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.
Expansion with apoprojekt
So far, five classes have been taught in the existing three classrooms of the public PATRIZIA School Sondoveni. Together with our cooperation partner apoprojekt, the PATRIZIA Foundation has successfully built two additional classrooms, a kitchen, and a workroom. With these new facilities, we have been able to provide access to education for children from surrounding villages, thus offering more children a better future. We expect this to have a strong pull effect for the secondary school as a result.
In the context of this extension, teacher accomodation were also created on the school premises. Previously, they were housed in a very simple room in the village, which has also served as a warehouse. This addition is intended to attract more motivated teachers in the future who will enthusiastically educate the young people. In the long run, we particularly want to involve indigenous teachers to preserve the valuable cultural heritage of the indigenous population. Currently, there are five teachers working at the school who are not from the area.
A cistern to collect rainwater and a connected drinking water filter system were also added. Of particular significance is the construction of a staircase leading from the village up to the hill where the school is located. This now allows students to reach the school building even during the rainy season.
We are particularly proud of these extensions because numerous obstacles had to be overcome during the construction phase. These include price fluctuations, the impact of the COVID19-pandemic and a politically unstable situation, all of which were overcome, culminating in the festive inauguration of the extension in March 2023.
Support from the community
Lizeth Monica Chuquimia Velasquez, the mayoress of Rio Negro, is an important advocate of the project at the community level. Her deputy is also Asháninka, and together they strive to bring about cultural changes for the entire region. The principal of the primary school, Norma Chuquillanqui, also played a crucial role in the project. She reached out to local NGOs to ensure that her students have the opportunity for further education after primary school.
This led to contact with the PATRIZIA Foundation – and the network continued to grow: the community Alto Sondoveni, the architect group IntuyLab from Lima, which supported with the construction planning, and finally, the local NGO Semillas, which was responsible for the construction. Together, they enabled secondary school education in Sondoveni. “In modern development cooperation, it is very important to actively involve the local community,” summarizes Diego Arzabe from the project and partner management of the PATRIZIA Foundation.
The additional construction is a prime example of a successful CSR partnership with the PATRIZIA Foundation. Do you also like to support a construction project or initiative, provide financing, or take on sponsorship? Further information on a customized CSR cooperation – individually tailored to your company – can be found here.