Circus as an alternative for socially vulnerable children

Besides circus trainings in various districts VIDA NUEVA also organises public performances to motivate the children and young adults to participate regularly. One condition for participating in the circus project is a regular school attendance. The project therefore also provides educational work and gives the children and youths future prospects. The circus creates a social community and a safe space where they can spend their free time in a meaningful, positive and healthy way.

Sozialer Zirkus Costa Rica

Circus as an alternative for socially vulnerable children

The circus project CIRCO FANTAZZTICO run by our partner organisation VIDA NUEVA offers children and youths coming from poor districts of San Isidro, Costa Rica, an alternative to gang crime and gives them a new perspective in a difficult social environment

Besides circus trainings in various districts VIDA NUEVA also organises public performances to motivate the children and young adults to participate regularly. One condition for participating in the circus project is a regular school attendance. The project therefore also provides educational work and gives the children and youths future prospects. The circus creates a social community and a safe space where they can spend their free time in a meaningful, positive and healthy way.

The experience of the previous years has shown that the artistic project of VIDA NUEVA provides an opportunity to the children and youths to improve their physical abilities and their social competence. Thereby they gain self-confidence and develop independence as well as team spirit.

Through their social preventive and artistic achievements CIRCO FANTAZZTICO has attained national and international recognition, which gives the artists the opportunity to show their skills at festivals and tours outside of Costa Rica. So far they have been to Switzerland five times. This international success is a high motivation for all the children and youths that have found an alternative to criminalisation in the CIRCO FANTAZZTICO. If you want to experience the CIRCO FANTAZZTICO live, the troupe will be back on tour in Switzerland this year!

Roland Spendlingwimmer

President VIDA NUEVA, Costa Rica

“For me Circus is a philosophy of life strongly linked to aesthetic and ethical values. The experience of solidarity, freedom and tenderness as well as the total absorption in the artistic performance are all elements that help to develop a self-confident, emancipated and open-minded personality.”

Support for indigenous students in the city

The number of young indigenous people that leave their families to pursue their studies in the city of Puerto Maldonado has constantly risen during the last couple of years. For them and for their families this provides an opportunity to graduate and to be able to live a better life. However, the rate of students dropping out of college has increased significantly.

Support for indigenous students in the city

More and more young people from indigenous communities in the Peruvian Amazon region move to Puerto Maldonado for a higher education. Once arrived in the city, many of them face existential problems. Our partner organization FENAMAD supports these young people in their everyday life so that they are able to finish their studies.

The number of young indigenous people that leave their families to pursue their studies in the city of Puerto Maldonado has constantly risen during the last couple of years. For them and for their families this provides an opportunity to graduate and to be able to live a better life. However, the rate of students dropping out of college has increased significantly. Most of the indigenous families don’t have stable incomes and are poor. In consequence, many students face poor living conditions, they lack a healthy diet and the support and orientation that they would need to pass the exams. In addition, the discrimination of indigenous people and social problems such as crime, prostitution and a lack of leisure opportunities are substantial.

The student residence, which was renovated by FENAMAD together with the young people, offers the students a sheltered space where they can live and learn. A psychologist looks after them individually and supports them in strengthening their self-confidence and in developing plans for their future. They also receive extra tuition and can attend artistic workshops. With the support of this project we do also want to counter the following problem faced by our partner organization FENAMAD: International Organizations are clearly prioritizing projects for the protection of the rain forest and projects for the defense of the rights of indigenous people.  These projects are, without a doubt, very important. However, problems of indigenous people in the urban environment do barely gain attention by international organizations and it is very difficult for FENAMAD to find financial resources for such projects. EcoSolidar decided to support this project because it responds to an urgent need expressed by the affected population that has been ignored so far.

Julio Cusurichi

President von FENAMAD, Peru

„The main objective of FENAMAD is the defense of the rights of indigenous people to self-determination, territory and cultural identity. For us it is a priority to include the young indigenous people of our communities in our activities since its them who inherit our history and on whom the future of our peoples depends.”

“Las Pioneras” for a better life

In the hope of a better life and prospects for the future, thousands of people from all parts of Peru move to the capital Lima. Due to massive immigration and the uncontrolled construction of settlements, a second city has literally emerged around Lima in recent decades.

“Las Pioneras” for a better life

Our partner organisation IDEMNNA (Instituto de Desarrollo “Maria Elena Moyano”) works in Peru in a suburb of the capital Lima, where migrant families from different parts of the country live. The aim of the project is to holistically improve the living conditions of women and their children. The focus is on the personal development of the women and their independence is to be promoted by setting up their own small businesses..

In the hope of a better life and prospects for the future, thousands of people from all parts of Peru move to the capital Lima. Due to massive immigration and the uncontrolled construction of settlements, a second city has literally emerged around Lima in recent decades. Our partner organisation IDEMNNA works in the community “Villa El Sol” in Jicamarca, which is located in the eastern region of Lima and where migrant families from different regions of Peru live. The living conditions here are extremely precarious: the basic supply – water, sewage, electricity, health, green areas – is lacking. Violence, alcohol, drugs and land trade cause massive problems. Most families live in abject poverty. Many women are single mothers and the majority of them have experienced psychological or physical violence.

Our partner organisation IDEMNNA works here with women and their children. The aim of the project is to improve the coexistence in the families, to support the women in their personal development and independence and to strengthen solidarity in the neighbourhood. At IDEMNNA the women find a safe place where they can exchange their experiences of violence and educational problems. This exchange among the women is an important principle. The women who are supported by IDEMNNA founded a group and gave themselves the name “Las Pioneras” – pioneers. They receive psychosocial counselling and practical tips for self-help. At the same time, the aim is to support the women in their financial independence, by developing their own business ideas and with small loans as start-up aid. In addition to working with local women, IDEMNNA consistently seeks cooperation with the responsible authorities and public authorities, which is not easy to achieve in this context.

The project started in 2017 with two employees who started the project voluntarily and with a lot of initiative and commitment. In 2018 EcoSolidar initially supported a pilot project to empower women. The committed start of the small organisation convinced us: IDEMNNA performs holistic work “from below” and is oriented towards women’s resources. In 2019 EcoSolidar decided to support a 3-year project.

Sandra Tabita Lozano Rodriguez

Project Coordinator, IDEMNNA, Peru

“Our aim is for women, children and young people to be able to strengthen and develop their human and entrepreneurial skills under dignified conditions. To this end, we create and promote space for self-help. We want to contribute to the construction of a just, solidarity-based, non-violent and healthy society in coexistence with its environment”.

Bilingual Radio: Indigenous raise their Voices

Children produce bilingual and intercultural radio programmes and thereby are actively included in the school lessons, and have the opportunity to engage with indigenous knowledge and culture. The radio project facilitates the intercultural and bilingual approach for the teachers.

Radio Indigene Peru

Bilingual Radio: Indigenous raise their Voices

For many centuries the indigenous people in Peru have been oppressed. This oppression still persists today, especially in education and in the media. This is where the radio project of PUKLLASUNCHIS comes into play.

Children produce bilingual and intercultural radio programmes and thereby are actively included in the school lessons, and have the opportunity to engage with indigenous knowledge and culture. The radio project facilitates the intercultural and bilingual approach for the teachers. The children’s self-confidence is increased and they strengthen their native language and engage with their cultural background. In the sub project, indigenous women are taught to be “communication leaders” and produce multilingual and intercultural radio programmes.

The radio programmes are broadcasted on local and regional radios and give the children, women and indigenous communities a voice in the media. The project provides a key to equality in the education system and makes the voices of the women and the indigenous knowledge heard. The radio programmes are collected by PUKLLASUNCHIS and applied by educational institutes as intercultural teaching material. The project supports a democratisation process that is essential for the Peruvian society.

Christine Appenzeller

Director PUKLLASUNCHIS, Peru

„Since 1980 Pukllasunchis has cultivated human values, encouraged the equality of all human beings and promoted diversity as an enrichment for everybody.“

A second chance for disadvantaged women

Nicaragua is one of the poorest countries in Latin America. The situation is particularly critical for girls and young women from poor backgrounds: many have to leave school too early and thus do not get a job on the official labour market. The women are unemployed or work in the informal sector and live with their families in poverty.

A second chance for disadvantaged women

Our partner organisation XtraOrdinary Women supports women affected by poverty in Managua through basic education and vocational training – so that they can break the vicious cycle of poverty.

Nicaragua is one of the poorest countries in Latin America. The situation is particularly critical for girls and young women from poor backgrounds: many have to leave school too early and thus do not get a job on the official labour market. The women are unemployed or work in the informal sector and live with their families in poverty.

Every year, our partner organisation XtraOrdinary Women offers 40 women the opportunity to complete a basic educational training. The women improve their social skills, catch up on missed basic school education and strengthen their craft skills and creativity. A key aspect of the project is the personal development. A psychologist accompanies the participants. XtraOrdinary Women maintains close partnerships with companies in the private sector, where the participants complete an internship and some obtain permanent employment. A special partnership exists with the in-house fashion label CHURECA CHIC, which produces high quality jewellery out of recycling-paper. The revenues from this social enterprise go to the XtraOrdinary Women education project.

Andrea Paltzer

Director Earth Education Project

„I started XtraOrdinary Women because I saw a way to provide a community with the tools to lift themselves out of poverty. I believe that small businesses and social enterprise charities can offer communities a lasting solution to problems they have come across such as lack of education and a lack of employment opportunities“