An update from the Director of a fantastic NGO that we partner with in Peru…
Below we have an update from the Director in Cusco. Note: Our Founder, Katie Lorenz sits on the Board of Chaska. Want to get involved? Email me: email@example.com. We are looking for volunteers, donors, and board members.
Chaska is a psychology-based program that aims to break the severe cycle of poverty that is prevalent in Cusco. Impoverished high school girls with immense potential are identified and selected through extensive psychological testing and socioeconomic status confirmation.
The Chaska program is built around three pillars:
1. Financial Support
2. Educational Support
3. Emotional Support
The results thus far are tangible and enormously positive.
At the moment we are in contact with all 26 of our girls and their families.
17 girls are in the program, coming 2 days a week from 8.30 a.m. till 4.00 p.m.
2 girls are in Cusco but aren't allowed to leave their house yet
7 girls are still in villages outside Cusco.
Thanks to your donations we were able to rearrange the project and have all our computers checked and repaired. We have 8 working computers, good internet and WiFi and we have plenty of materials for the girls to work with.
I prepare lunch every day so they get protein and vegetables at least twice per week and we always have fruits available for them.
There's 6 or 7 girls per day. Apart from helping them with their classes and homework, they are so happy to have a place where they can share their experiences, hopes and fears with others, their age.
Laura, our psychologist, will be working with the girls, starting next week. Focus will be on possible signs of stress, physical or emotional violence at home and depression. All the girls have been in complete lock down for about 3 months in probably very stressful environments.
The food packages:
We have been handing out weekly food packages to 14 families that were in Cusco, starting on May 15th. Last week we handed out the last packages to all the families. Most families have somebody now that earns some money, either from a job or an independent source.
We will continue the packages for some families that have no income at all.
Mayumi's mother worked in road construction but has been told there is no work at the moment. She has 3 children and a husband that suffers from diabetes due to his alcohol addiction. Mayumi's mother is making little hats that we sell during events in Belgium.
Ruth has been in a small village about 6 hours away from Cusco and was completely shut off from the world. We arranged for her to live with 2 nieces in Cusco and she will come to Chaska 6 days a week. We will support her with some expenses at home. Her nieces are both in university so they don't have an income either.
I expect at least 3 more families will need ongoing support for a while and I will have intakes with them during the next 2 weeks. Some people are so afraid to leave the house and talk to a foreigner.
- John A. Chaska Director