a jam-packed week visiting LAFF’s projects while I finished off my time as Programmes Officer and completed my handover notes. Some of my favourite memories of my months in Peru come from those last encounters with the Sacred Valley Project students at the Calca and Ollantaytambo houses. We filmed them engaging with one of LAFF’s problem-solving workshops and then interviewed some of them about their future aspirations and how SVP and LAFF have contributed to their educational development thus far. Initially, they were shy and giggly, but little by little they opened up in front of the camera. One of them reminisced about past workshops and volunteers, remembering one evening when we spread large mapamundis on the tables and played a game of Capitals. She knew all of them, even those of countries furthest from the South American continent. She said wistfully that ever since a friendly Italian volunteer spent time at the house, she’s wanted to visit Italy, and also New York and the USA. I asked her if she’d like to live or work in another country and she hesitated, smiling, then nodded definitively.

Before we left to take the colectivo back to Cusco, all the girls crowded round to speak into the microphone we were using to record for LAFF’s new promotional video. They told us to come back and visit again. They told us not to forget them. Their smiling faces and hopeful invitation for us to return has stuck with me since leaving Cusco and embarking on another adventure, far away from the Sacred Valley and yet nonetheless very much connected to it.

After spending a full day in Lima airport, we returned to Canada, where I quickly unpacked and repacked my bags, then took a flight to my parents’ back on the other side of the Atlantic. I had a couple of days at home, and then all of a sudden found myself on a seven hour drive down to Cambridge, where my Masters course in Latin American Studies was just about to start. Those were a whirlwind couple of weeks of farewells and departures, but in some ways I feel closer than ever to Cusco, the SVP girls and everything I learned while I was in Peru.

A month into my course, we had a seminar on networks and intellectual property rights in Peru. I enthusiastically signed up to give a presentation, which reflected on the opportunities for Indigenous artisans to take control of their place on the supply chain between producer and consumer. Accompanying my presentation was a series of photographs from community visits with Mosqoy’s Q’ente Textile Revitalisation team, including meeting the Nueva Esperanza weavers’ association in Parobamba and picking up orders from the well-established weavers in Amaru, which is developing its own sustainable tourism network, known as turismo vivencial in Peru.

Mosqoy’s encouragement of the intergenerational transmission of Quechua traditions resonated strongly with me. I took Quechua classes while I was in Cusco, and although I didn’t really progress to a conversational level, I intend to stick at it. Before going to Peru, I was interested in the rights of Indigenous peoples globally, but spending time with LAFF’s partners allowed me to understand issues of participation, bilingualism and interculturality much more deeply.

Another first-hand experience that informed my understanding of and appreciation for everyday life in Peru was Cusco’s Ni Una Menos march. The LAFF team was very active in covering the protest online and discussing how the movement is empowering Peruvian women who have been affected by gender-based violence. We bumped into some of the girls from Casa Mantay on the march and together we chanted “¡No es no! ¡Te dije que no! ¿Qué parte no entendiste, la “n” o la “o”?

A couple of months after the march, then Communications Officer, Andreas, wrote to me to tell me that the feminist society of Keele University in England had read about LAFF and were interested in fundraising and learning more about how our projects impact young women in Peru. I liaised with Aysha, their Gender Equality Officer, and in a journey that overall involved four different buses and three separate train journeys, I made it to Keele to present on LAFF, SVP and the Ni Una Menos movement. After telling them about the work we do, we all sat down with cakes and cookies to plan a fundraising strategy for the remainder of the academic year. Among other things, they will organise a sponsored walk which will have a symbolic duration; it will represent the number of hours SVP girls are saved walking to school by living in the SVP houses in Calca or Ollantaytambo.

I really enjoyed revisiting LAFF’s fundraising guide, which I presented to members of the Red Semilla group in Cusco back in September. In my role as Programmes Officer, I became especially interested in diversifying our fundraising strategies and developing links with Cusco hotels, restaurants and travel agents to give tourists opportunities to give back to the place they were visiting in some form of ethical, sustainable turismo vivencial. I talked to the manager of a luxury tour company, the community liaison officer of one of the most expensive hotels in the city, and a number of restaurants frequented by tourists. These experiences have informed my academic studies; I am now researching the impact of tourism on Indigenous communities in the Lake Titicaca region of Peru for my final dissertation.

Another opportunity to present on LAFF’s work arose recently, when the Edinburgh University Sustainable Development Association contacted Melissa in Cusco to ask if we would be part of a conference on Sustainability in Latin America co-hosted with the university’s Latin American Society. Although I wasn’t able to get to Edinburgh in the end, I recorded a video of my presentation, which was shown alongside presentations about dengue fever control in Nicaragua and regional environmental co-operation in South America. I particularly focused on LAFF’s key values of fostering participation and partnership, self-sufficiency and independence, as well as quality over quantity. I discussed our commitment to environmental sustainability in the installation of three solar showers at each of our Cusco-based projects, and our growing successes with social enterprises, such as the Mantay leather workshop and the T’anta Wasi Bakery in Ollantaytambo.

Just today, I gave a presentation on Indigeneity and development in my module on Race and Indigeneity at university. I showed a clip from the promotional video that I mentioned earlier and we reflected on the importance of educational provision for girls from Quechua-speaking communities in the Andean altiplano. Like I said, the experiences that I had in Cusco with LAFF are still very much at the forefront of my mind, and they inform my day to day life here in Cambridge

I feel incredibly lucky to be a LAFF Ambassador and to keep spreading the word about the important work we do. While I am currently gaining a different kind of insight into Latin America through my Masters course, above all it is the face-to-face interactions I had with students, local volunteers and Cusco residents last summer that continue to inform and encourage my deep appreciation for Peru and Latin America as a whole.









Laff’s 2015/16 Annual Report!

We are excited and proud to be able to share with our supporters across the world our annual report from April 2015 through to March 2016. This report consolidates all the amazing work we did throughout that year and shows just how much of a difference LAFF makes. For those who want an in-depth knowledge of everything we did, follow this link: and read the report in full. If you’d rather just take a glimpse over some of the highlights, read on!

Perhaps our biggest achievement this year was enabling 78 disadvantaged young people to attend school. That’s 78 individual lives that were improved through access to education and 78 future adults who will find that their job prospects have increased exponentially. In order to make this happen LAFF covered the costs of school supplies, uniforms, registration fees and, in some cases, transport costs.

In addition to sending 78 children to school, LAFF paid for two after school tutors to support the girls at the Sacred Valley Project – a sound investment as every single girl passed the academic year! In addition to this we saw three young people graduate secondary education – one coming top in their class – and three complete an English course, which will provide them with a valuable skill for future employment.

However, education wasn’t the only thing LAFF focused on last year. As part of our new Youth Participation Strategy, LAFF ran 40 workshops on a variety of topics, including stress management, self esteem, sexual health and conflict resolution. We also held vocational training in the areas of cuisine, CV writing and more. These workshops and training sessions helped a whopping total of 75 beneficiaries and we couldn’t be happier.

All our hard work towards promoting education and facilitating vocational training came to fruition during the careers fair we hosted. After extensively analysing the labour market, we identified which professions best suited our beneficiaries and then invited representatives from each field to attend our fair. The fair was a total success and provided the 33 young people that attended with valuable knowledge about gaining employment and working life in general.

Further accomplishments that we saw over the past year include a graduate from Mosqoy opening her own restaurant, a disadvantaged boy from Azul Wasi start a physics degree and an adolescent mother from Casa Mantay complete a gastronomy course. We also saw some great developments in our sustainability programme as we assisted with the installation of solar showers, which helped our partner SVP save money on electricity, meaning it had more to spend on school supplies.

With regards to social enterprise, there were some big and positive changes this year. However, of everything we saw develop, one thing stands out – the T’anta Wasi Bakery. LAFF secured initial funding for machinery and equipment and assisted with a demand assessment to see what would be most profitable for the bakery to sell. The bakery has since gone from strength to strength and we look forward to seeing it blossom further in the future.

As you can see, 2015/16 was a phenomenal year for LAFF and its partner projects but, unfortunately, our work here is far from done. As we celebrate the wonderful achievements made by our beneficiaries, we are further motivated to carry on our work and continue improving the lives of young people in need. If you are as impressed as we are by what you’ve read please consider contributing to our work either by making a one-off or monthly donation or by throwing a fundraiser for us. For more information on how you can help, get in touch at



Enriching Our Educadoras

Recently, we raised a glass in honour of a huge achievement from a few educadoras in our partner projects. An educador comunitario (the shorthand female version being educador), for those unfamiliar with the term, is someone who works, and sometimes lives, with marginalised people, offering them emotional and academic support. In line with our capacity building strategy, we were thrilled to be able to enable two educadoras from our partners Sacred Valley Project and Mosqoy and to watch another educadora from Casa Mantay attend a workshop on sexuality and intervention.

Here at LAFF, we believe in providing the staff members of each of our partner projects with as many opportunities as possible to expand their skills and knowledge and this workshop was incredibly valuable given the type of work we do. Many of the children that end up in the care of our projects have suffered abuse in some way and in some cases this abuse is of a sexual nature. Casa Mantay is a particularly notable example of this as it houses young women as young as 12 years old who have become pregnant, usually involuntarily.

The situations that many of the educadoras have to face on a daily basis are delicate to say the least and so it is of pivotal importance that they are given the best resources possible to handle the issues of the children as effectively as possible.  After the workshop, we asked the educadoras whether or not they thought it had been useful and, candidly, what they thought of the experience. The feedback we got was overwhelming positively with the educadora from the Sacred Valley Project explaining that the workshop helped “enrich my knowledge of the problems that affect our society” while the Mosqoy representative said she was grateful for the “support and assistance that I was given to attend this workshop”.

Three women attending a workshop might not seem like a reason to start celebrating but this accomplishment signifies a lot more than first meets the eye. As the staff in our partner projects become more informed, they are able to better help the children in their care, which in turn will help these children to no end as they journey along the road to independence. With more informed and independent adults contributing to society, we will undoubtedly start to see things change for the better. So here’s to our wonderful educadoras!


Getting to Know Katerina from the T’anta Wasi Bakery and Sacred Valley Project

There’s a new girl in town, and she’s taking the T’anta Wasi Bakery in Ollantaytambo, Sacred Valley into her own hands. Meet Katerina Caballero, a motivated and inspiring woman who, together with LAFF, is transforming a new local bakery into a catalyst to help the young girls at Sacred Valley Project with funding for their education. Sacred Valley Project supports young girls from rural areas to receive an education where under their given circumstances it would be extremely difficult. We had the opportunity for a Q and A session with Katerina to learn more about her, as well as her plans and aspirations for the future of the bakery and Sacred Valley Project.

Katerina Caballero, new manager of the T’anta Wasi Bakery in Ollantaytambo.

Q. What is your role at the T’anta Wasi bakery?

A. As the Administrator I will oversee sales, finance, management and the business development of T’anta Wasi. My role is to make sure T’anta Wasi run smoothly and sustainably with future growth and development in mind. Also, developing a platform for the girls at The Sacred Valley Project to learn a little about how to start and run their own businesses is one of the goals of administration. This will empower the young women by giving them the tools and the confidence to learn basic administrative responsibilities of running a business.
Q. Tell us a bit about yourself and your background. Where are you from and why did you decide to come and work here in Sacred Valley?

A. I was born in Denver, CO. My parents both immigrated to the states from Peru and Panama. I studied Environmental Design with an emphasis in Architecture at the University of Boulder in Colorado and I have been working in the fields of architectural and structural drafting, designing, and project management since my first internship at age nineteen. After graduating University, I spent some time as a project manager and freelance designer. Throughout the years, I took half of my time to travel. I was able to get to know 13 countries throughout Europe, Scandinavia and South America couch surfing, back packing and adventuring all around. Naturally, I fell in love with Peru. I have a lot of family here and the number of places to see are infinitely beautiful. Peru never ceases to amaze me. Thus, I decided to pursue the paperwork for citizenship. I had been living, working remotely, and volunteering in Lima for 6 months waiting on paper work to be processed when my cousin, Nicole, had informed me of the position opening for The Sacred Valley Project. I had heard a lot of the project through Nicole’s stories and experiences living and working in the dorms with the girls and I was excited to learn more. Within a month of talking with her and Alex, I had submitted my final paper work for citizenship to immigrations and made my way down here to Ollantaytambo.

Q. How do you plan on making the bakery stand out from the rest? What makes it special?

A. Through my experiences of design it is important to me that the bakery has a strong aesthetic, story and product and that these aspects coincide with one another. We did a little renovation that has already made a world of a difference by bringing a unique but still cozy rural feel to the bakery. We also wanted to open the space up for it to also be used as a café, which doesn’t exist in Ollantaytambo. In my travels to the Sacred Valley Project in Calca I encountered a man that grows his own coffee, roasts it and would transport at a reasonable price, keeping the bakery/cafe local and affordable. We have also hired a great baker that not only has experience with bread and cakes but also will be making pizzas for the cafe, both take home and in house personal pizzas. As for the story, T’anta Wasi will stand in support of the girls at the Sacred Valley Project and help empower and tell their stories of the importance of education in the valley, especially for young women. We want T’anta Wasi to be a community bakery-cafe that caters to diverse groups of clients!

Q. What do you hope to gain from the bakery for Sacred Valley Project? What is the trajectory of the bakery – Any plans for the future?

A. I hope to help build this business up to be the start of something more for the education of the girls of the Sacred Valley Project. My mother has worked in education for 25 years and it has been instilled in me that education is an essential catalyst to growth and change for the betterment of a community as a whole. I am excited for the opportunity to start something that will benefit such a cause. T’anta Wasi’s trajectory will be to be able to help support some of the costs of the girl’s school supplies, costs of living, and transportation. In the future T’anta Wasi will also aspire to become a pilot program that will teach these young women how to administer a business of their own one day. Our goal is to gain enough traction to then become a template for sustainable business design that would support other projects similar to that of The Sacred Valley Project.

Working together to fight violence against women

On the thirteenth of August this year, Peruvian woman made a stand. They became a multi-generational force to be reckoned with; women who were fed up with the ever-present domestic violence in their country, paired with a general lack of support from judicial powers. From small children to the elderly, they were joined by husbands, brothers, sons and friends who came to the streets of Lima to march in protest of violence against women. This movement, ‘Ni Una Menos’, rallied over 150,000 people from across the country, making it the largest demonstration in Peruvian history, and sparked similar marches and protests in cities around the world.

Image by Pedro Lazaro Fernandez via

The problem of violence against women is far from a new one, nor is it confined to a specific culture, country or societal group; it’s a universal issue that pervades the daily lives of women around the globe. This type of violence takes on many forms, including physical, sexual and psychological abuse, and has a lasting and devastating effect on its victims. The emotional, physical and economical effects of violence against women trickle down to their children and families as well, likely creating an ongoing cycle of violence from generation to generation.

According to UN studies, one in three women globally will suffer sexual or physical violence in their lifetime; a figure we can no longer ignore. Violence against women is the inevitable result of discrimination and of persistent inequalities between men and women, but finding a solution is far from impossible. The occurrence of this type of violence is changing as more and more organizations around the world are leveling the playing field for women. Now more than ever, there are organizations worldwide which aim to inspire women and young girls with opportunities for education and practical skills, helping them become independent and self-sufficient.


Here in Peru, the need for assistance is being challenged by organizations who seek to embolden women to help themselves escape abuse. Casa Mantay, one of our partner organizations here in Cusco, is leading the fight to empower young mothers in the region, many of which have been victims of abuse. They provide a healthy and caring living environment where the women can not only heal, but learn the skills they need to live the life they envision for themselves. Another partner organization, the Sacred Valley Project, is making large strides in providing access to education for indigenous young women from low-income families in the more remote areas of the Andes. These girls are provided with safe housing, nutritional meals, tutoring and schooling – a privilege not often awarded to girls in such areas – giving them the tools to become equal and influential leaders in their community. The difference being made by these organizations is undeniable, and many of the young women who’ve benefited from their support are setting a shining example for others within their communities.

Young mother at Casa Mantay

With the help of donors, supporters and volunteers, organizations like these here in Peru and around the world are changing the local and global scene for gender equality. More and more people are realizing the immeasurable benefits of supporting such organizations, both within their own community and worldwide. The collective voice of the 150,000 women, children and men heard during the historic march earlier this year is resonating strongly throughout even the most remote corners of the country, and crossing borders. Slowly but surely we are heading towards a world where women are not only viewed as equals, but as leaders, innovators and powerful voices that command respect.