Many of the children in this area live in extreme poverty, and Picaflor House provides the following to help improve the lives of the children and give them a better future.
A Safe Place
Many of the parents in Oropesa work long days. Therefore, the children are often left alone and vulnerable after attending government school. Picaflor House provides a place for the children to go in the afternoons where they can play, learn and be safe.
We take input from the community to understand what their needs are. Many of the parents discussed with our programme manager their fear for the safety of their children. We had a Child Protection Policy, but people weren't aware of it or what it means in practice.
Due to these factors, we have a full Child Safety Programme to educate our students and community as a whole about the best ways to be safe. We teach children about the rights they have to feel secure physically, emotionally, and psychologically.
Picaflor House supports the children in their academic education. We do so by providing classes in mathematics, reading, writing and communication. We have a complete English programme designed to help the kids reach a basic level. Homework help is provided as many of the parents are unable to help the children with their school work. This all gives the children the best chance of achieving excellent academic results. And thereby create better employment and future educational opportunities.
We believe in providing the children with additional activities that many children in Peru do not experience in the public school system. At Picaflor House, the children learn arts and crafts, sports, music, traditional dance, and chess. This provides the children with the joys of a variety of fun and stimulating non-academic activities.
Many of the parents in the village need to work long hours to support their families. Therefore, there is a need for care for younger children to allow parents to work. There needs to be a safe place for younger children to go also and to help prevent older siblings from being burdened with caring for toddlers. That is why we developed a complete kindergarten programme.
Nutrition & Hygiene
Many children living in poverty do not have a variable nutritional diet. This is often the case in villages in Peru where children often eat a limited variety of food. Picaflor House provides the children with a healthy snack and nutritious lunch to support their nutritional needs.
We also take measures to support their dental health. Every student is provided with a toothbrush at the school, and given one to have at home as well. The students brush their teeth at Picaflor House at least once a day after lunch.
Peru's education system has long suffered to provide good quality education to the country's children. There is also a big difference in access to and quality of education between rural and urban areas, and these issues have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Picaflor House Mobile Library makes weekly visits to five of the rural villages around Cusco, worst affected by lack of access to online learning. The project gives the children access to books, teachers and learning resources, to help them re-engage with the education system and prevent permanent drop-out, when schools eventually reopen.