Contact name: Karen Gordon
Project URL: www.cupforeducation.org
Organization Name: Cup For Education in partnership with the Cafe Femenino Foundation
Project: Early Education Centers in Peru
Additional information on location of project: This project incorporates two schools in the communities of Corral de Piedra and Murojaga
Projected Impact: 100 children under the age of 5 years old
This past year has seen exciting advancements in the Early Education Centers of Corral de Piedra and Murojaga that were funded by Cup For Education working in partnership with the Cafe Femenino Foundation. Located in an area designated as “high-poverty” by the government of Peru, these preschools serve children between the ages of three and five years in an effort to stimulate learning and combat malnutrition. In the first year, these Education Centers were created by upgrading the classrooms to include art and musical supplies, more educational tools, mats for floor play, colorful instructional posters, hand washing stations, new paint, and a roof.
Lots of hands-on projects and movement were incorporated so that the fine and gross motor skills of the children were enhanced. In these children, the levels of malnutrition rates have been quite high. A malnutrition program for teachers and parents, that included specialized training and tracking in nutritional aspects of children’s health, was implemented. We are pleased to report that now going into the second year of this preschool, we are already seeing a remarkable reduction in malnutrition. These preschools have quickly become treasured by the community. This is because in this area of rural Peru, the preschool-aged children have never had access to this type of early educational stimulation. They have essentially been left behind academically compared to children educated in the cities.
Malnutrition rates for small children in these communities are very high leading to diminished learning capacity and poor academic performance. The malnutrition survey, which began in the first year of the project has continued in this second year and will continue for five years. As this project continues into the second year, more data is collected, and new students entering the school, along with their parents, will receive the specialized training.
Experiences, such as drawing, painting, using scissors, and color crayons, which have not previously been a part of these children’s lives are now incorporated into the curriculum. Movement skills, such as somersaults and dance, have also been introduced. Early reading and math skills, in addition to outdoor environment studies, are being introduced for the first time. A lunch box program continues into the second year, as it has been a successful educational tool for the children and their parents on the topic of nutrition.
Because the children were being sent to school in the first weeks with lunches made up of cookies and candy, we became aware of the lack of knowledge the parents had in providing a nutritional lunch for their small children. It became necessary to give the parents more information and training in what to send with their children in the way of healthy and nutritious food. The lunch boxes were given to the children to provide a daily reminder to the students and their families that healthy eating was important to academic success.
What You Can Do to Help
The best way to support this cause is to talk about it. Cup for Education is on Facebook and Twitter. Find out what we are doing and how you can connect to help. Hosting a fundraiser, collecting books in Spanish, or basic school supplies is something anyone can do. There is great need among coffee growing communities of the world, and Peru is just one of many countries we have projects.
Monetary donations are always welcome. Every dollar raised goes directly to the projects. Everyone involved with Cup For Education volunteers their time so that there are no salaries or administrative costs. The administrative costs are covered by Coffee Holding Company Inc. so that we can make a bigger impact with every dollar we receive from our supporters.