First Four Scholarship Recipients Successful: Peru Update

SIL LEAD is pleased to announce that four out of the first six Indigenous Peruvian Teacher Scholarship recipients have successfully completed their thesis requirements. The other two recipients are continuing to make progress on their research and writing. One of them will likely defend his thesis in August. Thank you for supporting this important effort to help keep minority language teachers in their classrooms.

SIL LEAD is also pleased to announce that its local partner, AIDI (Asociación Indígena de Desarollo Integral), has awarded six new scholarships. The awardees—three women and three men—represent the Awajún, Kakataibo, Shipibo-Konibo, and Yora language communities.

SIL LEAD’s Indigenous Peruvian Teacher Scholarship program was established to provide assistance to current and aspiring teachers who have completed four years of undergraduate coursework and who are seeking to complete their undergraduate thesis requirements so that they can receive their títulos (teaching credentials). Until recently, teachers in Peru were permitted to teach without títulos. Recent policy changes, however, now require that teachers obtain títulos in order to remain in the classroom.

The additional time to complete their theses and the significantly higher costs associated with this process make it especially challenging for indigenous teachers to complete these requirements. As a result, many indigenous teachers are losing their teaching positions.

Because SIL LEAD believes that children learn best when they are taught by teachers who speak their community’s language and value their culture, we initiated this pilot program to provide support to up to twenty-four teachers.

Through the generosity of a foundation and twenty-one individual donors, SIL LEAD has raised just over $40,000 (about 70 percent of the total goal). Based on the twelve scholarships already awarded, SIL LEAD is currently able to provide funds for six more scholarships. Read more about the program on the Peru page.

Photo Credit: AIDI

Peru Update: Doubly Grateful

We are pleased to announce that the very generous challenge donation of $4,000 offered in December was more than fully matched! As a result, the Indigenous Peruvian Teacher Scholarship project will be able to fund scholarships for an additional six teachers. We are halfway to reaching our goal of funding twenty four scholarships!

Chris Weber recently had the privilege of meeting four of the first six scholarship recipients via Skype. They expressed their excitement and gratitude for the opportunity they are being given. One of them said, "Please thank the people who are helping to make it possible for me to get my título." Thank you!

Before awarding scholarships seven through twelve, we have asked our local partner AIDI to focus on helping the first six recipients start off well. This will also give us an opportunity to ensure that our scholarship expense tracking system is functioning properly and to make any adjustments needed before doubling the number of recipients being assisted, advised, and monitored.

Thank you so much for your generosity. Please let others know about this wonderful opportunity to help bilingual teachers get the credentials they need to become teachers or continue teaching in their communities.

We are now well on our way toward having sufficient funding for the third group of six scholarships. Please consider a donation of any size to help us reach this next milestone. Secure donations may be made electronically on the donate page* or by sending a check to SIL LEAD: 7500 W Camp Wisdom Rd, Dallas, TX 75236. Simply include a separate note stating that your donation is for Indigenous Peruvian Teacher Scholarships. *This program is now fully funded. At a later date more scholarships may be added. 

To read more about SIL LEAD’s Indigenous Peruvian Teacher Scholarship project, please see our most recent blog post or visit the project webpage.

 

Double Your Donation with Matching Funds

We are excited to announce that a member of SIL LEAD's Board of Directors has pledged to match all gifts to our Indigenous Peruvian Teacher Scholarship fund between now and December 31, up to a maximum of $4,000!

Given that we have received about $20,800 in pledges and contributions, this matching fund will allow us to complete the fundraising needed for six more scholarships.  But to do this we need your help to raise $4,000 by the end of this month. $2,400 is needed to fund each scholarship.  We have raised sufficient funds for the first six scholarships and the recipients have been notified by our Peruvian partner AIDI of their awards.

If, with your help, we can meet the matching fund challenge, we will be able to authorize the next six scholarships. Please consider a donation of any size to help us leverage this very generous matching fund. Secure donations may be made electronically on the donate page or by sending a check to SIL LEAD: 7500 W Camp Wisdom Rd, Dallas, TX 75236. Simply attach a separate note to your check stating that your donation is for the Indigenous Peruvian Teacher Scholarships.

To read more about SIL LEAD’s Indigenous Peruvian Teacher Scholarship project, please see our most recent blog post or visit the project webpage.

Peru Pilot Project is Taking Off

We are pleased to announce that through the generosity of individual donors and a foundation, we have raised $18,235 for SIL LEAD’s Indigenous Peruvian Teacher Scholarship program. As a result, we have authorized our local partner AIDI (Asociación Indígena de Desarollo Integral) to award the first 6 of 24 scholarships. These scholarships will be awarded to 4 women and 2 men who will now be able to research and write their theses in order to receive their títulos (teaching certificates).

These six teachers come from three distinct indigenous groups in the Peruvian Amazon: Shipibo, Awajún, and Yine. There are relatively few women who are bilingual teachers in the Peruvian Amazon. We are especially pleased that a majority of the first six scholarships are going to women.

It is a wonderful jumpstart to fund the first 6 scholarships and also to be well on our way to funding the next 6! We are still lacking $10,565 in order to fund these scholarships. With partners like you and your family, friends, community group, school, church, business, etc. to help, we believe we can reach our goals. Any amount will help. Or consider pooling donations to help fund ¼ ($600), ½ ($1,200), or all ($2,400) of one scholarship.

The dedicated leadership of AIDI, our local Peruvian partner.

The dedicated leadership of AIDI, our local Peruvian partner.

The goal of this pilot project is to award up to 24 scholarships to teachers who have already completed all four years of their university educations but who have been unable to complete their thesis requirements for financial reasons. Due to changes in Peru’s educational system, teachers who were previously permitted to teach without títulos are no longer permitted to do so. Because of the much higher cost of this additional year of education, many indigenous teachers are unable to earn their títulos and are now losing their teaching positions.

Students learn best when their teachers speak their mother tongue and value their unique culture. Because of this, it is imperative to help these hard working teachers go back to school so that they can continue to teach the students in their communities.

Fundraising Goal

Secure donations* may be made electronically on the donate page or by sending a check to SIL LEAD: 7500 W Camp Wisdom Rd, Dallas, TX 75236. Simply attach a separate note stating that your donation is for the Indigenous Peruvian Teacher Scholarships. *This project is now fully funded. More scholarships may be added in the future. 

It would be wonderful if 6 more students could be notified of their awards by year end so that they can start on their theses in January. Please consider this wonderful opportunity to not only help these teachers but the countless students whose lives they will impact.

Thank you for your interest in and support of SIL LEAD and our efforts around the world.

Close to the First Milestone

Glinda and a few of her students from the Awajún language community in Peru. 

Glinda and a few of her students from the Awajún language community in Peru. 

IPTS UPDATE: We are pleased to announce that as of September 30, 2015 SIL LEAD has received over $10,000 in donations and commitments for the Indigenous Peruvian Teachers Scholarship project. Although this is less than one-fifth of our total goal, it is enough to provide four scholarships to teachers selected by our Peruvian partner AIDI. To initiate the project, a minimum of six scholarships are needed. Help us fund two more scholarships so that the project can start!

Funding Goals

These scholarships will permit indigenous teachers to finish their thesis requirements in order to earn their títulos (teaching certificates). Recent changes by the Peruvian government may force as many as one-half of the indigenous teachers in the Peruvian Amazon from their teaching jobs unless they are able to earn their títulos. Indigenous teachers are disproportionately affected by these changes because they often live far from the universities at which they studied and/or can not afford the much higher costs of completing their thesis requirements.

One scholarship candidate, Glinda, desires to continue teaching but cannot afford the costs of completing her thesis in order to earn her título. She wrote, “I long to have a título so that I can compete for a teaching position and then promote quality education for the children of my community. Having a título will allow me to access greater opportunities both personally as a woman and as a professional.”

SIL LEAD believes that teachers like Glinda, who speak both Spanish and the indigenous language of her community, can provide indigenous children with a far better education than teachers from outside the community who speak only Spanish and who may not value their culture and language.

Would you partner with us to help us meet this goal? Any amount will help. Or maybe your church, business, or community group might consider pooling your donations together to help fund ¼ ($600), ½ ($1,200), or all ($2,400) of a scholarship. **This project is now fully funded. More scholarships may be added in the future.

Help Peruvian Teachers get Back to School

The indigenous languages of the Peruvian Amazon are seriously threatened because of pressures toward Spanish and a lack of mother tongue school books. Children who no longer hear their language in school are rapidly losing not only the ability to speak their heritage language; they are losing their ability to read their language. So much is at stake!

Due to recent legislative changes in Peru, teachers will no longer be permitted to teach unless they complete their undergraduate thesis requirements and receive their títulos (teaching certificates). These changes disproportionately affect indigenous teachers due to the much higher costs associated with the thesis completion process; the distances these teachers must travel from the villages in which they teach to their universities; and their very limited financial resources. Many indigenous teachers now being forced from their jobs are being replaced by teachers who speak only Spanish and frequently do not value indigenous people, their languages, or their cultures.

By some estimates, one-third to one-half of the indigenous teachers in the Peruvian Amazon may soon be forced from their jobs.

Nehemías is a teacher from the Shipibo-Konibo language community and he is one of the candidates for scholarship. Nehemías studied at the Universidad Nacional Intercultural de la Amazonía. His parents sacrificed a lot to help him become the first in their family to go to college. Although Nehemías was able to complete all four years of coursework for a degree in Primary Bilingual Education, he could not afford the additional cost of completing his thesis requirements in order to receive his título.

“My purpose and aspiration after receiving my título is to help my community, family, and indigenous children that so desperately need bilingual education so that they can learn in their mother tongue.” Nehemías also shared that, "One of the greatest difficulties for obtaining my título was the even higher cost of completing the thesis requirements and my parents did not have the resources to help me.”

Just $2,400 is all it takes to fund a full scholarship for Nehemías or one of the other 23 teachers initially selected to be a part of this pilot project with our Peruvian partner AIDI. Please consider funding a scholarship or a portion of a scholarship. You can read more about the partnership and scholarships here. Please donate today to help us reach our goal! **This project is now fully funded. More scholarships may be added in the future.