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Learning for Hope Charity Profile
My name is Andrew McLaughlin and I am a teacher at St. Mary Catholic Secondary school in Pickering, Ontario, Canada. In August of 2006, I met Carmen Munoz Franco, the administrator of Killa Inti Hotel located in Cusco, Peru. I expressed to her my desire to start an organization that would allow my students in Canada to help students in Peru. After months of brainstorming, planning and refining, we co-founded Suyakuywan Yachusun, a non-governmental and non-denominational organization based in Cusco, Peru. The name is Quechua and it means Learning for Hope. The organization was founded in hopes of improving the lives and the quality of education for underprivileged students and special needs students in both the urban center of Cusco, as well the greater province of Cusco. The focus of the project is on integrating technology and modern resources into classrooms in impoverished regions so that students in those areas can compete for jobs that require computer experience. However, we also work with the schools to build long term hygiene and farming projects. Learning for Hope does not give charity; Learning for Hope builds partnerships. We do not simply give away school supplies or computers. We believe that that kind of relationship breeds dependence and eliminates the possibility of true friendships being formed. When you give something to someone, there is intrinsically an imbalance in the relationship. The giver becomes the person of power and the receiver becomes the person in a position of need who will continue to be a person in need. In order to avoid these kinds of relationships, we work with the people, not for them. PATERNALISM IS AVOIDED AT ALL COSTS.
With all of our projects, the communities and their schools provide us with proposals for long term projects. They tell us what they need and what they can contribute. If the projects appear to be sustainable, a working relationship is established. For example, in Sacaca, the people wanted to build a school greenhouse. The people provided the labour and the adobe, and we purchased the materials necessary for the proper construction of the roof. Sacaca now has a greenhouse which will provide the school with a living/breathing classroom for their students, and the community will be able to supplement their diet with a greater variety of vegetables.
Learning for Hope Volunteer Information
Up until this point, the money for the project has come from good old fashioned fundraising. As a teacher, I have been working with students and members of the community. We have gone door to door collecting spare change, sold pies, hosted bake sales, hosted multi-cultural celebrations and hosted 10 kilometer walk-a-thons. The money from these events has come from donations from our families and the wonderful people in our communities.
If you would like to get involved, there are many ways that you can contribute:
We do accept cash donations. Since we are not a registered charity in Canada, we can not provide tax receipts. However, we can provide you with receipts and pictures verifying how your money was spent, and even better, you can travel to Peru at any time to see with your own eyes the difference that you are making in the lives of others. NONE OF YOUR DONATIONS WILL BE SPENT ON ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS.
If you would like to donate school supplies, calculators or used lap tops, they can be delivered directly by groups traveling to Peru in July and August.
Travel to Peru
Learning for Hope offers trips to Peru. $150 of the overall price of the trip will help to finance our projects.
Participate in our Walk
In February, we will be hosting a charity party, and in May 2010, we will be holding our third 10K walk to raise money for our projects. All money raised will go directly to the projects.