Staff and students at Globalteer-run Picaflor House Community Project in Peru are celebrating the wonderful news that one of our young students has won a coveted place at a school for gifted children in Cusco.
14 year-old Maria (not her real name) was one of Picaflor’s first ever students, attending after school classes from 2011 to 2015. Staff who taught her remember her as a bright, well-mannered and conscientious girl with particular talent for English. Annie Irving, Project Manager at Picaflor House from 2011 to 2012, who taught Maria said,
“She's a lovely girl and was always a hard worker. So many of the kids at Picaflor have potential ... they just need the opportunity! And if you help the kids, the future generations, then the whole of society will change. Those kids could ... no, WILL make a big difference in the lives of their families, and their village, and maybe even go on to bigger things.”
Maria’s new school was set up by the President of Peru to give gifted children from disadvantaged backgrounds the opportunity to realise their full academic potential, something that normally is only a dream for children like Maria and the other Picaflor House kids. Her family moved to the village of Oropesa where Picaflor House is located from the rural province of Paucartambo, 5 hours away, in search of a better life.
Although Maria’s parents both work full time to provide for their family of four, neither completed high school education so their work options are limited and they struggle to help their children with their school work. They have always been determined, however, that their own children would complete their education and have better chances than they had.
Maria’s excited mother telephoned Laura Hoskins, current project manager as soon as she heard the news, as Laura explained,
“She called me as soon as they found out to thank Picaflor House for all we had done to help. The school is extremely hard to get into - they employ the best teachers and pay the teachers more than average so as to encourage them to deliver better teaching. Maria had to take an entrance exam and present all kinds of documents including proof that she had been attending Picaflor House. This opportunity gives her a much better chance of getting into university and of course better employment further down the line. We are so thrilled for the whole family. It’s been very emotional for us all!”
Maria will take up her full time place at the start of the next school year in March. We wish her well and hope that she is just the first of many success stories for the children of Picaflor House and Oropesa. We extend our huge thanks to Globalteer and Picaflor House staff and of course to all our volunteers and donors who help to make stories like this possible.
To find out more about the project and how to volunteer, please visit the Peru Communuty Project Page.