Education is a human right but it is not always easy or affordable to access. When we moved to this area the closest preschool was 3.5 km away with no available transportation. For many women, given the choice between pasturing their animals or spending time and energy walking and waiting for their young children, they chose to keep them home. The negative effects for children when entering grade one was lack of socialization skills, Quechua speakers in a Spanish curriculum, lack of fine and gross motor skills, missing the basics of numbers and letters in addition to expressing needs.
The preschool and primary school kids support program started in 2008 in a rundown adobe building lent to us by the local community. For two years we worked with volunteers who dedicated much time to be with and help the kids. In 2010 Andean Alliance started to fundraise to build a permanent center, The Yurac Yacu Community Center, to provide a permanent home for its programs and projects.
Old School Building
New School Buidling
The curriculum was developed by volunteer elementary and kindergarten teachers from Canada and is loosely based on the Montessori theories with the inclusion of the concepts as provided above. It goes through yearly modifications as the needs in grade one change, changes in the community and access to resources. Teachers have been sourced from Primary School Teachers in Huaraz, support from volunteers and now we have Yessenia who started as the assistant and for 5years she has been the classroom teacher in the mornings while studying to be a bilingual Quechua/Spanish preschool teacher in the afternoons.
Class with volunteers
Our kids learning
Going now into our 8th year we have seen over 40 children successfully finish and enter into grade one with a bucketful of skills to use as they start on this long road ahead of them. As an incentive for parents to send their children to preschool, a scholarship is offered based on 80% attendance. This is paid when the child goes to grade one and covers most of their costs. This scholarship comes from donations from people who believe in what we are doing. Although the program is cost free to the family they participate in weekly classroom cooking sessions, work in the greenhouse, scheduled workshops, the borrowing of books for their children to read and two school work days during the year.
Parent School work days
The program is registered with the Ministry of Education but receives no funding as it is a private project by Andean Alliance. The future of this excellent program is dependent on community participation and fundraising to pay for the teacher and for school supplies and outings.
A class picture
In the words of the principal from the Primary / Secondary school below us in Marian:
“I know which children come from Yurac Yacu because they always ask and answer questions, want to talk about their experiences, read books to the classroom, organize activities and express themselves.”
Is that not success!!
Donate To The Pre-School Education Project
Following the Paypal button below you can make a donation. (Paypal accepts bank transfers, credit cards and more, all you need is a Paypal account).
Donating helps us enormously! If you are looking to make a donation in a personalised way or on a recurring basis, don't hesitate to use the contact form below. We'll be very happy to help. If making a simple donation, all you have to do with write in the donation now how you'd like us to use your donation.
Your donation can be used in the following ways. Please leave it in the payment note with your donation telling us how you'd like to see it used and how you'd like us to keep you informed.
If you leave no note, we'll use your donation the best way we see fit to help our community here in Huaraz, Peru.
o Scholarships based on a 3-year attendance to pay the child’s expenses to enter grade one $100.00 per child. Parents are encouraged to send the children to the 3-year program and the scholarship is based on 80% attendance
o Purchase of food and cooking products for the weekly nutrition program $150.00 per year
o Polar Fleece vest for the start on the school year for warmth and personal connection to the school $15.00 per child
o Supplementing of payment for the teacher (paid by Andean Alliance) contact us directly for further financial information