Yachay Wasi is a small independent school being built in Ollantaytambo. We are very familiar with this community and have many personal relationships there. It has been apparent that the local primary school has been providing an inadequate quality of education so a group of parents formed a not-for-profit association that has been running a drop-in centre where children can do homework, receive more instruction, and attend tutorials and movies. The drop-in centre has been well attended (a minimum of 20 students per evening) so the association, with the financial help of a British private school, began constructing an independent kindergarten and alternative primary school to provide a higher quality of education for the children of Ollantaytambo. The association ran out of funds before the school was completed and approached us to help finish construction and help pay a portion of the operating costs. The social entrepreneur behind this group is Guillermina Sanchez. She is a young teacher who has experience managing a kindergarten. Her own children will attend the school and she will be the inaugural volunteer teacher and school administrator. The curriculum will be pertinent, inclusive, flexible, and of a quality superior to that offered at other area schools.
Guillermina wants all children to have access to the school so the association will be approaching local businesses to provide scholarships to pay the approximately $1,000 annual tuition required to cover expenses. (The school is run as a not-for-profit.) In 2011, they will open the kindergarten and nursery; grade 1 will begin in 2012. By 2015, we expect 80 students to attend the school. It directly benefits 400 people and indirectly benefits 5,000 people within the community. Yachay Wasi will provide a high quality of education to a diverse group of children in an impoverished community.
April, 2011 Update
The kindergarten opened on March 14. There are currently 14 children attending. Construction continues on the rest of the buildings.
September, 2011 Update
The new classroom is finished and being used. The children and staff are also enjoying the help of a new nursery school teacher who was hired as part of the project and paid by Alma. After a delay, construction of the second floor classrooms is now moving along well and all that remains to be finished are the installation of the windows, doors and the stairway.
August 2012 Update
Our support for Yacha Wasi has expired. The school is now self-sustaining.