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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

3 pambudgie

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I met Rae, their founder, last year and am impressed by her dedication to a) this nonprofit's beneficiaries and b) the future of the nonprofit and its ability to continue serving its target population. We have talked at length about our common challenges (I'm the CFO of a separate nonprofit) and am confident she will find a way forward (as she has already by partnering with a local college).

Comments ( 1 )

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gitana 10/16/2014

Thank you for taking the time to share your impression of Chicuchas Wasi. It is very helpful to us. I appreciate the work you do also Pam and look forward to many more years of the same.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Chicuchas Wasi is an outstanding educational opportunity for underprivileged girls. This organization not only provides an important education element for their future but a caring, loving environment that nurtures the whole child. The foundations of nutrition, family support and transportation are all components considered by Chicuchas Wasi to make the educational opportunity a success and foster a brighter future. I wish them great future success!

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gitana 10/16/2014

Thank you so much for this glowing review of our Chicuchas Wasi school for girls. Please visit us on FaceBook @chicuchaswasi and also sign up to receive our newsletters at chicuchas_wasi@sonic.net. These really do matter to help us get out to the public :-) Thanks again for taking this time to speak out. - Rae

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been part of CW since the early years and I know first hand experience the dedication and hard work of the founder and board members to maintain this girls school one of the best schools in Cuzco Peru. It focuses on the underprivileged, indigenous girls who have almost no opportunity to obtain an education due to their circumstances.

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gitana 10/16/2014

Thank you for this glowing review of our Chicuchas Wasi school for girls. Please visit us on FaceBook @chicuchaswasi and also sign up to receive our newsletters at chicuchas_wasi@sonic.net. Thanks again for taking this time to speak out. - Rae

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6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have first hand experience about this amazing organization. I was one of the first few children that lived in Chicuchas Wasi 25 years ago when it was founded by Rae Lewis. When I was seven years old, both of my parents passed away leaving my five siblings and I orphaned. It was through a social worker that I met Rae, who took my siblings and I into her home. At the time Chicuchas Wasi was a children's home, where I lived for seven years. It was through this organization that I received a scholarship to further my studies in the USA. I left Chicuchas Wasi Peru when I was 14 years old but I was still part of this organization until I graduated from college and became independent. It was because of CW that today I am a Registered Nurse and I am able to help my family in Peru financially. Today, I travel to Peru once a year to visit family and also see the school and the rest of the CW family. Words alone cannot explain how grateful I am for having met Rae Lewis and for giving me not only a place to live but an education that will last me for a lifetime. Coming from a place where women are still the minority and have fewer opportunities, an education is the foundation to a better life and opportunities in many ways.

Comments ( 1 )

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gitana 12/26/2012

Thank you R. for submitting your review of Chicuchas Wasi. You certainly have inside knowledge having been one of the first children in the shelter back in 1987, and seeing it grow into today's new school. As one of our girls in the early project -if we had had a school in those years- you would have benefited from our school today. Congratulations on all your achievements in Nursing today and your continued support of your siblings in Peru.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have long admired all of the time and energy that has gone into making Chicuchas Wasi the wonderfully enriching school experience for these sweet and eager children who are the fortunate recipients of a free education. They would otherwise have little hope to overcome their impoverished situations. We here in Sonoma are so proud to have witnessed this growth from a spark of the desire to help the helpless to a full fledged academic program of 27 years.

Carol Dickason

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gitana 10/16/2014

Thank you for this glowing review of our Chicuchas Wasi school for girls. Please visit us on FaceBook @chicuchaswasi and also sign up to receive our newsletters at chicuchas_wasi@sonic.net. Thanks again for taking this time to speak out. - Rae

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It was good the hear that the Chicuchi Wasi project, that was introduced to me some twenty years ago, has become such a success story. It was then that Rae Pieraccini came to the San Francisco office of VARIG Brazilian Airlines and made me aware of the dire situation of the young girls of Cuzco. She explained the project in details and of her plans to open a local school for the poor. She requested assistance from us to transport a large amount of cargo to Lima from California that would be needed to bring the school's program to fruition. What Chicuchi Wasi accomplished in the early years, and continue to do so, is a work of wonder. I feel gratified to know that we were able to offer our assistance and to realize how successful Chicuchi Wasi has become in educating so many young girls for a better future.

Roger J. Pacheco
Sale Mgr. (retired)
VARIG Brazilian Airlines

Comments ( 1 )

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gitana 10/16/2014

Thank you Roger for taking the time to do this review. Your support has always been there for the children in need in the Cusco region and you are greatly appreciated. After 27 years it is wonderful to still see you still with us. Thanks for who you are and always being so willing to lend a hand. - Rae

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have just found and talked to this nonprofit. After much research, I was so impressed with what they do, how much they accomplish, and the fact that only approx. 3% goes to overhead and 97% of the donations goes to programs for the girls! The Founder and the majority of the Board have been doing this work for 27 years and are incredibly dedicated, talented and passionate. I also like the fact that they have an actual tuition-free school,that offers excellent academic studies, as well as personal development and community outreach. They are fantastic!

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gitana 10/16/2014

Thank you for this glowing review of our Chicuchas Wasi school for girls. Your participation and support of this work is very impressive and thank you very much for all you do. Thanks again for taking this time to speak out. - Rae

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Having worked in education for over 20 years and with Hispanic populations, I have seen students navigating life changing experiences. I have seen one student after the other gain confidence, survive life challenges, gain employment, and give back to the community with passion. I have seen proud parents, friends and family pull together to support a mother, father or child through school. Their stories teach me over and over again that achieving the impossible is actually possible.

It is with pride that I am now serving as a Board Member of Chicuchas Wasi. CW captured my attention for its efforts to promote gender equity through education and it kept me engaged for the genuine care I found underlying a well-managed and solid organization. Chicuchas Wasi (CW) brings together collaborators from around the world providing access to quality education for young girls from an indigenous population in Peru. The school not only focuses on girls, it also reaches out to family and the community to tackle poverty and provide economic empowerment, resulting in a broader impact. The effort began in 1987 and has been growing ever since. Do join in and help us help others.

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gitana 10/16/2014

Thank you for this glowing review of our Chicuchas Wasi school for girls. Please visit us on FaceBook @chicuchaswasi and share us often with your friends and family. Your support and effort to help grow and make CW a stronger support for our students is much appreciated. Thanks again for taking this time to speak out. - Rae

2 Sally36

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I visited Chicuchas Wasi in 2011 and thanks to their posts on Facebook and their regular newsletters I am able to follow their activities from a distance. I love to see both the smiling faces of the girls as they enjoy their life at school and the concentration on their faces as they are studying. I admire the dedication of the Director, Ruth, and all the staff who enable the students to benefit from an excellent education, a nutritional meal programme and even health care in lovely purpose built facilities. The excellent attendance rates indicate just how much the girls and their parents value the education and all the other benefits that the school provides. It is so important to enable girls to stand on their own two feet in life. Their time at the school will ensure the girls are able make well informed decisions about their future, to provide for themselves and their families and make a good contribution to their community and society at large.

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2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I visited Chicuchas Wasi in September 2011 from the UK whilst in Peru on a Traidcraft Meet the People Tour. I arrived at the school later than my travelling companions, in low spirits after spending the first part of the morning with our guide, a former CW child, at a police station and the British Consulate. (My bag had been stolen the previous night.) The welcome from Ruth and the girls was so warm and everyone was so cheerful that it took very little time for me to forget my feelings. The girls performed a delightful dance for us and I loved being invited to join in a dance with them afterwards. We were also treated to a fashion show and a tour of the classrooms. Each class we visited entertained us with a song and it was lovely to see all their colourful wall displays. The children's behaviour was exemplary. They treated us as honoured guests and were so grateful for the few gifts that had been provided for the school on our behalf. I am delighted that the school now has new, purpose built facilities to enable them to educate even more girls from the indigenous community of Cusco and to give them inspiration for the future. The director and her teachers deserve al the praise they can get, as does their founder. It has been wonderful following the progress of the school and the girls since my return from Peru, thanks to their online posts.

Comments ( 1 )

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gitana 03/26/2013

Thank you Sally for sharing your experience with our students at our Chicuchas Wasi School for Girls. They are pretty amazing and their enthusiasm is very contagious. The students are thriving with all the help people like you have given them. You make it possible for them to even go to school. Sorry you had to endure the theft of your documents, I know first hand what that is like. I am sure Efrain took charge and when that was taken care of I am glad the excitement of the school girls and staff just washed the unhappy memory away. I am happy to report that the Tourist Police are everywhere and have seriously clamped down on theft. Countries that are poor must always have this problem, and actually mine does too. I love all your activity and sharing you do of our posts on FB Sally. It really helps and thank you so much for taking the time to do this. Blessings.-Rae

2 Jane62

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I just visited the Chicuchawasi School a few weeks ago during my trip to Cusco. Efrain Valles, my guide on the Inca Trail, told me about the school and his involvement with the organization. I was inspired by the work Ruth and her staff are doing at the school, changing the lives of these young girls and their families. I truly believe educating and empowering women can change the world. Thank you Ruth, Rae, Efrain and all the rest of you for the wonderful work you are doing. What an inspiring organization! Jane Engel

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gitana 12/19/2013

Thank you Jane for your glowing review of our school. I am so pleased that you were able to visit the school and see the positive results that we are having. Our students will have a much better life than the women that came before them. Opportunities not given to their mothers and grandmothers will be available to girls with education and personal preparation. Please tell your friends and come again. Please support education for girls denied without our school. Your donation is greatly appreciated. -Rae Lewis, Founder

2 Diane76

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I visited Chicuchas Wasi on my trip to Peru in May. They are doing such important work! And, Ruth's dedication floored me. We will support their work in the future by bringing all Llama Expeditions' groups to visit and make a donation. Go Chicuchas Wasi! Girl power!

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gitana 09/02/2013

Dear Diane. Thank you for your visit to our school and capturing the positive life-changing effect Chicuchas Wasi School for Girls is making for our students. Director Ruth Uribe is passionate about changing the oppression and gender inequality affecting girls and women in Cusco. And it shows in the faces of our students. Please stay in touch and visit often.-Rae

2 Tari_Marie

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I recently had the privilege of visiting the Chicuchas Wasi school, and I was so impressed! I can't imagine the obstacles and challenges that the young female students face and deal with every single day, but they seemed thrilled to be at this school. They were well-behaved, enthusiastic, affectionate (they gave us so many hugs and kisses), and had smiling, beautiful faces that radiated so much optimism and joie de vivre. They clearly have unfathomable potential. Despite fairly short notice, they had prepared songs, poems, and beautiful artwork for us to take with us. It was such a touching, humbling experience. Also, Ruth, the school director, has such passion and love for these girls; it was really extraordinary to see how she interacted with them and how much they love and respect her. I know that I won't ever forget these girls; they definitely deserve a well-rounded education and every opportunity to become independent, thriving women.

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gitana 07/03/2013

Thank you Tari for taking the time to visit our school. Ruth and the girls are fully committed to overcoming any obstacle that gets in the way of these girls achieving their dreams. Poos girls learn quickly that they are destined to suffer poverty, abuse, oppression, and gender inequality in all areas because they were unfortunate to be born a girl. We are changing that whole image of girls not being worth the effort to educate and inferior to boys. You can see in the faces of our girls that they no longer believe those out dated beliefs and are thriving and intelligent. Please Visit www.chicuchaswasi.org for more information-Please donate to educate a girl and give her economic survival. Thanks for your kind words. I know you see the value of educating all girls.:))

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was a Chihuchas-wasi (The Children's Home) volunteer widower as my wife when we were dating devoted hours and hours to the cause of raising funds for her friends charitable organization. We collected clothing for shipment to Peru to help the children's home. Over the years we sold jewelry made by the children, bought jewelry to give as gifts to friends and family, an participated in fund raisers of every type imaginable.

Being friends with the founder, Rae Lewis, we learned first hand of the hard work being put in by so many local volunteers to the Sonoma area, and met the staff who would often visit. We also became like extended family members to Rae's adopted daughter from Peru, Rosa, who is perhaps the best ambassador for the work performed at the children's home. From a humble start, she has been given the opportunity to rise to the level her talent would allow, and is now a registered nurse in Sonoma County. Rosa continues to help family members in Peru and is an example of what may be possible if one is willing to put in the necessary effort.

We volunteered and attended the recent anniversary celebration held at our local senior community center in Sonoma and became re-acquainted with the volunteers we have worked with and have supported all of these years and left feeling that what we did made a difference in this world. Sincerely, Norm Brown, Sonoma, CA

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gitana 07/01/2013

Thank you Norm for your kind and humorous words. Yes, you were a volunteer widower at times and I suspect a few other husbands also. However, both you and Pat have been wonderfully supportive in so many ways over the years and together with many supporters like you Chicuchas Wasi has grown to benefit many more girls in school today. :))-Rae

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

After many years of working as a program director as well as teaching English as a Second Language while working with the Mexian farmworkers in California and a rural, indigenous population in Mexico, I have had many opportunities to witness the great need as well as the great advantage of focusing education on the women and girls plays in the lives of a disadvantaged community. I have witnessed the growth and positive developments of Chicuchas Wasi over the years. Having visited Cusco, known the Project Director, met the Board and Ruth Uribe, I am amazed at their tenaciousness, their tirelessness and devoted attention to a very difficult project. I have also seen many valuable community educational development projects in Mexico fail due to frustration, lack of funding or community and government support. It is because of Chicuchas Wasi’s years of clear focus, hard work, positive outcomes and community support that they have been able to survive and prosper. Bravo! Moona O’Toole

Comments ( 1 )

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gitana 06/27/2013

Thank you Moona for your wonderful review of Chicuchas Wasi over the years. Your professional experience gives you great insight into the CW Alternative School for Indigenous Girls in Cusco, Peru. You have the experience to see the need and value of our project to raise awareness of the value of the girl child. It is an uphill climb, you are right. But we are getting up there and changes are noted.

2 Steve Smith

Donor

Rating: 4

Traveling the world, both in person and with written word, I have experienced the astounding contribution to civilization that 'girl education' is making to the world. One of the best is Chicuchas Wasi in Peru. It is a text book example of how a 'home-grown' organization, ran by dedicated creative people can uplift many lives, and do so by keeping them deeply involved in their culture, but at the same time, making them citizens of the world. You should look into Chicuchas Wasi in Peru.

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gitana 06/27/2013

Thank you Steve for you generous praise of Chicuchas Wasi. We have made a difference in the lives of many many children in our 26 years serving them in Cusco. And we plan to continue forward for many more years and see many indigenous girls educated, prosperous, no longer oppressed and abused in the future. We are preparing future leaders to make the changes necessary in their culture so that gender inequality will end.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I first met Chicuchas Wasi founder Rae Lewis over 20 years ago. I marveled then at her passion and commitment to bringing healthcare and education to Cusco's street children, and I marvel now at how that vision has grown, embraced others, and been made manifest in the Chicuchas Wasi Alternative School for Girls. I am an enthusiastic supporter of the organization's work--both as a donor and as a new board member--because Chicuchas Wasi honors girls and women, transforms lives, and offers great hope for future generations.

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gitana 06/26/2013

Thanks Francy for your great review of CW and the warm fuzzy for me. I look forward to your deepening relationship with us all at CW, both here and Cusco. Our director Ruth arrives here in California on Sept. 9th and we will have a lot of opportunity to expand our knowledge with her updates.:-)

2

Donor

Rating: 5

My wife and I first learned about Chicuchas Wasi a number of years ago, and finally had a chance to visit in 2011. I arrived already convinced that educating and empowering girls in developing countries is the single most powerful means to a healthier and happier planet. Experiencing Chucuchas Wasi in action showed me a terrifically high-performing example of that craft, and told me that here is a terrific investment!

Comments ( 2 )

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gitana 09/22/2013

Thank you Dave for your kind comment. I am pleased that you recognize the value of our work for the children unable to go to school without Chicuchas Wasi. Please come visit again.-Rae

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gitana 09/22/2013

Thank you Dave for your kind comment. I am pleased that you recognize the value of our work for the children unable to go to school without Chicuchas Wasi. Please come visit again.-Rae

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering for many different activities since Chicuchas Wasi was founded over 20 years ago. The founder is a woman who has been a friend to the cause of women and girls as long as I have known her, and we have been friends since 1985. She retired as a nurse and went on a travelling adventure that led to her spending several years in Peru. Chicuchas Wasi started out in Cuzco and took in several children who were living on the streets, boys and girls. They came to live in an environment that stressed hygiene, diet and survival skills that could produce economic viability in their poor environs.

They learned to make jewelry which would be brought back to California and sold at craft fairs and open markets, and the money would be taken back to them in Peru. I can't even begin to tell you how many pairs of earrings we sold and bought for ourselves!

The school moved from Cuzco to a purchased hotel near Machu Pichu where it could accomodate more children and the decision was made to become solely a school for girls, because the female in Peru is very much at a disadvantage in terms of equality of life. Our girls grow into the type of women who will continue to strive for a better way of life and who will support their little sisters.

Over twenty years later, the dedicated people who started the foundation are all still on board and serving without any wages to keep this project growing and it is stronger than ever. Former students help it keep going too. This last year for Christmas we had calenders for sale that were photographed and created by one of the former students. There are beautiful photos of Peru and two languages on them. I am very excited that younger ones are coming forward to take over and keep this wonderful effort going strong. It is all about that quote that means the only thing that ever changes the world is a small and dedicated group, and that is Chicuchas Wasi, changing Peru one girl at a time!

1 Kristina R.

Donor

Rating: 5

I am glad to support Chicuchas Wasi! My husband and I visited the school at its former location in 2011, and spent a wonderful morning surrounded by young girls so eager to learn! We are so pleased to see that the new school has opened, and that more grades have been added so that more girls can benefit from this wonderful opportunity.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I went to visit Chicuchas Wasi with my parents in 2011. I helped Director Ruth at the school. The girls in the school are so loving and I am so happy that they are being given the chance to have an education. I came home with a true appreciation of the life I have in the United States. I want every girl to have the same opportunities that I do.
Since returning home I have helped at events to promote Chicuchas Wasi so people here can see what good is being done for these girls. Please support Chicuchas Wasi!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have watched this organization grow over the years and have had the opportunity to visit, most recently in October of 2011. The new facility is a dream come true and I am excited to see what the future holds for Chicuchas Wasi!