Looking to spread kindness this holiday season? Consider investing in these community-led efforts.
As 2022 comes to an end, we send you heartfelt thanks for your generosity and commitment to the Quechua communities of the Peruvian altiplano. In this newsletter we highlight the ways your support is increasing equitable access to higher education and financial self-reliance.
Education is powerful. For many people, higher education is a way to pursue their dreams and change the direction of their lives. However, having the economic means to pursue a degree is a major barrier for rural, indigenous, and historically marginalized communities. This is why your support of the Scholarship Program is fundamental to community development. By investing in the education of 50 students a year, you are providing opportunities for indigenous youth to have access to academic fields and careers and to use their education to help their communities thrive. In the video below, you can hear from a past scholarship recipient who is working with the Ministry of Agriculture and using his veterinary degree to help his community raise improved breeds of cattle.
Scholar Spotlight: Where are they now?
Students currently in the Scholarship Program use their education to give back to their communities even before they graduate. The student-led group, Mosoq Riqchari, meets throughout the year to share their experiences and use their fields of study to implement projects that help solve some of the challenges their home communities face. Recent projects have included training local artisans in digital marketing, providing psychological assistance to elementary schools and communities, testing children for anemia, and leading workshops on how to take care of the environment.
Create a Named Scholarship
Funding a named scholarship is a wonderful way to pay tribute to a loved one’s memory, honor a person in your life, or create opportunities for students who are pursuing a specific field of study. A gift of $1,000 provides a scholarship to one student for one year. Please reach out to [email protected] for more information on how to create a named scholarship this holiday season. You can read about current named scholarships below and you can support an existing scholarship with your donation by specifying it on the donation form. Perhaps creating a named scholarship might be the perfect holiday gift for a loved one.
Your Support Increases Access to Capital and Financial Self-Reliance
We also want to highlight the Savings Program, because access to capital is a vital component of community development and financial self-reliance is a key indicator of progress. Accessing loans with fair interest rates can be difficult for rural communities in Peru. The Group Savings Program facilitates the creation of savings groups and community banks to provide members with a place within their community to save their money and take out loans. All of the money saved and invested by these groups comes from the members themselves. The groups are able to provide members with low interest rate loans and all interest paid on the loans directly benefits the groups’ savings. Your support of the program over the last 7 years has already created a significant impact. Since the program was created in 2015, the average annual savings per group increased from $352 to $5,195. Women make up 64% of participants in the groups and are often elected to leadership positions.
These programs as well as health and economic development projects would not be possible without you and we thank you for supporting community-led initiatives to increase family income, improve community health, and provide access to higher education in rural altiplano communities. Please consider investing in these communities through The Chijnaya Foundation as 2022 comes to an end. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us or other board members with feedback or questions.