Dear Friends of Willka T'ika and the WTCF,
I wanted to personally follow up and thank all those that kindly contributed to the Willka Tika Children's Fund after last week's "Empower Education" newsletter (see below).
We have received $3832 in donations to date, and we are now more than half way toward our current goal! On behalf of Carol Cumes and the children and teachers of Paru Paru school, we are so grateful!
Thanks to these donations, we are able to support 6 grades of Primary School students. Last week we announced our goal to empower 80 isolated students with cell phone plans so they can continue to study remotely while schools are closed due to COVID. At $10/mo for 9 months, that would require $7200.
We're $3368 from reaching our goal to provide all of the children at Paru Paru with access to educational resources this year. If it's within your budget today, a gift of any amount is greatly appreciated. Or consider forwarding this newsletter on to others who may be in a position to help fund this project.
Once again, many thanks from all of us for your generosity and support of our local mountain school communities. We hope to thank you in person at Willka T'ika someday soon!
With Ayni and Appreciation,
Director, Willka T'ika Wellness Resort
OUR CURRENT CAMPAIGN:
In late July, when the roads opened after several months of closure due to Peru's State of Emergency, we traveled to the mountain community of Paru Paru to spend the day with the school's principal, Dionisio. We reviewed their infrastructure, technology, and nutrition needs for the school. After meeting with him and other community leaders, we agreed that the most pressing need is to help each student afford a basic cell phone plan so that s/he can complete homework assignments safely from home, using WhatsApp.
With no set schedule on the horizon for the start of in-person schooling, WhatsApp text messaging service has become a lifeline for access to education for Peru's mountain communities. Paru Paru's principal showed us the lessons that he and the other 5 teachers send the students each day via WhatsApp. Students then send back a photo of the completed assignments.
Dionisio explained that many students don't have access to a phone and are only able to do assignments a couple days a week when they are able to share a family member's phone. He emphasized how important it is for them to be able to do assignments each day.
We then drove to Pisaq (1 hour away from Paru Paru) to the cell phone store and found the most basic plan for around $10/month. If we were to fund each of the school's 80 students, we could guarantee daily instruction for $800/month. Assuming a 9 month school year, that would cost $7200 for the year.
If you're currently in a position to help fund this effort with a donation, a gift of $90 or $180 will help fund access to a year's worth of lessons for one or two students. Or for some, a monthly gift of $10 for 9 months is an easier way to budget a donation at this time. Any amount of support is graciously appreciated and will help meet our funding goals.
There are currently 8 students with no access to phones at all. "Smart Phones" in Peru that are compatible with Whatsapp cost about $90 each. For an investment of $720 we can help guarantee access to an education for these 8 children.
Funding this technology will help educators in Peru bridge the current digital divide that prevents children from accessing the building blocks to their education.