GROW Post Five: To Do's and To Done's

By Maddy Selby

Three important things we've done so far:

1. Thus far, we have completed student and household surveys in Santa Maria, as well as student surveys in Pasaje Ivan, Aguaje and El Porvenir. It has been a great success especially thanks to our wonderful and invaluable friends in the communities, especially our friends Albert and Reyna in El Aguaje, who have been tirelessly working to assist us. I can’t even begin to thank them enough for their constant patience, understanding, and willingness to share. As a team we are still working on finishing surveys in Santa Lucia and cleaning up our data, but things are looking great. We have also created databases for survey data and begun to enter the data we have collected into these to facilitate data analysis for better understanding of the information we have collected from the  neighborhoods. This is something we hope will also be greatly helpful to Kallpa in developing programming to suit the diverse needs of the many students and youth interested in pursuing further education. As a qualitative aspect to our study of perceptions of and attitudes towards higher education in Pampachica, I have been conducting ethnographic interviews with community leaders and youth leaders in Santa Maria, Pasaje Ivan, El Aguaje, El Porvenir, and Santa Lucia to gain a better understanding of perspectives on education and resources that are currently available in the community for students interested in pursuing higher education. These have been truly inspiring and eye-opening experiences that I cannot wait to put to work and to share with everyone in the chapter and the network as great examples of what we can achieve by listening to our partner community and doing our utmost to take their perspectives and ideas to heart when we are working together with Kallpa to develop and implement maximally effective programs in the future.

Children and adults of Santa María work together to restore and add to the murals that decorate their neighborhood during the recent Clean and Safe Neighborhood contest. Santa María went on to win one of the four prizes for the safest, cleanest, and most organized neighborhoods in the zone of Pampachica.

2. We have participated in a large all-day workshop on citizenship and human rights, as well as workshops on sexual and reproductive health implemented by Kallpa, with the help of representatives from the Regional Board of Health. We also attended the two meetings of the Red Juvenil (Network of Youth Groups) that have happened during our stay, at which representatives of six of the nine neighborhoods  discussed plans for their upcoming projects and what they would like to achieve as a network; during these meetings we also planned Cam’s birthday party with Cledy and the Red Juvenil! The development of a network of youth groups is an amazing step towards greater inter-neighborhood cohesiveness and solidarity that will help them advocate more effectively for their community in the future. Participated in and in my case helped to judge a contest for which neighborhood was able to develop the best plans and actions towards promoting cleanliness and health in their own communities, culminating in an Expo-Fair at which all the participating neighborhoods also displayed their handmade recycled and upcycled arts and crafts such as intricate dolls and paper-mache masks. This also included a recycled clothing fashion show in which members of youth groups from each participating neighborhood modeled outfits made entirely from recycled materials such as plastic bags, cardboard, bottle caps, old CDs, straws, plastic bottles, candy wrappers and more. Only the photos and videos of this event can do it any real justice. The creativity that everyone brought forth was nothing short of incredible.

Albert, president of El Aguaje's youth group, works alongside GROW interns to complete student education surveys in the neighborhood of El Aguaje. He and Reyna later completed household surveys for their entire neighborhood.
3. We also attended inauguration of sexual and reproductive health consultory in the cultural center that will be supported by the Regional Board of Health and by members of the youth group who will act as community health workers in raising awareness about the consultory and the services and information it offers to teens and young adults in the community.

Maddy grabs a quick personal statement from Frida following the dedication of the Sexual and Reproductive Health Office in the cultural center.

Things we need to get done:

1. Before we leave, we will work on finishing student surveying Santa Lucia and El Porvenir and Finish entering all the data into the database so we can share it with Kallpa before leaving as well as completing the interviews with everyone not yet done in El Porvenir, El Aguaje, Pasaje Ivan and Santa Lucia. Other than ironing out the details of the MOU 2013-14, this will be my main task to complete before I leave August 1.

2. Most importantly for the study, we need to complete as much secondary data analysis as possible. Rhett will be taking the lead on this aspect of the study. This will involve talking to representatives from both public and private secondary schools to ask about costs of attending, how many of their students are from Pampachica, how many of their students graduate vs. drop out, and how many go on to further education, as well as many more qualitative assessment. He will also be talking to public and private Universities to ask how many of their 
students come from Pampachica/ other peri-urban zones, if they offer need-based and/or merit-based financial aid, how much is given, who receives it; ask them how man of their students take more than the usual 5 years to complete their undergraduate degrees and how many get jobs in Iquitos/Loreto/Peru/abroad afterwards, and ask about the same thing with Institutes (except it is 3 years for a normal course of study). How much does it cost, if they offer aid, who typically receives aid, and many other questions meant to assess the situation. Further, we are coordinating with Frida to find out who we can speak to from the regional department of education.

Marcos and other members of the Youth Network sweat it out during the entrance exam at the citizenship workshop. This exam and the one afterwards were short quizzes that allowed the Kallpa staff to gauge the usefulness of this workshop for the students who attended.
3. Finally, we want to hang out with everyone in Pampachica as much as humanly possible! And of course, get presents for Frida, Manuel, Pilar and our host mom, Silvia; Reyna, Reyna’s mom, Albert, Priscilla, Almendra, Sr. Clever, Sra. Maria, Drissli, Mayer, Antony, Julieta and all our friends. We will also make sure that we have gotten all of the materials requested by Campaigns (plus some lovely surprises!).

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