Thursday, March 19, 2015

A second visit to Conchucos

We were in Conchucos today to speak with two school directors to decide what exactly we would be providing to their schools. Thanks to Clifton B, Chris R, Amy B, the Alice Cool Foundation and others we have the money to begin this project.

For the primary school we’ll be providing 2 whiteboards and 35 school supply kits. For the pronoei (pre-school) it will be 15 school supply kits, 6 tables and 24 plastic chairs. Fanny modified her original request for 8 tables and 32 chairs, deciding that she’d probably been too optimistic about the number of new students she would have. She knows a carpenter in Chiclayo and will visit him next week with a ‘committee’ of the village parents to negotiate a price for the tables. The same committee will be responsible for purchasing the chairs. We’ll be providing 15 school supply kits to Fanny’s students. We have already placed the order for 50 school bags with our seamstress and will start buying school supplies tomorrow.

During our visit last week both directors casually mentioned uniforms but didn’t specifically ask for them. Today they did. Uniforms are expensive. We did not budget or ask for donations for them. As we were discussing uniforms, four women entered the classroom. They were at the school waiting for the government donated food to arrive so they could prepare lunch for the students. I took the opportunity to ask them for their thoughts about school uniforms. Promesa Peru has donated uniforms only once, and personally I was a little uncomfortable about that, not seeing a direct link between uniforms and kids staying in school. I began the discussion by saying that in the USA school uniforms don’t exist and that I don’t understand why they seem to be so important in Peru, and that if I don’t understand, I can’t expect potential donors to understand. What followed was an interesting discussion, one that I want to save and expand on in a separate post probably in the next few days after we’ve made a decision about the uniforms.

Now the work begins. We’d like to deliver the school supplies next week but that’s probably not realistic. Hopefully everything promised will be in Conchucos the week of March 29. If you’d like to join the others who are contributing to this project, please visit the Promesa Peru webpage. Thank you from us, the school staff and the kids of Conchucos.

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