Underprivileged Peruvian children like chess too

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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0 | Chess Event Coverage
The city of Cusco in Peru is mainly known as a backpacker resort, very close to the Inca town Machu Picchu. Like many cities in South-America, Cusco (about 300.000 inhabitants) has many slums where mostly immigrants live, coming from the surrounding countryside. In the Cusco slums thousands of children live and work on the streets without any form of protection by adults. They try their luck as vendors in the streets, but they are more likely to find themselves in trouble. Child labour, abuse, violence, malnourishment and for some also drug abuse (glue snorting) are the daily facts of their life. The Inti Huahuacuna Foundation ensure daytime-shelter for these underprivileged children, e.g. by organizing chess training sessions.

In 1999 the Asosaci?ɬ?n Inti Huahuacuna was founded in Peru, with the goal the improvement of living circumstances and development of opportunities for underprivileged children of the outskirts and streets in Cusco, Peru. Inti Huahuacuna means "children of the sun", an expression from Quechua, the old Indian language which is still spoken in the Andes area. There are two relief centers where 100 to 150 children under 18 jaar are taken care of every day. The project offers a safe daytime-shelter; psycho-social support to children and parents; education to improve the opportunities of a child for development; occupational training for adolescents graduated from high school; and health care.

Meanwhile you're probably wondering why I'm telling you all this on a chess website. Well, let me explain. In January my girlfriend decided to refrain from asking presents for her birthday but instead for donations for the Inti Huahuacuna Foundation, which she once visited in Cusco. So friends and family didn't give her presents but instead money, which my girlfriend transferred to the bank account of the foundation. The reaction of Marianne Schepers of Inti Huahuacuna in an email:

"Special donations like these I always use for special wishes of the children. This way your party is also for them a party! (...) The team really liked to organize chess lessons by an offical chess teacher. And they really wanted to buy chess sets and clocks.

In recent years you have seen how great it can be to be able to play chess well. I hope you like the idea that [the foundation] can hire [a] chess teacher and buy chess material thanks to your donation."


Of course me and my girlfriend, who didn't know at all that these Peruvian children liked chess too, were happily surprised. Meanwhile there's news from Peru: the material has been bought and the children really enjoyed the chess training session. One of the pupils has sent an email in which he thanks Marianne:

Remembering Profesor Gregorio and the nice people in The Netherlands.

My name is Carlos ?جø¬??ngel Leiva Lima and I'm 12 years old. As a chess pupil I have experienced the chess lessons like a dream. The walls of our games classroom are the silent witnesses. Here we were given the lessons by our Profe Gregorio from Monday to Monday. He worked hard to teach us everything about chess techniques, like long and short castling, scholar's mate, the possibilities of the pawn and much more beautiful and interesting things. Finally, I'd like to thank Profe Gregorio again, as well as all the people in The Netherlands who made it possible that we could learn so much about chess.

Many greetings,

Carlos


Here some foto's of the chess training session which took place during the first few months of 2007:

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Hereby I invite the ChessVibes audience to have a look at the website of the Inti Huahuacuna Foundation: www.intihuahuacuna.org. This way you can learn more about the foundation and about the Cusco children, and you might even make a donation yourself, so that other underprivileged childrend are also given the opportunities they deserve, for example by a chess training session!
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