In March of 2001, the Fifth Grade Global Committee of the Vine
Hill Elementary School, Scotts Valley, Ca., offered to conduct a
fundraiser for the children of Q'eros. Their method involved creating
decorative boxes for each classroom in the Elementary School wherein
children could deposit "spare change/coins" on a daily
basis for a two week time period.
The fundraiser was an overwhelming success!
Not only did children donate spare change, some donated even their
lunch money each day and also brought extra change from family members
at home! The final count was a grand total of $1500.00!
On March 21st, the children presented their fundraising check to
Donna Runnalls of Living Bridges in a thank-you ceremony attended
by the local newspaper.
Living Bridges Foundation awarded the Global Committee the "Volunteer
of the Year" award for 2001!
The money was sent to Q'eros project in late May and will be used
provide all the materials and labor fees for the much needed new
school building in Charcapata. The new structure will replace the
previous building which had only one window and was too cold for
studies over one hour in length.
The next fundraising campaign will be to continue raising funds
to support efforts to keep a teacher full-time in Q'eros Community.
Due to the cold weather and rugged living conditions, the salary
has to be higher than an average city salary. The teacher must also
speak both Qechua and Spanish fluently, be sensitive and supportive
of introducing teachings about the Q'eros culture into the curriculum
and be able to work with parents in the literacy program. The needed
salary is $300 per month.
The Students, Teachers, and Munay T'ika School, Charcapata
Three years ago, four fifth grade teachers at VineHill Elementary
School initiated the idea of beginning a "service Club' for
kids. (Jane Hancock, Mary Dettle, Michelle Stewart and Karen Alrahan,
Founders @438-1090) They decided that introducing the children to
the "idea" of service; for the school, the greater community
and the global community would help support their development as
compassionate "world citizens". The club has grown to
a membership of over 50 students since its inception and is very
popular with the whole school.
In February the service club approached my Foundation, Living
Bridges Foundation, a local (501/C3) non-profit "for the preservation
of indigenous lifeways". We do projects in So. America which
are invited by the indigenous people and which help them "self-sustain'
in their original culture and homeland.
The service club kids wished to support our new school project
for a culture/group in Peru called the "Q'eros which is "endangered"
( by assimilation and environmental degradation) and in which there
was no existing school for the children (located high in the Andes
14,000 ft. near Cuzco, Peru).