We are very happy that we have also been able to resume the participatory activities with the mothers of the children this year. Regular parent meetings were once again possible and the mothers now also come to the project again twice a week to take lessons themselves in the early evening. As you already know from the past, Añañau also offers an education program for adults because most of the mothers are illiterate and only speak Quechua, the original language of the Andes and still the mother tongue spoken in many communities in Peru today. The mothers themselves have had little or no chance to go to school. Classes are taught by a teacher who speaks Quechua and Spanish.
Some mothers come to classes for the first time because they don’t have basic knowledge, such as not being able to write their name, they can’t sign, let alone count. For us it is important that the mothers improve their literacy skills as it will help them develop their skills for the things they do in daily life. We are happy to see the mothers who have already participated in a previous series of literacy classes again because they are now full of confidence and self-respect. The life of each of these women is full of marginalization and humiliation from society and sometimes even from their own family, and this is a space to improve their hidden skills and develop talents.
The mothers really enjoy attending the classes being able also to spend moments with other mothers living in similar circumstances. Not only do they learn to read and write, but it is also a social event where they can be heard and share the difficulties they face in everyday life. In addition to the basic reading and writing lessons, we also started something new this year. Every last class of the month we organize a practical workshop for the mothers where they learn to prepare a new dish or dessert that they can make at home and possibly also sell. This is a way for some of them to have some extra income. We start this process in order to stimulate the mother in this way to become an independent entrepreneur and to evaluate how this process is going for them. This way we can monitor whether this is going well or map out where they are experiencing difficulties in order to see if we can further grow independent entrepreneurship with the mothers in the future.