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On 21st March 1960, 69 people were shot dead whilst protesting against apartheid in South Africa. 6 years later, the United Nations declared this date the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Every year people come together on 21st March to show solidarity in the fight against racism.

The Impact of Racism in Peru

Peru is a country rich in racial diversity. Indigenous people represent nearly half the population. There are over 65 different ethnic groups, including the highest number of untouched tribes in the world.

Despite this diversity, racism is deeply ingrained in Peruvian society. Indigenous children are denied education in their native language and face taunts from teachers who label them as ignorant and unteachable. Parents are excluded from well-paid work, leaving 78% of indigenous families in poverty. Malnutrition affects more children than in some of the poorest regions of Africa.

Fighting for equal opportunities for indigenous children

Based in the Andean regions around Cusco, ChildHope's partners are working to ensure equal opportunities for Quechuan children and their families. Education is vital. Education of the adults, not simply the children!

Working alongside teachers, ChildHope's work has helped to ensure children are receiving the support they need to succeed in schools. After school clubs help the children improve skills in literacy and mathematics as well as building their confidence and a positive sense of identity.

Parents are also provided with training and small loans to help them start their own businesses. Successful marketing of traditional produce has helped families clothe and feed their children. The additional money has been critical in enabling children to remain in school as it has helped families cover the cost of uniforms and school books.

Raising aspirations and transforming futures

The end to racial prejudice will take time but each individual achievement helps change attitudes and increase the aspirations of those who have been excluded and marginalised. Many Quechuan children now tell us that they dream of going to university and becoming professionals such as doctors and teachers.  At ChildHope we believe that with continued support to challenge prejudice, we are hopeful that this dream can become a reality.

 

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