Acronis is proud to announce the opening of its sixth school on June 13. The Virgen de las Gracias School in Nuevo Chimbote, Peru will provide a quality scholastic environment, including free education, learning materials, uniforms, and lunch for about 230 children, chosen from among the neediest in the community.
The school now has eight classrooms, providing educational services to their existing student body, plus 100 new students joining at the beginning of the next school year. Additionally, the new school will feature a meeting room, proper sanitary facilities for boys, girls, and teachers, and an improved schoolyard for sport, dance, and theater lessons. The building was constructed from durable materials to withstand the extreme seismic activities and ensure sustainability into the future.
The Opening Ceremony
The school’s opening ceremony was a wonderful event organized by the local community. The school authorities and students’ parents shared their appreciation for the newly constructed facilities and the children performed dances and sang traditional songs in national costumes.
Another tremendous gift from the school children were self-made books showing pictures of the classes, students, and construction progress over time. What is remarkable, the books were hand-made by them at a small ‘paper factory’ organized by the school. There, the graduates from the school make and sell paper, financing themselves without additional support. The paper is made of 100% cotton, which causes no deforestation in the Sierra.
Some stationery and Acronis Foundation t-shirts and caps were given to the children, teachers, and volunteers at the opening ceremony. A stock of pens, crayons, and notebooks will be stored at the school as parents of most of the children are unable to readily provide school supplies.
Touring the Training Center
After the ceremony, the Acronis team had a chance to visit the paper factory and to see the papermaking process. They also stopped at the educational training center, where young boys are trained for two to three years to become carpenters, construction workers, tilemen, welders, and more. After the training, they’re either provided with materials essential to starting their own business or they’re offered jobs in one of the workshops of the parish network all over Peru. Much of the construction work for the Virgen de las Gracias School was done by its ex-students.
Exploring the environment of local communities, the Acronis Foundation visited Bella Vista, one of the barrios around the school. The area is inhabited by poor families coming from the surrounding villages. We were invited to visit a family of one of the schoolchildren, and get an inside look at their living conditions.
Their house was very simple, with only a living room and a sleeping room with walls and roof made out of bass matts. It had an irregular electricity supply and no running water. None of the student’s parents have regular employment.
Every morning local children are picked up by a bus, which takes them to the school where they study, have lunch, and then are safely returned home, so parents have more of a chance to work.