Written by Marlene – director of Huchuy Yachaq, november 2021
The situation in Cusco and the beneficiary population
The government lifted almost entirely the restrictions. There are still no courses in schools, although in the private sector some courses have already taken place face-to-face.
The economic activities carried out by parents are as follows: trade, street trade, informal trade. Even those linked to tourism are slowly starting to recover. In recent months, domestic tourism has increased, while international tourism remains scarce. A few days ago, Peru has relaxed restrictions on to European visitors.
The number of new contaminations decreased significantly, as did the number of deaths. Cusco experienced several days without reported cases.Our latest survey of families in Las Hormiguitas, in July, shows that most of them have resumed their economic activities mainly oriented towards trade or casual employment. Although these economic activities are regular, they do not guarantee sufficient income, but the period remains difficult and the whole community is affected.
In Huchuy Yachaq we deliver face-to-face courses three days a week and have not experienced any health issues related to Covid-19.
Education in Peru during second year of pandemic
This year, face-to-face classes have remained suspended in Peruvian schools, colleges and universities. After the removal of the restrictions, many families who had migrated to their native rural communities returned and the children returned to local schools.
The “Learning at Home” school system remains in place with the same difficulties of Internet access and equipment, multiplied by the number of children in the siblings.
Psycho-emotional disorders among teenagers (depression, stress, etc.) and the difficulties of families to cope with these disorders are more apparent and reveal a need that will be important in the years to come.
Implementation of the health protocol
The sanitary protocol (washing hands, wearing a mask, distancing, vaccinations, etc.) was followed for each activity in the premises and the equipment and equipment necessary to respect the barrier gestures made available. Every 15 days, during the presentation of the activity books, the teaching team remains attentive to the appearance of any signs suggestive of the disease among the members of the family
Educational project «Las Hormiguitas» 2021
Las Hormiguitas brings together 46 children in three kindergarten classes. The teachers and the theatre teacher supervise the children.
Here are the activities implemented to achieve the educational objectives of the educational programme:
• Adaptation of the educational programme
For the second year the learning is mixed, alternating face-to-face courses and virtual classes, taking into account the experience of the previous year.
• Parents participation
The presence of the parents at the general assembly allowed us to validate the decisions taken concerning the organization of the teaching. We want parents to be involved in monitoring work at home. They also accompany their children to the scheduled exhibitions and participate in common activities, both on the premises and outside
• Theatre Workshop
The theatre workshop started in June. As from the second week, almost all the parents had registered their children. As from August, we organised two sessions a week for each class. Read the article here.
• Teaching material
This year we do not work with books, but with work sheets prepared by the teachers. We distribute these sheets every fortnight. We distributed fourteen notebooks; the last one was N°15 will be distributed on Monday, November 15th.
The teachers adapt various educational activities to the traditional festivities calendar. They based them on a series of six stories that focus on local identity and culture.
• Home visits and family support
The family situation is constantly evolving: The opportunity to return to work means more than ever that children stay home alone. For this reason, it is very important for us to maintain permanent contact with children through home visits. We are particularly attentive to children who do not participate in virtual classes and do not give us the expected homework. During the presentation of the workbooks, each teacher meets with the parents individually to explain the work they are supposed to do with their children. This time also makes it possible to assess the family situation in terms of work, food and health.
• Outdoor activities
We organised two activities: in June during the harvest festival, in August to fly the kites. The parents participated in each of these outings.
• Workshop for the parents
We organised several awareness and exchange workshops with parents during the year:
– Use of ICTs: benefits and risks (Information and Communication Technologies)
– Reinforce what was learned (to answer questions from parents)
– Infection Prevention: The Responsibility of Each (Providing a Barrier Action Booklet to Parents)
– Family issues that can facilitate learning processes in a pandemic context
Since children come back to school, they get a snack : fruit juice, oatmeal, chocolate, bread, ham, cheese, cakes, etc. We do not serve fruit because of the increased cost of fresh produce.
Academic refresher and artistic expression activities held in January and February 2021. Read the article here.
Library and leisure activities
Two groups of children from elementary and secondary levels went to the Biblioteca after the « Maxivacaciones 2021 ». The children could follow activities related school strengthening.
Being in contact with the children and teenagers helps us to get in touch with their brothers and sisters and parents. We could identify some vulnerable a help them to find phycologist help.
Social and solidarity support
We distributed food aid in the form of basket to families twice during the year.
We visited families in crisis, in particular for domestic violence, medical emergencies, accompaniment during psychiatric care.
We gave school supplies to the children and in the case of a family, a telephone.