Stefanie and Gilder are also founders of Oye LENA.
Oye LENA is an officially registered NGO in Peru founded on 8 February 2013.
Oye LENA is an educational project located in Curahuasi, in the heart of the Andes mountain range at an altitude of 2,600 metres. It was founded on 15 April 2012 and has been an officially registered NGO in Peru since 8 February 2013.
Oye LENA is short for “Oye Loquitas EN Acción!”, which freely translated means: “Listen up, we are taking action!”
Oye LENA tries to tackle poverty and social inequality through qualitative education. Every child has the right to qualitative education, focussed on personality development, regardless of their own capabilities and limitations and regardless of the place and culture in which they grow up. Children from underprivileged families and ethnic minorities, children with a disability and children in rural areas should have the same opportunities as others.
Oye LENA consists of three educational projects:
– Oye NENE, afterschool nursery education,
– Oye INTI WARMA, education for children with a disability,
– Oye YACHAQ, a partnership with the local population to work towards better education.
Every afternoon since February 2013, Oye NENE has been offering education to toddlers, especially girls, in a school on the outskirts of Curahuasi. Thanks to the project’s location, we can reach more children who live in the countryside and do not go to regular schools. The children receive a hot meal, and visits to the doctor’s and the dentists are organised regularly.
We made a conscious choice to focus on girls in our nursery project, because they still receive fewer opportunities in society and because considerably fewer girls go to nursery schools. We want to break this pattern.
We are convinced that participation and involvement of parents is of the utmost importance. We try to stimulate this by involving them in the project’s daily activities on the one hand and by organising parent-teacher conferences on the other hand. We organise workshops in which parents learn how to stimulate their children and their development every day. However, there is also time left to talk about education and upbringing in general, the difficulties that come with it and the importance of health and healthy food. Moreover, we encourage parents to enrol their children in nursery schools and we help them find one.
Oye INTI WARMA:
Since August 2014, we have been welcoming children with a disability in the afternoon. This way, we teach our toddlers (as well as the disabled kids) tolerance, responsibility towards each other, respect for and the value of differences. Every day, one or two disabled kids (blind or visually impaired children, kids with Down syndrome or cerebral palsy, etc.) join our toddlers and participate in the activities. Moreover, they are offered special activities, such as physiotherapy, Sherbone therapy, controlled multisensory environment therapy (snoezelen), etc.
Moreover, Oye LENA cooperates with Curahuasi’s school for special education, where 39 pupils from 4 to 24 years old with a whole array of disabilities (visual, motor and mental disabilities) are enrolled. The school only employs three teachers, who have not had an adequate training. The shortage of staff and the lack of materials and knowhow cause a lot of the children to be left to themselves. Oye LENA tries to support and assist these children adequately. Volunteers help out on a daily basis.
Oye YACHAQ meets every three months with headmasters and kindergarten teachers from nine nursery schools in and around Curahuasi to talk about education, exchange working methods and work towards better education. The aim of these meetings is to create a mix of Peruvian and Western education methods for our specific target group and to exchange knowledge, materials and experience.
Together with the local population and the assistance from the north (businesses, schools, individual contributions,…) it is possible to realise our goals. More information on: http://oyelena.wordpress.com/ We are proud members of Pack for a Purpose, an initiative that allows travelers like you to make a lasting impact in the community at your travel destination. If you save just a few kilos of space in your suitcase and bring supplies for area schools or medical clinics in need, you’ll make a priceless impact in the lives of our local children and families. Please click here to see what supplies are needed for our project/projects. http://www.packforapurpose.org/destinations/south-america/peru/casa-lena