Villa María del Triunfo is a very poor, rocky suburb south-east of Lima. The San Jose Obrero school was started as a volunteer effort with DWC’s in-country partner, Ifejant, donors and parents who were answering a need with no prospects of government support at the time. 27% of the population lives in extreme poverty without basic services. The community’s income is, on average, 50% less than the national average. The district ranks amongst the highest in child and youth malnourishment. Domestic violence is a dire social issue in the community.
Having completed its third year, Education for Life continues to increase the profound impact that it is having on the children and the surrounding community.
• At the beginning of the program, 33% of children in the program were anemic. Testing completed after a school year in the program showed every child’s hemoglobin test was normal, meaning no child was suffering from anemia.
• Teachers who were poorly trained and ill-equipped to deal with the stark realities of working in an impoverished community received training to improve the quality of education they deliver.
• 60 children were bused to and from school each week, resulting in drastically improved attendance rates, and children who are showing up to school dry, clean and happy.
• 47 students and their respective families received professional psychological support, addressing issues such as learning disorders, mental health challenges, behavioral issues and domestic violence.
• Teachers reported that 60% of students who were being seen by the psychologist had marked improvements in their performance at school.
I have learned how to work as a team, to be supportive towards my classmates but specially to improve our treat and be kind to each other, or if my friend starts teasing me and I don’t like it, now I know that it’s not good. I also learned that we have to speak up when we don’t feel good or if we are yelled at or physically abused, we have to talk about it.
I feel really good because I got to know more children’s groups that have different problems or sometimes, similar to ours. We talk about how to fix those situations or help other children to recognize their rights. Being responsible in any activity you commit to is also very important, for example, if I agree to attend a meeting, I have to be there.
I’m part of the School Bus program, that helps us a lot because sometimes the public buses are late or there are a lot of passengers so we cannot ride them to school and before the program, we had to walked all the way down the hill every day. In winter, it is extremely foggy and our shoes get muddy, my classmates and I have slipped in the mud many times and we had to go back to our homes to change our clothes and arrived late at school.
Developing World Connections, and its partner Ifejant, are incredibly grateful for
and acknowledge the generous corporate support of Urban Systems and its employees.