The leader of CHAP, Eduardo Raffael, recently visited the Selva region of Peru and spent some time with the children of this area. The region of Selva is an area of concern in Peru with major inequalities among the children based on their origins.
The indigenous children and youngsters from that region who only speak Amazonian languages don’t have the same opportunities to develop their abilities as other Spanish-speaking children.
Among the indigenous population in this area there is a lot of poverty, health problems, educational and identity problems. Among the four million indigenous people who live in Peru, one million are children and youngsters. They speak about 43 different Andean and Amazonian languages.
In education, the inequality between children from the Selva and children from other regions is notorious. While 32% of the non-indigenous children between 3 to 5 years old do not attend school, this percentage rises up to 55 % for indigenous children. Only 11% of the indigenous youngsters between 18 and 20 years old have access to university or any higher education institute.
About 250 000 children between 3 and 17 years old don’t have any access to the educational system. Moreover only 38% of the children who go to school can attend classes in their native language.
We notice that despite the worrisome situation of the children from the Selva region, they are ignored. In other words, they don’t really exist for the government. That’s why the leaders from CHAP have taken the decision to concentrate more efforts on their work with the children from the Selva.