Visit report Ueli Frei June 2016: Fundación Educación Peru


Local contacts:
Bertha Aspillaga             (Manager Office Peru)
George Gruenberg          (President, Local Commitee)
Juan Mulder                   (Vice President, Local Commitee)

Places and events:
24/06/2016                     Meeting of the Local Committee (office Química Suiza)
                                      Talk with the persons in charge for scholars in UTEC
25/06/2016                     Talks with 6 scholars (Fundación Educación office, Surco, Lima)

Only a few months after my election to the Foundation Board of Fundación Educación I had the opportunity to visit our organization in Lima, Peru, from June 23 to 25 of 2016. I did not expect this visit to become such a powerful experience as it turned out to be, especially because of the profound discussions with the leading persons of the local team, and the meetings with the scholars/alumni.

My initial impression was confirmed that the engagement in an organization like Fundación Educación, which generates such massive improvements in the quality of life of young people in Latin America is both a privilege and a great responsibility.

Starting with the composition of the local committee and continuing with the thorough selection of the scholars, the intensive support given to them during the study period, and the control of the repayments of the scholarships under the scheme of the "Compromiso de Honor", the organization in Peru is in full control of the whole process. This is mainly thanks to the experienced and competent leadership by the local office manager, Bertha Aspillaga.

The success rate of our students of almost 100% (finishing with an university degree) speaks for itself! However, much more impressive were, in my view, the personal interviews with current and former scholars/alumni. Professional career paths of the alumni are impressive and were only possible thanks to the support from Fundación Educación. But even more astonishing are the strong personalities that emerge from the program. Self-confident women and men told me their life stories, including the humble situations where they come from and what would most likely have happened to them, were it not for the saving hand of Fundación Educación.

Quite convincing is also the rate of reimbursement of the scholarships through for the "Compromiso de Honor", a kind of personal promise of the scholars to repay their scholarships in the course of the first years in a paid job. This very personal commitment is one of the cornerstones for the sustained success of Fundación Educación in Peru. The close contact between the former and current scholars led, in the meantime, to a strong alumni network which also helps for the job search of the graduates. Even a joint e-business venture has been created by the alumni.

I would like to conclude with a heartfelt thank you to Bertha, George and Juan. They all contributed to make this visit an unforgettable experience!