K – kindness, U – unity, S – sensitive, K – knowledge, A – Accepting
History of Kuska – Kuska School was always an idea until it actually became reality. In 2012 the kindergarten section of Kuska School was founded and in 2014, the elementary section of Kuska was founded. The highest grade for elementary school changes yearly. In the 2019-2020 school year, the highest grade level was the fourth grade.
Mission/Goal – Kuska School was founded to give parents’ an alternative form of education for their children. We want to give children the ability to be themselves and develop into their own individual identities without having pressure from others’ around them. That is one of the main reasons that the school is not in a building but rather has a lot of interaction with nature. This will allow children to interact with their environment, learn from it while also learning from each other equally.
Funds – We run our school through funds that we receive also through support from the parents’ of children that go to Kuska school equally – that is why having parents’ pay for education no matter how little is important and can make a big difference in the long run. We organize different fundraisers and activities in order to get money for activities in the following school year. Furthermore, we are supported by a hotel nearby the school – we have a partnership with them so they also aid us in making the school what it is.
Education – Making education affordable is one of our fore-front goals. We utilize a sliding-scale system where every single family’s financial situation is examined through them filling out a form. Through the form, eligibility of payment will be determined. Every family has to contribute something even if just 30 soles a month because we want to make it clear that a Kuska education is very valuable and the school is not a charity but a real school. We also accept trades in food for the school´s lunch (most of our families have fields and grow food) and voluntary work in exchange of their monthly school fee. In kindergarten, we immerse children from 3-5 years old all together so that they can learn from each other. Rather than separation, we believe that having children of different age groups together gives them the ability to grow and learn from each other.
What you should understand about Kuska – I want volunteers’ to understand the essence of Kuska School. I want you to understand that the school exists because of the children, the space, and the community around. I want you to understand that this school exists so that people do not feel pressured – they can pay what they can afford while still giving their children a quality education. I want you to understand Kuska School is so much more than a school – it is a community, it is a family, and it is still growing!
- The family and Children make Kuska what it is. When deciding on whether to accept a child into the school or not, we examine the parents’ and not the children. We see if the parents’ can make the commitment to come to all the meetings that is going to be held, whether the parents’ can come to all the conferences and the planned events that the school plans. Parents’ need to be committed and share the same values and understand Kuska’s goal and dream because through them, we can reach other surrounding communities especially in Ollantaytambo and keep growing in children and resources.
My experience as a volunteer – Kuska is a school that is built on community and love. I had an amazing time while working at Kuska for 2.5 months. The children made me feel like a child again. They had so much joy and love to give and working with them made me remember that the little things in life is super important because the little things is what brings joy to life. The staff were all so amazing and all so welcoming. If I didn’t work with the people I worked with, I doubt that my experience would’ve been what it was for that I am forever grateful! I cannot explain everything in a small paragraph but know you are entering an amazing community that will treat you as part of them and will wholeheartedly accept you so get ready for a work full of excitement! I wish you all the best!!
“No one can do everything but everyone can do something.” / “Work for a cause not for applause. Live life to express not to impress.”
- Keep those quotes in mind and have a changing experience while working at Kuska – goodluck!!