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blue sparrow

fall news

Hello! Quite a lot is happening here in Peru, the first of which is our new name: Blue Sparrow. As we register for 501(c)(3) status in the US, we've changed our name from Wasiymi Wasiki to Blue Sparrow. We are patiently awaiting IRS approval. This process takes some time and you will be updated as soon as we know more. In the meantime you'll find the current news and details on all of the projects at our new website Be sure to update your bookmarks.

Blue Sparrow's experience with the Conectados project here in the Andes revealed new opportunities. We discovered that by addressing not just the child's life but also the family's life we would increase our impact. As a response to the full range of a family's needs, Blue Sparrow has branched into four interconnected areas, forming a 'community model'. The community model is about actively interconnecting diverse aspects of the each project to create a broad, sustainable impact. For example, several families' successful microbusinesses repay their loans in the form of guinea pigs, which then initiates the larger implementation of a school-based guinea pig farm. (Guinea pigs are a popular food item in the Andes.) The students manage this business to sustain their Conectados computer lab's monthly maintenance and internet costs. In our pilot year of these programs, we're already seeing encouraging results. Thank you to the donors who made this possible!

Each of Blue Sparrow's project areas are making progress. Here's the latest news:

In the Andes, agriculture is a way of life. Families get their food and source of income entirely from their farm, and everyone is involved. Every day after school, most children are headed to the field to take animals to pasture, as well as till, plant, and harvest the crucial potato crop--all by hand. We located a walking tractor in the US and decided this would be a practical implementation to save on time, labour, and produce a better tilled field. The HectareMax project teaches families modern methods of farming by combating poor soil quality with fertilizer and helping to choose better seed. This is HectareMax's first year, but already over 15 families have had their fields tilled through a combination of volunteer and local efforts. This month, we also supported a Conectados student who took charge and is planting a field of alfalfa. She plans to sell it as feed to guinea pig owners in her community as well as begin her own guinea pig farm. HectareMax has benefitted not only families as they improve their livelihood, but also has helped kids learn more about their own farm and gives them more time for school. The end result is to increase productivity and profitability, while decreasing time spent in the field.




Even as kids gain more time for school, the conditions at home can limit their potential. Poor nutrition lowers concentration, smoke-filled kitchens produce eye and respiratory problems, while cold evening temperatures in houses with no heat leave kids shivering through their homework. The Wellness project encompasses several ongoing 'miniprojects', based on the needs of the community. We are addressing these issues through solar heating, Russian stoves, and nutrition projects. This month, a volunteer installed seven solar water heating systems in Andean homes, bringing for the first time warm water for washing and showers.

Our Microfinance area is growing rapidly. We've seen great success in loan accountability, so Blue Sparrow has expanded into the town of Huancan and is starting a new round of loans to both families and the local school. Blue Sparrow is helping to network loan recipients as they buy and sell. Huancan will buy their initial guinea pigs from our prior microloan recipients, and the student now growing alfalfa will be selling it as feed to Huancan's school. Training on guinea pig production begins in early October for students and teachers. Soon after, the business will be up and running. If all goes well with the microbusiness, we will be ready to install a computer lab in Huancan at the beginning of the new school year in March. Huancan's upcoming computer lab is a major area of financial need with just six months until anticipated installation. Would you consider sponsoring a student for $25? What about your friends at work?

In June we partnered with a school in the town of Tambo as we installed the fourth Conectados computer lab. 250 more students now use the computers in classes like History, Science, and Social Studies as they learn online research strategies and make powerpoint presentations. In addition, the students created a bakery to finance the internet connection. Business is steadily increasing. In fact, they're now ready to expand into more product areas and will receive a $200 loan from Blue Sparrow to buy a gas cooking range, a blender, and kitchen utensils. We're anxious to try the new goodies!

All of these outstanding projects are a result of donors like yourself. We are hugely grateful for your continued generosity. Our new projects were possible only because of our supporters. If you haven't already, join us! The support page shows how easy it is to make an impact on a family in Peru. Contact us if you have any questions or would just like to know more about a particular project. Please pass this newsletter on to your friends!

Matt Jeppesen and Serei Thickson
Blue Sparrow