National Educational Encounter

This week Alma was invited to Peru’s first national educational meeting. Heads of the Ministry of Education, Regional Governors, Regional Educational Heads, and specialists from the entire country came to Cusco to discuss Peru’s continuing educational emergency in order to share data, obstacles, needs, and offer possible solutions. Alma was invited to represent the latter, and was presented as a successful experience within the Cusco region. The invitation itself is a sign of Alma’s growing importance in the Cusco region (only 6 non-profits were invited to the event, all of them enormous international organizations with the exception of Alma).
I was impressed with the turnout, and we made the effort to speak with as many interested authorities as possible with an eye for future expansion to other regions (Puno, Huancavelica, and Huanuco were some of the most enthusiastic). But just as importantly, after hearing the Vice Minister of Education speak on the necessity of filling gaps in teacher, student, and parent needs, I was able to jump between the reporters clamoring for an interview and show her some of Alma’s work.
We have been carefully working towards our goal of bringing our training programs to the national stage through the Ministry of Education in Lima, and the event may have given us some of the key contacts and support we’ll need in the coming years. And if nothing less, it was gratifying to see how much traffic Alma’s kiosk had during breaks between speakers. I saw most participants flipping through Alma strategy manuals for the rest of the day!
Of course conversations and business cards don’t guarantee anything, and we are in constant strategic conversations regarding how to use our limited budget for a national program, but without a doubt some new avenues opened for us thanks to the event, the strong support of the GEREDUC specialists and the passionate explanations and presentations made by our staff were on full display. I hope to look back on the event in a few years as the day Alma came into the national spotlight in Peru. But for now, it’s time to get back to work in Cusco!

Ian McGroarty
Executive Director
Alma Children’s Education Foundation