We, Amandine (Vice-President) and Christine (President), spent a few weeks in Cusco (from November 17th to December 7th, 2018) to meet our partners at the structures we are supporting, as well as the families and children who benefit from the activities supported by Los Chicos de Cusco.
- Evaluate the projects carried out in 2018 with the managers and the teaching staff of each school. Identify the positive experiences and difficulties encountered. Examine the accounts.
- Evaluate the material, structural, educational and financial needs for 2019 in order to outline the 2019 budget forecasts.
- Update the individual sponsorship with Marlene Zereceda Vargas, coordinator of the program. Meet the sponsored children and their families (organization of permanence, control schooling, check expenses, distribution and receipt of letters).
- Launch class sponsorships, associative and school partnerships: present projects to teachers, collect material (photos, videos, writings, and drawings), and initiate exchanges.
- Meet the neighbourhood communities where we work and estimate the priority needs for future projects.
Three weeks in Cusco, is a real short time! Especially if, beyond the rigorous process established to achieve our objectives, we hope to have time to meet people, find the time to make them trust in us and to have good nteractions. In a helping relationship, this is quite difficult.
We had some serious working sessions, some formal meetings with parents, as well as lively and sometimes worrying discussions with the referents of the structures: how can we finalize the 2018 budget? What are the priorities for 2019? How to reach the poorest families. We experienced strong moments, singular and upsetting encounters that still challenge us today…
The gratitude of the parents who hold us in their arms. That is somewhat embarrassing … We are not heroes … A tenuous link is created with the moms, the students who greet us every time at the door of school with joy.
The smile of Daniela (one of the first students of ASVIN), who takes care of her mother, brothers and sisters and works in the market while waiting to enter a school of management and administration. Daniela knows what she wants and she will get there!
The generosity of Leonarda who guides us, a child on the back and the other walking at his side, on the heights of Pillao Matao and Altivacana. We are looking for older godchildren we have not meet during our previous missions. An afternoon full of adventures: facing threatening dogs, getting lost, searching in vain for houses in a neighbourhood in full transformation and emotions when we finally find the houses. A little time to talk with the godchildren and their families. That day, we finish the tour at dusk, surrounded by moms and children who love our adventure!
We also enjoyed the spontaneity of the women of the community “Lucero de la mañana”. They took us happily and proudly to visit their neighbourhood and their home, 30 minutes’ walk from Asvin, in the mountains. Children and their parents take this road each day to go to school. In some places, there is no running water, no electricity.
The extreme poverty of the San Pedro community, above Huchuy Yachaq. Families have settled on steep, muddy, hard-to-reach and dangerous grounds! In addition, there are questions that plague us: why is there so many inequality? How can people live in such conditions? How will these families cope?
The confidences of women about their daily life punctuated by conjugal violence. We are powerless.
We are happy to see that the children like to learn, to do their exercises, like to participate in activities. They have fun with the other pupils during spare time. We think that the energy deployed from France to concretize somehow the projects contributes to small scale to make things get better.
Sometimes in France we might think “what for? ». Being on the spot brings another question: How do we continue to support the development of these educational structures? An obvious mission…
Christine Voisin, Amandine Le Moan