A new school year began at the Mirasol School on March 5.
As I’ve mentioned before, a portion of every purchase of the Mirasol Collection line of yarns and patterns funds this school in the remote area of Munani in the region of Puno to educate the children of the shepherds.
This school year there are 38 students enrolled in grades 1 through 6 and no kindergarten class.
There are three new teachers, two women and a man, who are each teaching two grades. “The three of them speak Quechua and the male teacher is an expert in various knitting practices, apart from playing guitar, flute, zamponia, etc.,” writes Lourdes, the program director. “Edgar has already organized a group singers and flute players.”
The school is working with CARE International on the training and evaluation of the new teachers. Training is also being received from the Ministry of Education.
“We have just received from CARE International, an important donation of books specially made for bilingual Andean students according to the curricula established by the Ministry of Education,” writes Lourdes.
The students have made great strides in being organized and responsible and are showing great self-confidence.
“As regards achievements in their studies, our children were evaluated by CARE International at the end of the year 2011 and the average was well approved,” Lourdes relates. “The best students are the ones who were in Mirasol since first grade (now in fourth grade), so we expect a very good progress with them when they get to 6th grade.”
An exciting new after school program has been introduced for the students to teach them business skills.
The new teacher, Edgar, has arranged for the school to join the “Wawakuna Awanku” program of Asociación Civil Vision Andina. Under this program the students will learn loom knitting and will produce bags and other small items that Vision Andina will purchase from the students.
The students are very excited about the new program. The are currently being trained and expect to begin making items in May.
The goals of the program are to promote responsibility and formal business skills. Each student will create a company name, issue purchase orders to obtain supplies, create invoices to sell their items, and packing lists to sell their products to Arequipa or Lima.
Traditional weaving skills will be promoted. It seems a natural progression to provide both fiber and finished items from the flocks their parents tend.
“The bags will be sold with a tag made by Vision Andina with the picture of the student who made the bag, stating his or her name, name of school and grade,” Lourdes explains.
The school is planning improvements to the physical plant by expanding housing for the teachers. Currently there are two shared rooms and they plan to add two more rooms so everyone can have a private bedroom and bathroom with shared living room and kitchen.
They are also raising funds for a new sports complex for the children.
It is exciting to see the Mirasol School expanding and growing. Hearing about the positive influence it is having on the students, and the opportunities they can access through it, is uplifting.
Knitting Fever donates yarn to many community-based organizations here in America, but the opportunity to be involved in an effort such as the Mirasol School allows us all to connect with a broader yarn family.
Have you made a project using Mirasol yarn? Share a picture with us on our Facebook page. We love seeing your projects!