Global Reach: Grantee Partners

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Kusi Kawsay


Education levels in Peru are low, as evidenced by high secondary school dropout rates (over 40%). In the most recent PISA (Program for International Assessment) testing conducted by the OECD in 2012, Peruvian 15 year-olds scored the lowest mean of math and science achievement of all students in 65 participating countries, with reading scores not far behind. Indigenous youth are particularly vulnerable to low quality education and high dropout rates, as they are highly marginalized by ethnicity, language, socioeconomic status, and location. Many of these students have been discriminated against, experienced exclusion, and have been abused physically and psychologically. Secondary school dropout in the province is high primarily due to economic problems at home (lack of money to pay for tuition, transportation, or to cover school supplies and educational materials), and/or the absence of a secondary school near home. Young people often have no choice but to work. In the case of young women, parents want them to stop studying to dedicate their time to domestic tasks and care for younger siblings.


Legally founded in 2008 by a group of five families from Pisac, KK promotes access to intercultural, bilingual, and quality education for young people who live in poverty and experience discrimination and social exclusion. The school provides comprehensive education to a new generation of indigenous communities in the district of Pisac using the elements of the Waldorf pedagogy, incorporating the values of ancestral Andean practices and philosophy that respect the ecological integrity, wisdom and dignity of indigenous culture. In 2010, UNESCO recognized its educational work and included KK in its “Network of Schools” under the Plan of Education Associations of UNESCO, endorsing their curriculum, educational materials, and vision as a valuable model. Through participation in events organized by UNESCO, KK strengthens the network, emphasizing the development of management skills and/or active participation in a virtual community, the development of teaching skills for the promotion of bilingual and intercultural education, and the importance of pride in one’s indigenous cultural identity. KK continuously participates in visits/exchanges with schools and teachers from Peru and other countries

Current Grant:

EMpower’s 1st grant will enable Kusi Kawsay to train youth in productive and technical skills such as carpentry, recycling, solid waste management, Andean weaving, pottery, and entrepreneurship, that will contribute to a comprehensive and sustainable education for students.

You can support our work with Kusi Kawsay and our other grantee partners.

Our Underwriters pay for all of our administrative and fundraising costs, so 100% of your donation goes directly to empowering at-risk youth.