Chicuchas Wasi (CW) began in 1987 focused on the society’s tolerated human rights violations of the many abandoned children, as young as 6 years old, surviving alone on the streets of Cusco, Peru. CW created a safe house including nutrition, health care, school, life skills, and more. CW provided an emergency band-aid for these abused children, but it did not address the many reasons for their suffering. Uneducated, unprepared, oppressed and abused women cannot survive economically alone nor can they provide for their children. They cannot begin the fight against abuse and violations to themselves or their children without proper tools or support. If unable to read, write or do basic math their struggle for a quality life is severely limited. In 1997, recognizing the need for female education, CW reorganized to prepare and educate poor girls to become future leaders for social change, to end gender inequality, female abuse and child abandonment.
Peruvian law states public school grades 1 through 12 are free, but in reality public education is not available to many families living in stark poverty, lacking basic services and adequate food and surviving on $1.00 (US) or less a day. These parents cannot afford public school registration fees, uniforms, books, school supplies, and transportation, thus making it impossible for many children to attend public school. Since girls are not considered worth educating, the boys are educated if possible and the domestic chores are left to the girls. Young girls learn from their grandmothers and their mothers that because they were born girls they are destined to suffer, and had better find a man to provide for them. Girls often are pregnant as early as 13, with no education or skills. They are the mothers most likely to abandon their babies in desperation when they are abandoned by their male provider. Therefore, female human rights are continuously violated by keeping girls uneducated and impoverished. We aim to break this chain of belief from woman to child for a quality life as an equal.
Chicuchas Wasi (CW) School for Girls provides free, primary education, emphasizing personal development, empowerment, and academics. We stress personal values, integrity, self-esteem and social responsibility for an adult life of quality, dignity, gender equality, and financial independence. Chicuchas Wasi School maintains a big presence in the community with cultural celebrations, supporting social issues and women’s issues and to spread the value and importance of education for girls.