Education in Peru
Pluspetrol, a private multinational gas distribution and power generation company, has granted access to its own company-sponsored educational programs for more than 200 young children in Bajo Urubamba, the lower region of the Urubamba province in Peru. The company’s Peruvian branch works largely in and around the Urubamba province and has contributed an estimated $100,000 to education in Peru.

Pluspetrol’s program, Programa Integral de Educación (PIE), offers scholarships to young Peruvians who live near the company’s Camisea Gas Project, which extracts and transports natural gas around the Urubamba River. The company intends to focus on participation in high school and university-level programs to improve the accessibility of education in Peru.

PIE has been divided into three separate scholarship programs:

  1. Becas NopokiThis is a scholarship awarding full payment of tuition fees to exceptional students at the Universidad Católica Sedes Sapientiae. It specifically targets students who display enthusiasm in the fields of management, agricultural engineering or any combination of basic bilingual literacy. Through this scholarship, all courses are taught in the native language of the participating students. This provision includes the Peruvian dialects of Machiguenga, Yine and Asháninka to ensure indigenous populations do not feel alienated from the education system in Peru.
  2. Programa 100This program focuses on students in their final two years of elementary and high school, respectively. The curriculum of Programa 100 focuses on developing skills in reading and in mathematical reasoning. Each year, this program helps approximately 75 school-aged children improve their academic skills and various options for higher education in Peru.
  3. Becas Pre-UniversitariasThis program supports secondary school students in their senior year of high school in their transition to university. This program gives students hands-on experience outside of the classroom and attempts to prepare them for the future. It takes students beyond the classroom and prepares them for Universidad Católica Sedes Sapientiae.

These scholarships are meant to provide children in Urubamba with the necessary skills for a university level education. So far, all three programs have been incredibly successful and have made it possible for 90 percent of PIE scholarship applicants to gain access to general tertiary education as well as agrarian engineering, administration and intercultural basic bilingual education courses.

Jaime Viens

Photo: Flickr

In 1997, the U.S. Institute of Medicine identified global health as ‘health problems that are influenced by circumstances in certain countries, but have effects that could impact other nations.’ With globalization becoming such a prominent part of life economically, socially and politically, it is a clear progression that health problems will become “globalized” as well.

Global health scholarships are revolutionizing research that students can do for issues worldwide and helping to create new solutions and strategies for a variety of illnesses. There are many organizations that award global health scholarships, but three large groups are Johns Hopkins University, the American Medical Student Association, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Johns Hopkins University founded the Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health in 2006; it is comprised of the Bloomberg School of Public Health, the School of Medicine, and the School of Nursing.  This year, the Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health awarded eight scholarships to students to give them the resources needed for them to pursue solutions to international health issues. Current scholarships winners are hoping to use their scholarships to monitor international health policies, achieve sustainable surgical care in developing countries, conduct infrastructure research in East Africa, facilitate community health programs, train people for public health interventions to prevent the spread of infectious diseases and increase global vision health care.

The American Medical Student Association (AMSA) has a six month long program that AMSA members, who are medical, pre-medical and public health students, can apply for. The program’s purpose is to create new solutions to help the global health outcome of developing countries.  Topics covered by this program are how to meet Millennium Development Goals, what exactly global health is (epidemics, new diseases, communicable diseases), and the impact climate change and population growth have on global health.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation also gives global health scholarships in the form of grants. The Gates Foundation gives billions of dollars to help fight global issues and within the last year they awarded $17,819 to The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine to support HIV research being done in Thailand. They also awarded $240,005 to the Center for Disease Control to work in India to create vaccines for enteric diseases and $356,650 to King George’s Medical University to help with pediatric pneumonia in India.

– Olivia Hadreas

Sources: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Johns Hopkins, AMSA