Today we presented the Armonia School for Children with Down’s Syndrome with a cheque for $1000 and got to see first hand the amazing work they are doing.

The Anglo-chilean society in Britain hosted a fundraising day which invited everyone to London to buy food from all over South America. There were stalls which sold food from Peru, Bolivia even from Central America and it was all made by the people who actually used to live in these countries.

Downstairs in the hall, small groups from different cultures were asked to perform dances and we couldn’t help but shout “VI VI VI LE LE LE VIVA CHILE” once Chile’s dance group had finished performing.

The chilean stall sold home-made empanadas with pebre and home-made pisco sour which set fire to your throat. My spanish practice had to step up a mark and who knew so many South Americans lived and worked around London.

The Anglo-Chilean Society raises money for organisations for Chilean Children much like The Elisa Educational Trust which have both formed a strong link with each other pushing forwards towards the same goal.

 

Visiting the Armonia school today really set home just how much help some organisations need but also how inspirational some people are. The Director set up the school shortly after discovering that her own daughter had Down’s Syndrome and gradually found other parents who were struggling to educate their children. She found grants and strived for better education for children suffering from Down’s Syndrome and 3 years later she is director of a great school which specialises in educating these children aged from as young as 2 years old. Back when her child was born, Chile did not recognise Down’s Syndrome let alone have anyone who could really support her and step by step she has pushed for better resources, more help and more awareness.

Financially, they struggle to meet bills. Every member of staff is paid but the government only give the amount of funding that is left after paying every other state school and not only do they come last from this long list of other state funded schools but they are paid a year later than everyone else too.

Today we started talking about connecting Gap Chile to this school, opening this option up to our volunteers who can help and assist in classes.

Watch this space!

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