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Chicuchas Wasi

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Primary & Elementary Schools

Mission: At Chicuchas Wasi School for Girls we promote gender equality, self-esteem, and human dignity for indigenous girls of rural Cusco, Peru, by educating, empowering, and preparing them for economic independence and unlimited opportunity.

Results: Our attendance is 99%, Parent participation is 95% of mothers and a few fathers. We have just completed the construction of our new primary grade school for girls in rural Cusco. Community, parents and girls seeing the value of educating their girls with the success and enthusiasm they students demonstrate. Our students love to learn if given the opportunity.

Target demographics: Educate ignored poor Girls in rural Cusco to provide economic security and prepare leaders to end gender inequality in their community.

Direct beneficiaries per year: We have 110 students this year ending Dec. 31, 2015; The 2014 school year educated 105 students and 9 girls graduating to High School last December. Parent, siblings, mothers and the community benefit. They are watching the progress of our students and sending girl siblings when age ready.

Geographic areas served: Our students come from rural Cusco area and many are farmer, day laborers, or unemployed and take any job if possible-even putting children on the streets to beg.

Programs: We provide at our CW Primary school for undervalued Girls, free primary academic education. Our school stresses personal development by instilling social and personal values,empowerment, self- esteem and integrity. The regular curriculum is augmented with classes on Hygiene, Art, English, and Quechua. The school frequently participates in civic events, which are an integral part of Cusquena life, such as Parades, festivals, holiday celebrations, girl value demonstrations, and most recently Celebration of the International Day of the Girl.We provide hot daily meal (often only meal that day for students), safe transportation to ensure attendance, uniforms, school books and supplies and parent classes to empower and help especially single mothers with resources for economic survival.

Community Stories

71 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Elizabeth91

Board Member

Rating: 5

I had the pleasure of visiting Chicuchas Wasi Girls School in May 2016 along with 11 other visitors. We saw first hand the positive impact the Peruvian teachers have had on the 110 girls, their family, and their community. The teachers have focused classrooms not only on various academic subjects but also on cultural appreciation, and personal growth, and responsibility. Each class of students enthusiastically preformed a disciplined, well rehearsed song, dance, poem, reading, or drama. We all shard a meal prepared by their indigenous parents who are thrilled to have their girls in school, knowing that because of an education life will offer their children opportunities that unfortunately they themselves never were given.
I wholeheartedly encourage your support of Chicuchas Wasi Girls School . Almost 100% of funds raised goes directly to support the school.
Betty W

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1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer with Chicuchas Wasi since its founding by Rae Lewis, RN 28 years ago. Presently I am on the CW BOD. Started as a home for abandoned children, CW has evolved into a school for indigenous girls, who otherwise would not be educated. Education is the road out of poverty and into a life of opportunity. I have been to the school many times and observed first hand the faces of the girls light up with learning. Under the direction of Ruth Urbe and her staff the 110 girls thrive. The girls are taught educational basics plus English, nutrition, conflict resolution, and an appreciation of their Inca culture. CW also provides uniforms, and one hot meal a day since many of the girls come from impoverished families that have problems providing adaquate nutrition. Our overhead in California is minimal since members receive no monitary compensation. Almost all of your donation will go directly to supporting the school Thank you for considering donating to Chicuchas Wasi Girls School.

Comments ( 1 )

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gitana 10/13/2015

Thank you Betty for this nice review of the CW school. -Rae

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

This school is doing incredible things for the girls. The students feel so fortunate and proud to go to Chicuchas Wasi, as they know it is a special opportunity that will change their lives. CW focuses on developing the whole student- academics, personal growth, medical services, art, athletics, environmental awareness, and more. I have never seen an organization be more invested in its girls than Chicuchas Wasi!

1 Alison41

Donor

Rating: 5

We visited the school in May 2015 on a trip to Cusco. The staff were wonderful and the girls so friendly and welcoming. We had a great visit and could really appreciate all the work and cost that goes into running the school and giving an education to these girls who need it most.
We were only too happy to make a donation when we got home.

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gitana 06/10/2016

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience at the CW school. Also for your donation to support education for these girls. Gracias. Rae Lewis, Founder

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

What the street children in Cusco, Peru taught me.

I was a solo traveller in Cusco, Peru in 1986, to try to understand what the enormous attraction was for me to put my CA life on hold and spend a year there to find out. My years as a daily meditator and as a nurse deepened my understanding of empathy and drew me to Cusco somehow. The abandoned Cusco children sleeping in doorways and stealing food to survive found me and surrounded me every day sharing their lives with me and completely changing mine. Desperate young mothers would often try to give me their swaddled infant speaking to me in the Quechua dialect I didn't understand. A mother myself, I could not mistake her meaning and it shook my world and changed my future forever.

In 1987 I founded Chicuchas Wasi(CW) an emergency shelter for many of the children I had come to know and love. Their ability to open their hearts to each other and me, to bond with other abandoned children and find joy in the smallest moment changed my understanding of humanity. We are here to make a difference, one person can and we do not need to move to Cusco, Peru to do so.

I lived in the shelter for 10 years with these children until a young woman raised and educated as a teacher joined our CW team. Together in 1997, she and I reorganized to educate girls and prepare them for a better future out of poverty. Our school for Girls opened and I returned to CA. to seek funding to support it and this has been my ‘work’ for the last 18 years. The passion is very much alive for both Ruth at the school and for me in CA learning to be creative as a fundraiser.

Today as adults, two of our children from the early years of CW serve as board members of the CW School for Indigenous Girls to educate girls and end child abandonment. For the last 28 years this passion has grown and spread to our teachers and support team knowing that the 110 girls being empowered and educated today will never need to abandon their children. I am still inspired constantly by our girls and all they are achieving and are teaching their mothers and grandmothers - denied education due to poverty and being born a girl.

Review from #MyGivingStory

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I spent a couple of hours at Chicuchas Wasi whilst visiting my daughter in Peru. I used to work for UNICEF UK, so have visited a number of schools in developing countries. I thought this school was a little jewel - the buildings are well designed and maintained, the girls obviously feel both nurtured and celebrated, and the staff are clearly united in their caring attitude and positive philosophy. I was very impressed.

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gitana 10/23/2015

Thank you for taking the time to write your review and for the kind comments for our 28 year old nonprofit. Please tell your friends about Chicuchas Wasi and become a supporter of our successful work to educate 110 girls in Cusco. -Rae Lewis, Founder

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I had the privilege of visiting Chicuchas Wasi as part of my work with non-profit crowdfunding platform Global Giving - and found a wonderful school with inspirational, committed teachers and happy, incredible children. I have never felt so welcomed and moved by a project I've visited, which has created a loving and safe space for these girls - who face many hardships in their home lives. I particularly enjoyed being able to spend so much time with both founders of the school - Ruth and Rae - who are truly dedicated and have worked tirelessly for these girls for many years.

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gitana 06/10/2016

Thank you for taking the time to write this review and for visiting Chicuchas Wasi School for Girls in Cusco, Peru. I am glad that GlobalGiving makes real visits to see first hand the work we are doing. Gracias.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been indirectly involved with Chicuchas Wasi for several years, having a close friend who has traveled there and sharing her times there. Through the stories and experiences of her visits, coupled with the material learned from the Chicuchas Wasi web site, I have become aware of the important work this school is carrying out among underprivileged and impoverished girls.
I receive regular communications from the school, and it’s through these e-mails that I am made clear on the effectiveness of its mission. I am learning that there is close interaction of teachers and administrative personnel with the girls. Teachers have the necessary supplies to work with, and the school provides appropriate materials enabling the teachers to do their work. There are course programs, and the topics covered are quite appropriate for the children's age.
It is clear to me that the goal for this school is for the education of its girls. Education will enable them to move out of their impoverished circumstances and have an impact in and on their community. Because these are the goals of learning I personally believe in, I have since become a passionate and enthusiastic supporter of the mission of Chicuchas Wasi.

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gitana 06/10/2016

Thank you for this thoughtful review and accurate account of what our mission is- education for girls unable to go to school otherwise and destined to a life of poverty without knowing how to read, write and do basic math. Thank you

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been with Chicuchas Wasi and on the board since its inception in 1987 when the founder, Rae Lewis, was looking for support to start a shelter for street children. Soon we had a home in Cusco, with 12 children, providing them shelter including nutrition, health care, school and life skills. Over the next 9-10 years we cared for many children including those who just came to the door for a meal, pair of shoes or medical assistance which ultimately amounted to hundreds. Eventually we realized that education of girls was the key. In 1997 we transitioned to Chicuchas Wasi School for Girls to prepare and educate poor girls to become future leaders for social change, to end gender inequality, female abuse and child abandonment. Starting with a small class of 4 and 5 year olds, growing every year, we now have our own school in Cusco with 110 students. This year, celebrating our 28th anniversary, we will graduate our third group of 6th graders. I am so proud of these girls and how far they have come.

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4

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been on the board of Chicuchas Wasi for 25 years and have been to the school. All board members are volunteers for this very worthy organization started by a California nurse who gave many years of her life living in Cusco to help street children. I have watched it grow and transform from a home for street children to the present configuration of 93 girls in classes to the 5th grade in our new school in Cusco, Peru. It is an honor to be associated with this organization providing an education that would otherwise be unavailable to these indigenous girls. Please see the complete history and current news at www.chicuchaswasi.org and Facebook.

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gitana 12/20/2012

Thank you Mary for your review and sharing your experience with Chicuchas Wasi. We have been truly blessed to have 5 very active and dedicated volunteer board members in California for so many years. We provide needed administrative support including: all social networking and management of website, FaceBook, Grant writing and submissions, and fundraising events to support the CW Alternative School for Undervalued Girls in Cusco, Peru. Without this incredible support team, it would be difficult for the Project to continue.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hola amigos de Great nonprofits, escribo este reporte como conocedor y voluntario de Chicuchas Wasi,pues conozco la obra desde hace mas de quince años y mas ahora que el proyecto va dedicado a la educación de niñas en situación en alto riesgo de la ciudad del Cusco - Perú, labor que es regentada por la profesora Ruth y su noble equipo de profesoras que hasta la fecha han logrado varias promociones de niñas que han culminado su primaria con éxito y se vislumbran como lideres pues estas niñas han aprendido lo más importante de su formación que es la autoestima y el amor por su prógimo, la escuela en si alberga a mas de cien niñas que son formadas con un buen nivel educativo. Para finalizar y con mucha franqueza debo recomendar a los amigos y benefactores que deseen conocer de la obra, visiten la escuela Chicuchas Wasi y conozcan a las niñas que estudian allí y a las profesoras, además de paso logran visitar la maravilla del mundo Machupicchu y la hermosa ciudad del Cusco.
Gracias.
Atte. Erik Vera.

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gitana 06/10/2016

Gracias Erik para poner tus palabras aqui para todos a leer como piensa alguien que es de Cusco. Mil gracias. - Rae

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was introduced to Chicuchas Wasi a little less than 1 year ago. I met Rae Lewis and Ruth Uribe, when Ruth came to California. I was so impressed by the program, that I wanted to help with whatever I could. When we traveled to visit my parents who retired in Peru, I asked if I could take anything for them. That is how my involvement started. On August 20th, 2015 my husband and I had the opportunity to visit Chicuchas Wasi. I was so impressed with Ruth’s dedication, endless energy and love towards not only all the students, but also her staff, the parents of the students and the community. The Chicuchas Wasi teachers and staff are awesome and very dedicated to the young ladies they are educating, by not only giving them the academic tools but also giving them the tools to build their self-pride, self-reliance and self-confidence for a successful future. The Chicuchas Wasi program educates young ladies from pre-school until 6th grade.
We were invited to visit every classroom and were welcomed with songs, poetry, safety lesson, art lesson, English class and a science project. The Chicuchas Wasi young ladies overcome extreme hardships to get an education, yet they all were very welcoming. Their songs and poetry expressed how grateful they are for their education (which is free), how much they love their teachers and especially their director Ruth. I left each classroom with tears in my eyes and a heart full of love from all the hugs I received. Visiting Chicuchas Wasi was the highlight of our visit to Cusco and I am so glad to be a little part of the Chicuchas Wasi family.

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gitana 10/13/2015

Dear Isabel. I am so pleased that you were able to visit first hand the Chiuchas Wasi school for girls and were moved by our girls, teaching team and Ruth. It matters even more as you are a part of our support family in California :-) I know we will be seeing more of you. Gracias amiga for those great fotos to. -Rae

Jennifer Ann W.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My recent visit in August 2015 to Chicuchas Wasi was the highlight of my trip in Cusco! Rae coordinated my visit, and Ruth gave me a full tour of the school. I met all of the students and faculty at this beautiful location in a unique and secluded area in the hills of Cusco. Everything was so well organized, from my time spent there to the facilities, and more importantly to the curriculum and values taught to the girls. I was so impressed by the organization, the giving and loving staff, and I hope to be involved towards the future efforts of Chicuchas Wasi.

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gitana 10/13/2015

Thank you Jennifer for taking the time to share your experience at our school. I am so glad you were able to visit and lend a hand in the tech area. Your photos are wonderful too, thanks. Keep well and visit us again soon. -Rae

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My recent visit to Chicuchas Wasi was the highlight of my trip in Cusco! Rae coordinated my visit, and Ruth gave me a full tour of the school. I met all of the students and faculty at this beautiful location in a unique and secluded area in the hills of Cusco. Everything was so well organized, from my time spent there to the facilities, and more importantly to the curriculum and values taught to the girls. I was so impressed by the organization, the giving and loving staff, and I hope to be involved towards the future efforts of Chicuchas Wasi.

Comments ( 1 )

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gitana 10/13/2015

Thank you for visiting our amazing school and taking the time to meet the girls, teachers and Ruth. Your experience and sharing it with us helps to keep the the awareness high for the need to educate girls unable to attend school otherwise. Muchas gracias amigo -Rae

2 Flore F.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I became familiar with Chicuchas Wasy about 8 years ago and have since then followed its evolution. I have only visited it once, happily being invited to the official inauguration of the new school. This place is amazing in so many ways. First, the general atmosphere is so comforting. One feels immediately the happiness of these children to be there. Having had the chance on the inauguration day to meet many parents, it was also obvious that for them, knowing their girls are in such a loving environment is a huge relief from the hardship or their daily lives.
Ruth, the director of the school is a unique person. She shines in the presence of the girls and one can see how dedicated she is and how she strives to get the best for the girls as well as for their parents in way of coaching them.
I had tears in my eyes when the girls happily and heartily sang and danced on the inauguration day and upon my visit.
All the people I met involved in one way or another with Chicusas Wasi are really involved and caring for the project, which makes it a very viable project. Nevertheless it still needs support in many forms, including financial, as Ruth has great ambition for the girls welfare.
The setting of the school is amazing. Just above Cuzco. The school is very well organised, with food provided to the children, good classrooms, and a diversity of subjects taught, according to age of the girls. Even medical care and dentist check ups are available when possible. People who visit Chicuchas Wasi are usually all ready to help in whatever way they can, because it obviously is a succesfull project that can only bring good to these girls who otherwise would not have this opportunity for a brighter, educated future.
And being a social media addict, it is really nice to be regularly informed via Facebook of what is going on in the school and about the welfare of the girls.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Chimichanga Wasi is one of 3 charities I donate to monthly. Their start up story is amazing- started by a nurse who saw a need and filled it. And continues to fill it on a daily basis.
Updates at least monthly, immediate acknowledgements, always accessible if I have a question or comment.
I truly am confident my day nation goes straight to the school and the girls, and not swallowed by overhead cost.

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gitana 10/13/2015

Thank you for your review of Chicuchas Wasi School for Girls. Many people have misspelled our name (indigenous dialect of Cusco) and pronouncing it is not much easier. We appreciate your loyal support to educate 110 girls. I am that nurse you refer to :-) and thanks for reading our history too. You matter Skatinrn. -Rae

3

Donor

Rating: 5

I had the opportunity to visit Chicuchas Wasi in April 2015. I was humbled on a number of levels. It was wonderful to see an environment that engendered children that were playful, engaging and curious. They were curious about where I am my trek colleagues where from an about our families and countries. One could see a nurturing environment from teachers and other school staff to allow that thinking and other learnings. The school is clearly providing education that is really building strong future members of Peru society. I wish them great success going forward.

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gitana 10/13/2015

Thank you Angel. You captured the spirit of Chicuchas Wasi on your visit and we hope you will come again some time. Thank you for taking the time to write your review. -Rae

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Chicuchas Wasi is a fantastic organisation and we wish them all the best. They were introduced to us by our tour guide Efrain Valles and we visit the group twice a year on our tours. The project is doing such incredible work and there is always a sense of joy and enthusiasm from all those involved, not least the girls themselves. We are very privileged to visit the project and we always try to support them whenever we can. Many thanks for the warm welcomes we always receive, it is always one of the highlights of our tours to see the wonderful work being done by your incredible team.

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gitana 12/07/2014

Thank you so very much for your kind words about our School and the Cusco team who run it, especially Administrator Ruth Uribe and the teachers. We are very proud here in California of the skill and creativeness that Ruth puts into the curriculum to really engage all 105 girls. Your visits and FaceBook views (many of your travelers I have met here) are much appreciated. Perhaps I will get to meet you on one of your trips that coincides with one of mine.-Rae

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

Make a summary of the kindly Chicuchas Wasi activity is something very simple for me, because I have very vivid memories of the moment of its creation in the mind of Rae Lewis.

I met Rae in Lima, on their return from Cusco, by the end of the 1980s, she had attended a gathering with a group of friends engaged in the various expressions of the Andean culture, and at the end of the meeting everyone went to walk by the malecon of Miraflores.

On that occasion she told me that she had come to Peru as a turist. In Cusco she had an impressive encounter with the "street children".

Cusco is one of the most cosmopolitan cities of South American, and she never thought to find so heartbreaking images as small children in such a state of neglect. This childs, very advanced night, gathered in parks and squares of the city in order to sleep making mutual company and mutual protection in all circumstances.

She told me how difficult resulted to her achieve that some of them get closer to her at that evening hours, while on the day time, was so simple to watched them play and interact with tourists in many activities ranging from simple trade of sweets, newspapers, shoe shine... in short, all those that we are “use” to see.

Something different was to try that they accept her as a "protective", since adults infuse them great fear at that time. But she gradually won their trust and could make a "pact" with a handful of them, who agreed to receive a plate of hot food a day with the condition to accept to go to sleep in the place that she would provide for them.

In little more than one month she gets together nearly twenty children of different ages and conditions... and also of different feelings. Some of them decided to leave the street in exchange for the offer that they were receiving, in addition to food, personal hygiene (first level of health), and education.

Her determination led her to contact some of the children parents to ask for the motives and reasons to leave their children on so abandon situation on the street. There were explanations of all caliber and very dark silence, that were lost in the inhuman feelings.

Rae came to involve in her cooperative work several people, but their respective wills sometimes did not coincide with her´s and they left her "hanging". And she complained that. However, on the other hand, she had obtained positive response from restaurant owners who were permeable to cooperate with her.

Telling me all this and with my knowledge of the legal reality of the Peru I told her that it would be appropriate that she depersonalize her work in order to avoid falling into side responsibilities that could compromise their future and that of his work.

Her determination led her to contact some of the parents children to ask regarding the motives and reasons to leave so their children on the street.
Rae came to commit his work to several people, but their respective wills sometimes did not coincide with yours and they left "hanging". And she complained that. However, on the other hand, it had obtained positive response from restaurant owners who was raising to cooperate with it.

Telling me all this and with my knowledge of the legal reality of the Peru I told her that it would be appropriate that he despersonalize her work in order to avoid falling into side responsibilities that could compromise her future and work.

As presumably her continued tenacity and so then she acquired a house in the town of Urubamba - Valle Sagrado of Cusco which he called Chicuchas Wasi. Its initial conception was to make it a very special tourist hostel, where the first housed were just the children. They received there food, education, housing and dress, but above all love. In addition, having to learn everything that will help them in the future to interact in society and continue to be good people and prosper.

In 1992 I went with a large group of mountain cyclists friends to make several tours arround Cusco and the Sacred Valley, and we get accommodation at the hostel. Living pleasantly with children, from whom we receive many collaboration and joy. So enjoyable moments of sympathy they were recorded in all of us.

It was remarkable to see them very compromize to their respective student obligations, taking care of their own personal and communal obligations. Always emphasizing the joy and happiness of living under the protective mantle of Rae.

I have witnessed very risky facts and one of them was when the urgency of getting a vehicle that would serve as transportation for when she had to go with the children to visit their natural families, who lived in very remote areas of the provinces of Cusco.

She came to Lima, as she announced to bay a vehicle. With this intent we went to different local sale of second hand, until we find the ideal van.

I warned her that it would be necessary to wait for the transfer formalities to conclude so then take it to Cusco. I had to accept the reality that her tenacity and willingness to serve their children was more powerful than the "paperwork", because they can not wait. And, that same evening she went to Cusco... as if it were just around the corner. Of course, that encouraged me to join her... but I was only a lawyer with obligations and a Saturday cyclist adventurous, while she was off-road adventurous solidarity.

Two days later, I received her call, she had arrive to Cusco with peace of mind, despite her little knowledge of the territory and language, thanks to her vast knowledge of herself and confidence that things would be as God had predicted to be. For me, it was a splendid lesson.

Now, at least thirty year later…I may have more to add & tell about Chicuchas-Wasi until today school for girls…is a magnificent work for the good of them that in other circumstances will receive to little from life.

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gitana 12/07/2014

Thank you Lucho. I think you covered most of the 27 years (and only a few errors from memory) so I am impressed. Thank you so much for taking the time to dig down deep to recall all those years. I am glad to see your comments here. Happy Holidays Lucho.-Rae

1 Michael288

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I think that Chicuchas Wasi is a wonderful educational opportunity for girls in South America. The organization shows girls the foundations of nutrition and family values while giving them an education. I wish success going forward.

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gitana 10/24/2014

Thank you Michael for your generous support of the Chicuchas Wasi School for Girls. I appreciate your willingness to make a difference using your talent with the website design in wordpress. Thanks for the time and the almost finished redo or our webpage.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I became involved with Chicuchas Wasi as a monthly recurring donor. I picked the organization because I absolutely love their mission and focus on helping educate the indigenous girls in Cusco Peru. I also started following them on Social Media and through a series of interactions with Rae Lewis, the founder of Chicuchas Wasi, I am now a part of this incredible organization. The passion and dedication the volunteers have is amazing! They have come so far with just a few passionate people who give every ounce of their heart to this mission. They say that what you put out comes back to you tenfold. The volunteers, teachers and board of Chicuchas Wasi give so much kindness and love to their project that you can see the fruits of their labor in the beautiful smiles of the girls they teach. Saying Chicuchas Wasi only teaches girls is an understatement. Every girl who learns to read and becomes educated will now have an impact in her family, her community and eventually the world. Thank you Chicuchas Wasi for all you do!

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gitana 10/24/2014

Thank you Christina for this touching testimony of your experience and support of our school as our Social Media Manager and what a good job you do. What a wonderful surprise to have one of our donors step up and offer those very important skills and to understand so well what Chicuchas Wasi is about. Thanks Christina. I couldn't do it without your help these days.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been familiar with Chicuchas Wasi and the work that they do for several years now. I came to know about it through one of my dearest friends, who as a girl went to that school and was eventually able to come to the US and make a life for herself here from a background of poverty. None of this would have been possible if not for CW. CW is changing lives for young girls in Peru for the better and opening doors that otherwise would undoubtedly remain closed, through education. They also provide meals and transport to/from school. CW is a wonderful organization and deserves all the support it can get.

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gitana 10/24/2014

Thank you Kate for you kind words about CW. I know you know quite a bit about our students and the constant action around what we do here as well as in Cusco at the school. I appreciate so much young people who really understand that one person can make a difference in the lives of others and together we move big mountains.