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

Famous celebrities and world leaders alike channel their influence to promote the various causes they are passionate about. Below are 5 famous advocates for global poverty:

1. Bono

Lead singer of Dublin-based band U2, Bono is one of the most influential celebrity advocates fighting global poverty. He is the co-founder of the organization ONE, which is a campaign of over 3 million people taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. He is also creator of other campaigns including Debt AIDS Trade Africa (RED) and clothing company EDUN. Bono recently performed at the 2013 Global Citizen Festival, calling on audience members to help put a stop to extreme poverty by 2030. He was granted knighthood in 2007 and dubbed a “Man of Peace” for all his philanthropic work. He serves as a role model to all celebrities and is passionate about a greater cause.

2. Angelina Jolie

While filming Tomb Raider in Cambodia, Jolie first became personally aware of worldwide humanitarian crises. Since 2001, she has traveled on field missions around the world and interacted with refugees and other displaced people in more than 20 countries. She founded the Jolie-Pitt Foundation with actor Brad Pitt. The foundation focuses on eradicating extreme rural poverty, conserving wildlife, and protecting natural resources. Among the many philanthropic endeavors she has undergone, some include building an all-girls primary school in Afghanistan, opening a refugee camp and recently, undergoing a double mastectomy, bringing awareness to cancer and women’s health.

3. Elton John 

Famous musician Sir Elton John has seen many of his close friends die from HIV/AIDS in his lifetime. In their honor, he established the Elton John Aids Foundation in 1992 to fight the disease worldwide. The organization has raised over $125 million to support programs in 55 countries through education, health services and elimination of prejudice and discrimination. In 2004 he was the most generous person in music of the year, donating over $43 million to organizations across the globe. In 2008, he donated 120 motorcycles to the African nation of Lesotho to be used by doctors and nurses to visit patients in remote areas.

4. George Clooney

Clooney is one of the most charitable stars in Hollywood, focusing his energy on a mission to stop the human rights atrocities occurring in Darfur. He famously founded the group Not On Our Watch to stop the genocide occurring in Sudan. He has personally visited the area several times and met with victims and world leaders alike.

5. Bill Clinton

Former U.S. President and founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation, Clinton set up his organization to promote aid for a number of humanitarian causes. His organization focuses specifically on climate change, economic development, global health and women’s rights. Though there has been some controversy over the Clinton Foundation in recent years, it remains a well-known global advocacy network for aiding poverty-stricken countries.

– Sonia Aviv

Sources: ONE, TED, Look to the Stars, CQ Researcher, Clinton Foundation
Photo: Charles Cannon