Innovative impulses for neglected rural schools


Province of Cusco

Partner organization: The association QESPINA has contributed to school development in impoverished rural schools, in which creative and environmental projects are initiated, teachers are trained and the support of parents is secured. Dedicated teams are thus created and cultural islands emerge where community spirit thrives again, where environmental education actually takes place and healthy foods are introduced. All of these schools are situated at over 3’500 m above sea level, are exposed to harsh climatic conditions and are extremely poor.

Project desciption: Four primary schools integrate creative and hand-craft training modules in their syllabus, in order to promote lost cultural values and improve the communication among children. All schools have vegetable gardens for supplementing the produce that contributes to the meals produced by the school kitchen. This helps to reduce the malnutrition the children have commonly suffered from.

The schools also play an active role in the environmental education within their communities by introducing procedures for recycling materials, clean-up operations and re-forestation projects. Greenhouses made from plastic materials have allowed profitable horticulture to become re-established. The growing of vegetables had previously almost completely disappeared, meaning that a lot of children suffered from malnutrition, anemia and weakness. At school they also now learn to grow vegetables and so can transfer that skill to the garden at home. In this way a number of orchards have appeared, which helps to feed the family and may also bring in some earnings. The project team accompanies and supports the school with know-how, ideas and materials.

Contribution apia: apia’s contribution allowed for the funding of the project during two years