The Good is that the Bishop of Norwich’s Lenten appeal has donated 13,800 pounds. THANK YOU SO MUCH TO EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU WHO DID ANYTHING TOWARDS THAT VERY GENEROUS SUM. All of it, as ever, goes to help the children’s education – this time, by completing the new extension, so that even more children can go to school. This will include putting windows in the 2nd floor dining room (blue roof, see last blog) and doors etc, bit chilly for the children eating there at the moment! Also, to adding more toilets, because without these, the government are refusing to pay the teachers, as the building isn’t within regulations?! Look at what they put up and call schools and then you’ll understand why I am so angry about that!
More Good News…. The Diss Rotarians have given Educateperu children this lovely playground equipment and a huge flatscreen TV so that whole classes can use it for lessons. That isn’t fitted up yet, as the room isn’t finished! However, the swings were in full use as soon as the concrete had set! Someone said to me “how lovely, it’s the only bit of colour here” – which is true in a generally brown landscape. Now the problem is to get the children back into the lessons after their break! Thank you gentlemen; you would have paid good money to see the children’s faces on the Monday morning, as they arrived through the school gates, shocked into silence at the sight.
The Bad – 2 weeks ago, I went to the offices of Raul Chavez, the Vice Minister of Education for Perú, to ask about our teachers not being paid. Even getting an appointment was very difficult, and a friend in a high place had given me his personal secretary’s name and number – otherwise I’d still be waiting. Off I went for an 8am appt and met this very quiet, rather “chilly”, formal sort of a man. He thawed out to tepid after nearly an hour, made 3 phone calls telling people to report their progress in helping this Englishwoman, made a few encouraging noises about “moral debt” to people like us in Educateperu and off I went, fairly encouraged.
The more cynical around me said “you won’t get anything”- more or less true so far. Other visits to other educators, who deny all knowledge of anything to with SSM, has netted so far, ONE teacher place and that comes with a teacher = we have to get rid of one excellent teacher in order to have a gov’t paid one – which is not the agreement at all.
Not happy and still ongoing – another meeting this week with the Vice President of the Region of Callao, who is also in charge of education for the region – and see where that gets us. Unfortunately for children in Perú, the gov’t here has devolved their educational responsibilities to the regions…thereby washing their hands of it.
The Scouts of Surco came last Saturday and we had a very jolly few hours with them. They have donated 16 cases of refurbished books, suitable for that age group of children, ready to go in our new library…which thanks to the Bishop of Norwich’s Lenten Appeal, will be completed. While that was going on, the Scout leaders were giving the first round of training to a group of willing, literate mothers of SSM pupils. We shall be the first school in the region to have its own Scout troop, which for “political” reasons here has to be all-female.
Lots more good news shortly – but meanwhile, all schools compulsorily closed as of tomorrow due to swine fever worsening here, so I’ll write again soon with more news. Love and thanks to you all, Jillx ps I’ll leave you to guess who is the Ugly!