December, 2016 Update
We are excited to confirm that Peruvian Hearts scholars will be attending the next intensive Summer Empowerment Course in January, 2017.
Peruvian Hearts was the first girl-serving organization to participate in the original Visionaria Summer leadership institutes (the original Visionaria Empowerment Course). Genevieve Smith and Lindsay Ratcliff first met with the directors of Peruvian Hearts in 2012 to discuss their shared interests in women’s empowerment and in overcoming the social discrimination faced by indigenous girls as they advance their studies beyond secondary school.
Jeannette, Peruvian Hearts’ local coordinator and house manager, has provided a great deal of advice and input over the years to improve upon the Visionaria curriculum’s lessons and team project activities.
In an August, 2016 planning meeting, Jeannette commented on how the Visionaria Peru Summer program supports Peruvian Hearts’ goals: “It reminds the girls of the power that a woman holds and they learn to applaud the work they have achieved. Visionaria supports girls to fight for their dreams.”
She also provided some healthy feedback about how to improve the program in 2017. She suggested providing some more formal training for the team project mentors. Each team is assigned one mentor to help execute on the team’s project plan. with more training, mentors will be able to better support the inevitable twists and turns throughout the team projects (e.g., leadership workshops in local middle-schools, identifying eligible households and installing improved cook-stoves, distributing and educating about water filter technologies, and others). She also encouraged and offered to help find additional mentors who can identify with the girls’ situations and with the work that we are doing on their behalf.
Having originally developed our curriculum with Peruvian Hearts and their scholars in mind, it’s an honor to continue to work with such a dedicated organization in the Cusco region, and of course, the wonderful girls they support year-round.
Peruvian Hearts, a Colorado-based non-profit organization, supports girls from indigenous families to make the successful transition from secondary school all the way through university. They provide critical housing, scholarships, mentorship, a safe environment, and other support for the Peruvian Hearts scholars to learn and grow.
You can read more about Peruvian Hearts and the history and founding of the first Visionaria programs here: