PATRIZIA School Sondoveni
In 2014, the PATRIZIA Foundation along with its Peruvian project partner Creciendo and students from the University of Stuttgart established a secondary school in Sondoveni in the Peruvian province of Satipo.
The village of Sondoveni is home to roughly 60 families. Tucked away in the middle of the Peruvian rainforest, it takes about ten hours to drive to Lima, the capital. The last two hours of the journey take you along dirt roads through the jungle. There is a dearth of schools in the rainforest – a problem that also impacts other areas: more than 1.6 million Peruvian children under the age of 14 go to work, only go to school sporadically, or do not attend school at all.
“The world of education is open to children, even in the middle of the Peruvian rainforest”
steward of the PATRIZIA School Sondoveni
New school, stronger appeal to teachers
The new secondary school makes it possible for children in the surrounding villages to attend school. It currently comprises three classrooms, which are used by five teachers. This is an immense gain for this hard-to-reach area, which lies in a region that teachers have showed no interest in until now.
Education is the key to a better future in Peru
PATRIZIA School Sondoveni lays a foundation stone for children to break free from poverty, hunger and a lack of real prospects for improvement. This is because education allows children to determine what to do in life themselves, even in the most remote regions of the world.
See also the travel report filed by our former managing director.
Former Managing Director reports from his foundation journey to Peru
Education in the rain forest
PATRIZIA School Sondoveni was our first project in Latin America. To find it you have to travel deep into the Peruvian rainforest, where you’ll discover that in 2014, we built a secondary school on a small plateau overlooking the indigenous village of Sondoveni.
Attending school means you’re missing in the fields
Currently, all 34 pupils at the school are from Sondoveni, a village of roughly 60 indigenous families. The people here are Asháninkas, an indigenous population of about 50,000 people and the largest ethnic group in the Peruvian rainforests of the Amazon. Almost all live off the land and coffee farming. Sondoveni is not like villages in Europe, where we expect to see neat rows of houses around the village centre. It’s more like individual huts built around plantations. The countryside is breathtakingly beautiful, but living conditions are simple, to say the least. From around the age of 13, children usually help their parents working in the fields.
Plans to build a school extension and a new accommodation block for teachers
PATRIZIA School Sondoveni is a public school comprising three classrooms used for five grades. To provide a dedicated room for all years and accommodate additional pupils, it needs two more classrooms. We expect the extension to attract strong interest in the school. As an appealing secondary school with improved technical infrastructure, PATRIZIA School Sondoveni also has enough capacity to teach children from the surrounding villages.
Until now, teachers have been housed in a very simple room in the village, which also doubles up as a warehouse. The school therefore urgently needs to provide adequate accommodation for the teachers. This would also attract more motivated teachers to the school to teach the young people with more enthusiasm. The five teachers currently working at the school are provided by the state and are not from the area. To preserve the cultural heritage of the indigenous people, which rightly warrants protection, the school would also like to appeal to indigenous teachers in the future.
Running water for PATRIZIA School Sondoveni
The school currently has no access to local water supplies and the school building covers its water requirements simply by storing rainwater in a large barrel. The plan is to improve the overall system and provide the school with a filter system. This would allow PATRIZIA School Sondoveni to use rainwater from all of the roofs. In addition, the local community wants to do something about access to the local water network.
Support from the community
Lizeth Monica Chuquimia Velasquez, the mayoress of Rio Negro, is an important advocate of the project in the local community. Her deputy is also Asháninka and together, they are trying to bring about cultural change throughout the wider area. They know that the school is also important for the surrounding area, because there are no other secondary schools in the nearby villages.
Building the new extension with apoprojekt
Our new partner, apoprojekt, will design and finance the school extension in close cooperation with foundation staff. A specialist in interior design and the planning of rental properties, apoprojekt has been an active member of our Sponsor Circle for several years.
Once the preliminary planning phase is complete and preparations have been made, construction should start as soon as possible. We’re delighted that the expanded and appealing format of PATRIZIA School Sondoveni will allow us
to show that even in the deepest rainforests of Peru, children and young people can receive a school education and lay foundations for a better life.