Lima, Perú – In First Person

Mirtha is a single mother who lives in Lima, Peru with her young daughter, Brigid. Both of them live in a settlement called Sacred Valley that is located in San Juan de Lurigancho, the most populous district of the city.

Before the pandemic, Brigid attended Fe y Alegria School No. 26. Since the school is very far from their home, Mirtha needed to take a motorcycle taxi to and from the school to drop her daughter off. She would save a bit of money each day by having the motorcycle leave her at the bottom of the steep hill to her home and climbing the rest of the way.

Now, with distance learning, Mirtha has needed to make other sacrifices to help Brigid keep up in school. Their home, alongside approximately 61% of Peruvian households, does not have steady access to the internet. “Aprendo en Casa” is broadcasted daily via television and radio to broaden its reach, but this still remains difficult for many poorer families to access. Mirtha must borrow a television set from her cousin during the week for Brigid’s classes, and use WhatsApp to access school assignments. She spends as much time as she can helping Brigid with her school work, but worries that her daughter will fall behind without the tutelage of her teachers.

COVID-19 continues to expose the many educational inequalities facing low-income families and communities. Without steady access to the internet or even electricity, many children are unable to participate in classes. Parents, especially single parents, often have limited time to dedicate to their children’s homeschooling as they struggle to make ends meet for their families. Our partners of A Chance In Life are working with their local partners in Peru to find distance learning solutions that will help our young people keep up with their classes and ensure they don’t fall behind their peers.

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