Education & Transformation
In the United States, education is a government-provided right … children are required by law to attend school. In Peru, education is available, but far too often only the wealthy are equipped to attend. The impoverished families served by our mission do not have the means to meet all of the requirements of public education which leaves their children—the next generation of Chimbote—with little opportunity to work their way toward a better life. Thankfully, Friends of Chimbote supports many educational programs beginning with early childhood education to university scholarships and vocational programs. The ultimate goal of Friends of Chimbote is to transform the poor of Chimbote into independent and self-supporting members of their community and through the mission’s multi-faceted education program this has and is occurring.
Mission Education Programs
- Early Childhood Stimulation
- Kindergarten Classes
- Libraries & Tutoring Labs
- Computer Labs & Classes
- Summer School
- Vocational Programs
- Scholarship Program
- Community Learning Center
Shoes, Uniforms and School Supplies
For hundreds of children living in the barrios served by the mission, having the required uniform, shoes, and school supplies to be able to attend school was merely a dream until Friends of Chimbote stepped in and began providing the items that even public schools in Peru require of all students. At the start of every school year, hundreds of pairs of shiny new shoes, school uniforms, and backpacks filled with school supplies are distributed at the mission to enable aspiring students the opportunity to be welcomed into classrooms and be successful in their studies.
Sister Peggy Byrne’s Scholarship Program
After graduating from high school, the mission offers a variety of support options for students to attend university or technical school. One such opportunity is Sister Peggy Byrne’s scholarship program. In lieu of personal gifts, at Sister Peggy’s golden jubilee in Ireland in 2007, she requested that people donate to an education fund she would use to assist the poorest of the poor students in Chimbote. Since then, the scholarship fund has helped many children, young adults, and even single parents to obtain educations that have empowered them to get jobs, gain self respect, and ultimately provide better lives for themselves and their families. As part of the program, students donate time to parish programs where they learn the power of giving back and service to their fellow community.
Dollars for Scholars – Leaders for Tomorrow
This program provides leadership training, community service opportunities, and financial support for young people who not only wish to further their studies, but also become community leaders. Sponsored in partnership with rotary clubs from the United States, this program commits to funding students for the duration of their education, as long as they meet grade requirements and participate in community service projects.
The mission has partnered with the Ministry of Education in Peru to provide certified vocational training programs in fields where employment opportunities have been identified. Current programs include culinary training, cosmetology, seamstress training, and computer repair. Most courses can be completed within 18 to 24 months and graduates are then able to obtain employment and become contributing members of their local community.
Computer Labs & Classes
In a world driven by technology, we are determined to prepare both children and adults living in mission barrios to competently use computer as they seek to further their education and compete for jobs. We provide computer training to hundreds of children in mission libraries and offers computer classes to adults from the community. Thanks to generous donations through the container program, state-of-the-art computer labs are available for these important lessons.
Sister Peggy Byrne Community Learning Center
In 2015 we opened our first community learning center in Chimbote. The facility named in honor of mission founder Sister Peggy Byrne serves more than 1000 elementary, middle school, and high school students. Housed within its walls are two libraries, skilled tutors, a computer lab, kindergarten classrooms, a soup kitchen, and child psychology services. Located in close proximity to several of the barrios that the mission serves, the community learning center is utilized by children living in extreme poverty who now have the opportunity to excel in their studies and prepare for vocational or university programs.