Strong indigenous organizations encourage social integration of native peoples into Peruvian society, in other words, change from the bottom up. Vzw Putumayo is convinced that higher education (intercultural en bilingual) of indigenous youth is one of the strategies to strengthen the organization of indigenous peoples.
Even though education ought to be the responsibility of the State, indigenous peoples in Peru suffer unequal opportunities in this field as well, due to a number of reasons:
1. Poor preparation in rural basic and secondary schools in the areas from which the indigenous youth originate, caused by a lack of means and by the fact that they are insufficiently adapted to local realities. As a result of this poor level of education, indigenous youngsters who come to the city to study, have to cope with academic impairment.
2. Lack of political will and poor political vision on behalf of the public authorities.
3. High costs and other difficulties encountered when travelling to, and staying in the city (major changes, lack of company, unadapted national programme of scholarships).
4. Higher education institutions do not pursue a policy aimed at improving access of indigenous youth to higher education (need of a lunch room for the students, limited number of places for native students, monitoring of the students is inexistent).
5. Bilingual or intercultural higher education does not really exist, except for the Programa de Formación de Maestros Bilingües Interculturales (FORMABIAP) of AIDESEP.
6. Poor public awareness amongst the inhabitants of Loreto about the situation of indigenous peoples.
With its educational programme, Putumayo vzw seeks to address this situation. These are the four objectives of the programme Sui Sui:
Since April 2014 Putumayo vzw has been working together with the Programa de Formación de Maestros Bilingües de la Amazonía Peruana - FORMABIAP, an institution that is part of the organization of indigenous peoples AIDESEP. This formal cooperation has been agreed upon for a period of five years, with the possibility to be prolonged. The new partnership was named 'Programma Sui Sui', by analogy with a very cheerful and sociable bird, common in these regions.
English class taught by our volunteer Ludiwien in April 2014, in the programme Sui Sui. Not all students had their eyes on the whiteboard.
© Beatriz Rodriguez