Although this has been a year of seemingly endless challenges, we believe that it has also demonstrated that community and compassion for one another are what truly create positive change. It has shown that the future depends on us collectively, and that we have the power to create the changes we want to see in this world, especially when we all come together.
One place that exemplified this belief is your support for the Chijnaya Foundation. The majority of project funding comes from individual donors like you and we are not exaggerating when we say this work would not be possible without your generosity. Over the years, and especially this year, we have seen the power of supporting grassroots, community-led initiatives that create more equity and improve the well-being of communities in the Peruvian altiplano. Thank you for your support and for being a fundamental part of this mission.
In previous newsletters, we highlighted how your donations supported initiatives to provide PPE to rural health centers, created a radio program to provide health and financial information to remote communities, and supported community-led projects that help offset the economic effects of the crisis. Peru, and specifically the Puno region where we work, was under a strict quarantine from March-October, so all of the new and existing initiatives this year were coordinated remotely by our institutional partners in Peru, Pro-DIA. Since October, the team has been able reopen the office in Pucará, and work in-person with communities, following all health and safety guidelines to ensure the well-being of staff and community members.
Help the Disabled Persons Association of Ccacco Implement their Animal Shed Project
One project we would like to highlight in this newsletter is the animal shed construction project in the community of Ccacco. This project was designed in partnership with the Disabled Persons Association of Ccacco and provides association members with funds to build animal sheds. Each shed costs about $450 to build and provides shelter and feeding troughs for 15 cows. The energy conserved by animals kept warm and dry in these sheds during the cold highland nights increases milk yields, reduces animal mortality rates, and contributes to raising family income by an average of 40%. The additional income from this project, and other economic development projects, is especially vital amidst the global economic crisis.
Two high school students in Lima, Perú have organized a fundraiser to make this project a reality. You can help them and the community of Ccacco to reach their goal of $3,185 by donating to the campaign on GoFundMe before December 31st.
Scholarships Help Students Continue their Education During the COVID Pandemic
During 2020, your support has also provided scholarships to 43 students from our partner communities to attend universities and technical institutes. Improving access to higher education in rural communities has been especially important this year as families faced growing financial instability and additional costs associated with remote education.
University scholarships, which provide students with $850/year, and technical institute scholarships, which provide students with $550/year, cover tuition and an average of 30-50% of other school related expenses. In recent virtual meetings with scholarship recipients, many reported that this funding has enabled them to continue with online coursework while living in their home communities. The scholarships have helped students to cover increased internet costs and to purchase equipment for accessing their virtual classes during the COVID pandemic.
Many donors this year have directed their giving to the Scholarship Program through the funding of named scholarships, which are a beautiful way to honor a loved one’s memory or to create opportunities for students who are pursuing a particular field of study. You can read about current name scholarships here. Please email [email protected] if you would like more information on how you can create a named scholarship.
In closing, we want to thank you again for playing a vital role in supporting community-led initiatives to increase family income, improve community health, and provide access to higher education in rural communities in the Peruvian altiplano. Please continue to invest in these communities through the Chijnaya Foundation as 2020 comes to an end and do not hesitate to contact us or other Board members with feedback or questions.