Dubai Cares conducts a field visit to Peru to monitor the progress of two current programs targeting social inclusion through music and early childhood development

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 1July 2019: A delegation led by Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, recently completed a field visit to Peru to monitor the progress of two programs currently being implemented in the country. During the visit, Dubai Cares announced the second phase of its “Social Inclusion through Teaching of Music” program through extending support to a musical center in Arequipa city for another 2 years, by contributing to hiring additional teachers and administration staff and reaching families in poorer areas in order to empower their children through musical education. The second program is a 3-year Early Childhood Development (ECD) program that is set to benefit children below the age of 3, through training and coaching of disadvantaged families and community agents.

Dubai Cares’ program reinforces role of music in social development

Dubai Cares’ “Social Inclusion Through the Teaching of Music” program, which was first launched in April 2017 in partnership with Sinfonia por el Peru, resulted in the establishment of a new music center in Arequipa city, the second-largest city in Southwestern Peru. The center has not only provided 748 students aged 5 to 15 years access to music education in its first phase, but also used music as a catalyst for social development. The second phase with a grant of AED 1,836,750 (USD 500,000) is expected to benefit around 300 additional students and support the hiring of 25 additional teachers and administration staff for the musical center, as well as create 3 additional modules that will be operational in other schools. A digital classroom is also expected to enrich the learning experience of the students and enable them to easily interact with other centers and teachers in the country and abroad.

Commenting on the extended support to this program, Dr. Al Gurg said: “We were extremely pleased with the opening of the music center in Arequipa city in 2018, and are happy to witness the positive effect it’s having on young students. Music can have a broad impact on behavioral change and socio-emotional skills, making it a great tool for social uplifting, as outlined in the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4. The outcomes of the program have been very positive on students’educational level, and we are delighted to extend this program for an additional 2 years, and help support more families, enhance the learning experience with digital tools, and even trigger musical vocationsin the long-term. Music might be the future for some of these children, and we hope we can contribute to that goal, or simply help them improve their learning outcomes and make a better living for them and their families.”

Miguel Molinari, CEO of Sinfonia por el Peru said: “Hand in hand with Dubai Cares, we are improving the lives of thousands of vulnerable children and teenagers from disadvantaged backgrounds. Sinfonia por el Peru and Dubai Cares, true ‘Music for Development’.”

Dubai Cares’ program in Peru tackles poverty and growth delay in rural areas of the Andes and urban slums

Dubai Cares’ delegation also carried out field visits to monitor and evaluate the organization’s “Support to MAIPI – Model of Comprehensive Care for Early Childhood in Peru” program. The program in partnership with KusiWarma, is bringing Early Childhood Development (ECD) support to 500 disadvantaged children below the age of 3. It is supporting 351 families of children aged up to 3 years by providing them training and coaching at their home and at ECD centers, and training 32 community agents on health, nutrition, education and protection topics. The program is being implemented in the Andean rural district of Turpo in Andahuaylas province – where over 60% of the population lives in poverty, and the urban slums in the district of Ventanilla, Callao province – where 33% of the population is poor or extremely poor. Moreover, the program includes a health component that tackles the chronic anemia concern in Peru and aims to reduce the prevalence of anemia amongst children aged 0-3 in order to improve their brain and language development. Overall, the program tackles the adverse effects of poverty on the children’s physical, psychological and social development, and includes capacity building of communities and local authorities towards parental education and raising awareness on the rights of pre-school children.

Commenting from the field on the significance of this program, Nada Al Hajjri, Program Manager said: “We realized through this visit that children with anemia suffer significant delays in language development. Our program is focused on preventing or reversing growth delay for the youngest children through promoting proper nutrition. We are also supporting their families to ensure that the children grow in a protective environment based on care, attention and affection. KusiWarma’s local presence in Turpo and Ventanilla has enabled them to build the capacity of local authorities and members of these communities to monitor the development of the program with the aim of sustaining its progress.”

Gloria González Navarro, Executive Director at KusiWarma said: “The project has completed 1 year and a half of implementation and we are very satisfied with the results we have witnessed thus far. To date, we are reaching over 80% of the total of children under the age of 3 and their families. We are confident that working with mothers throughout their pregnancy and paying special attention to the children’s first 3 years of life, is the best investment we can make as a society. Concentrating our efforts on this defining stage of a human being’s development helps establish a base for a better society and a better world. The technical and financial support from Dubai Cares is extremely valuable for the children of Peru, we hope to continue strengthening our relationship of mutual cooperation so that children can break the cycle of poverty through education.”

A prosperous economy

The Republic of Peru is an upper-middle-income country on the western coast of South America, ranked 89 out of 189 countries in the UN Human Development Index (HDI). The country, with an estimated population of 32.5 million, managed to reduce poverty levels significantly between 2006 and 2012 thanks to the surge of its mineral exports, but the trend has stalled in recent years. Children in the rural areas of the country are the most affected as they represent 60% of the population living in poverty. Rural areas are penalized due to only 53% of the population having access to drinking water, much lower than in the capital (83%). Between 2002 and 2013, Peru was one of the fastest-growing countries in Latin America, with an average GDP growth rate of 6.1 percent annually. However, the GDP growth slowed to an average rate of 3.0 percent between 2014 and 2017 and raised to 3.7% in 2018. The benefits in the country are not equally redistributed within the society and inequalities keep widening between the large cities and rural areas, where only 44.6% of students finish high school.

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