Reach Out Children’s Fund - Support Remote Villages in the Andes Highlands
In 2017, Unlocked began their partnership with Reach Out Children’s Fund (ROCF) to help support remote villages in the Andes highlands of Peru. Anne Beck, founder of ROCF, kept her focus for many years on the village of Huilloc, where she built a school, a sustainable trout farm, and funded food deliveries and supplies for many years. Recently, as Huilloc now has a sustainable food program and a well-functioning school, Anne wanted to shift her focus to the neighboring village of Qelqanqa, a smaller village lacking in school funds and food supplies.
In June of this year, the two of us (Karilynn and Shelby) along with Huilloc school teacher and ROCF partner Rosario, took a trip to Qelqanqa, a tiny remote village high in the snowy mountains. We learned that since Quelqanqa is so remote and geographically difficult to find, all the teachers live at the school from Monday-Friday and only have the chance to go home on the weekends. Sometimes, when the weather is bad and the small cliff-side highways are blocked with snow or ice, the teachers have to leave their cars behind and walk several hours to arrive to the village. In Qelqanca, there are no computers, no internet, and no cell phone service. The school is tiny, just a little over 50 students and 5 staff members. The children there seemed happy, but we couldn’t help but notice that some of the 12 year olds looked more like 8 year olds, and we wondered if they were getting enough food and proper nutrition. But before making any assumptions, we sat down with the school’s principal and listened to what he thought the school needed most.
Just as we thought, the first priority was food. Most of the school’s students were not eating enough at home or at school, and so we made a tentative weekly schedule of well-balanced lunches that the school could provide with the help of donations and food deliveries from ROCF. The second priority was supplies – pots, pans, utensils, a blender, a refrigerator, etc. And, lastly, a cafeteria. Currently, the children in Qelqanqa have nowhere to eat their lunches. No tables, no chairs, not even a warm room. They sit outside in the grass during lunchtime, and when it snows, they sit outside in the snow. Qelqanqa recently received funding for a cafeteria, but only for the structure itself. They need tables, benches, and someone to deliver these items all the way to the village.
So far, we’re off to a great start. Thanks to funding from ROCF, Rosario has purchased many of the cooking supplies needed for the cafeteria! We are still raising money for the tables, benches, monthly food supplies and deliveries. The tables and benches will cost approximately $2000, plus approximately $500/month in food/food delivery for the 50+ students in Qelqanqa.
Here’s a few words from Anne, founder and director of ROCF:
“After ROCF helped Huilloc, we went further up the mountain and started helping with Chaullacocha and Chupani for many years (lunch/breakfast program/ cooking/educational supplies). Now we are shifting gears to help QelQanqa with a lunch program, school furniture and supplies. The children in these upper mountain regions are malnourished, lack clean water, and medical/dental attention. Over the years ROCF has brought in medical/dental care (local teams) and food programs. After assisting these 3 villages, we’re now turning our focus further up the mountain region to QelQanqa. I plan on visiting this village in May!”
All children deserve quality education and proper nutrition. How can you support? If you’re in Michigan, look out for Anne’s donation based yoga classes and workshops at 90 Degrees North Power Yoga in Milford. Check your email for similar Unlocked workshops and fundraising events near you. Or, click here to make a direct donation to ROCF today.
Thanks so much for reading.