Añañau, an educational project that works with young people in San Jeronimo, a poverty-stricken area of Peru, certainly has had a busy summer. Like the rest of the world, the country has been dealing with keeping Covid under control.
Sadly, Peru has been severely affected by the pandemic and in an area like San Jeronimo, a change like this can have a detrimental impact on the wellbeing of residents. Fortunately, the vaccine is now being rolled out in the country, meaning contamination levels are declining – a literal lifesaver for the people of Peru.
To deal with the effects of Covid, Añañau has adapted the way that they are working. Over the summer, whilst the project has continued to teach, classes have had to be done in small groups of students to keep contact to a minimum.
All children attended school in the mornings. The younger students were able to use the internet and computers, and the older students came in for classes taught over the internet. Headphones were collected for the children so they could focus on individual tasks when using the computers. In the afternoon, they were working on remedial activities to improve things like their maths and language skills.
The students were also able to use the library to help with any work. Unfortunately, due to government guidelines, outdoor activities weren’t allowed.
Covid has been arduous for all. The whole team at Añañau have been working particularly hard to make sure that the children are getting the support, attention and love that they need to help them during this difficult time. Older children at the project have mentioned that they are finding it hard to cope without seeing their friends or having the social interactions they are used to. So, to help with this issue, the project has set up extra activities targeted at specific age groups to help the children deal with missing their friends.
Añañau has told us what was new for them in the months of June and July. Here is a breakdown of what else the project has been up to, in their words, over the summer:
Janette and Veronica – They will assist the children of pre-primary and primary education in their learning and support them in developing their skills and education.
At the project of Huancaro, it hasn’t been easy to resume the activities at the school where the project centre is located because the centre had to close due to the pandemic. However, Añañau has been able to make an agreement with the local community to rent a space from the local kindergarten. Since July, all project activities with the group of Huancaro are taking place here with full and continuous assistance being possible again
Travelling to Peru and on spot volunteering is possible again
Now that the situation is improving in Peru due to the progress with vaccinations, there is more good news. We are also very happy that it is possible again for volunteers to travel to Peru and to come to the project to support us by doing voluntary work on the spot.
On July 6th, we celebrated Teacher’s Day in Peru and put all teachers in the spotlight. It is thanks to their endless effort and dedication that children all over the world can learn and grow, even under the most difficult circumstances, such as the past year.
At Añañau, we think the role of the teacher is very important. Within the team at Añañau, we attach great importance to further training and lifelong learning so that we stay up to date in the field of education and pedagogy. Yet, we also ensure exchange between the local teachers with teachers from the North through sustainable partnerships and support. This allows us to share experiences and teaching methods, educational materials and innovation. Kudos and thank you to all the local teachers we work with and to teachers around the world.
Since July, student Milagros from the San Antonio Abad National University of Cusco has been doing an internship at the project within her course; Communication for Development. Together with the children, she is carrying out various works and participatory activities for the Añañau cultural blog. The objective is to organise an audio-visual space where all adolescents can participate and develop by creating communicative products, applying cultural identity and empowering themselves.
On July 28th, we celebrated the Peru Bicentennial (200 years of Peruvian independence). Dreaming is always the beginning of something bigger and at Añañau, we are committed to encouraging boys and girls to imagine, together, the country we want to be. Añañau dreams of a more egalitarian country, free from discrimination and with the same opportunities for everyone.
During the month of July, there is a two-week holiday for the children. At the project, we always dedicate the periods of school holidays to offer different fun activities that stimulate the children in their development and wellbeing. We foresee remedial teaching activities to reinforce their learning process or where they lack behind.
This year, it has been even more urgent to support the children more intensely to help them to get level again with the school, as many children have fallen behind because of the pandemic. The reality of the distance learning programme has been a huge obstacle for many disadvantaged families.
As life gets back to normal, Añañau has worked extremely hard to deal with the difficulties they have been facing during the pandemic. Thanks to the amazing staff and the great support the project receives, both children and staff are continuing to look forward and keep going with their education in a loving and supportive environment.