We have two new college graduates this year!
One of the factors that sets Niños del Sol apart from other youth programs is our apartment in Cusco, where we offer semi-independent living, with financial and emotional support, for our Niños who choose to pursue education after high school.
This part of our program is only a few years old. It was born when Viviana met one of the alumni who left the home before she arrived. That boy, Exuar, had been accepted to University, and he was trying to make a life as a student in Cusco on his own. He went to class all day, worked in a restaurant after school, and when the restaurant closed, he did his homework there and then slept under one of the tables.
Viviana realized that it wasn’t going to be enough to raise the kids until they turned 18. If we want to break the cycle of poverty in their families for future generations, we need to support them through university, and beyond, into their careers. This is the kind of support most kids in traditional families take for granted, but kids who grow up in institutions or foster care (even in the US) don’t often receive.
This year we are celebrating two new University graduates: Ermelinda and Jose Luis. Here are their messages of gratitude to you, in their own words (translated from Spanish by Viviana).
Ermelinda is finishing up her practicum to receive a B.A. as a Chemical Engineer.
Hello dear friends:
I am Ermelinda, I studied for a chemical engineering degree at UNSAAC and finished in September of 2019. Iit took me 6 years to complete the studies.
This has been possible thanks to your support and that of Viviana and Avishai during these years.
I am interested in environmental issues, especially in the treatment of wastewater, since in our communities we do not have sewage treatment plants and we end up polluting the rivers.
Feeling the support you’ve given us motivated me a lot and thanks to you I had the opportunity to study at the university.
Jose Luis, graduated as a Lic. in Graphic Design and Video Making. He works as a freelancer and wants to develop his own style and business.
Hi! My name is Jose Luis, I turned 23 this past December; I enjoy walking, climbing mountains, videos, biking, and drawing. I just graduated from studying Graphic Design, where I experienced my personal growth, and learning to expand my understanding and knowledge.
It was great to learn the different branches of Graphic Design; for now I have decided to work on video making: Comercial Advertisements, Weddings, Christenings, and ceremonies or special events. I would also like to learn how to make movies; I think is good to learn as much as possible in the audio-visual world.
I give thanks, to Avishai and Viviana that were there for me, supporting me, guiding my path, and teaching me to trust my self, to Lauren, who is a wonderful person!!t I give thanks to the friends, and all the people that are supporting this project, I was able to complete my education.
Here is a copy of a video I made for a couple celebrating their wedding in Cusco.