There are some children in the district of Curahuasi whose families are unable to send their children to school due to economic restraints. The Peruvian government provides schools for all children, however there are some costs involved including school books,
uniforms and registration fees which make it difficult for many subsistence farming families to afford even this low-cost education. Therefore, ALMA has established a school sponsorship program whereby sponsors from Australia, Germany and the USA donate money to cover the costs of a year’s worth of education for needy children (just $35 per year). Children are sponsored from Kindergarten through Primary and High School. Families are assessed by local members of the Board of ALMA Peru in order to assess individual needs. This means that some children will receive full scholarships if necessary, including uniforms, registration fees and school books, while other families may require assistance with only school books.
ALMA also provides assistance to several small district schools in the form of educational materials, school supplies and sporting equipment. These are items not provided by the government.
In some cases gifted students participating in the school sponsorship program are identified and offered sponsorship for a tertiary education. This includes trade schools, technical colleges as well as universities, depending on the desire and abilities of the student. Because most students will have to leave Curahuasi in order to seek this level of education, tertiary scholarships include rental assistance, a food allowance and travel costs.
ALMA also offers an after-school homework club from Monday through Friday with volunteer tutors who assist children with their homework and help students with learning difficulties. After introducing the school sponsorship program for disadvantaged children, it was discovered that more assistance was required in order to help these children succeed at school. Many of these children have parents who are largely uneducated and some even illiterate, making it extremely difficult for these parents to help their children with school work. The homework club not only assists with tutoring the children but is also equipped with supplies to help children complete school projects (such as cardboard, paper, glue etc) and has several computers with internet access to allow older students to research class assignments.