The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

To learn and play in safety

This article was published more than two years ago. Some information may no longer be accurate.

Over 22,000 young minds from some of Peru’s poorest neighbourhoods are soaking up knowledge within modern facilities that are warm in winter, cool in summer and most importantly, safe.

The Villa Maria del Triunfo district in Peru has seen much poverty and insecurity over the years. Its 460,000 residents have limited access to basic services like water, health and education. Until as recently as 2015, the Ticlio Chico neighbourhood within the district did not have a school and local children had nowhere to learn. 

Things started changing last year when the municipality loaned the community one small room that could be used as a school. Local parents and teachers came together to make the best of the limited resources. They worked hard to clean-up the area surrounding the room and turn it into a small school, which they named My Colourful World.

The little learning facility was further improved when the Ministry of Education set up two prefabricated modules that could house classrooms, teacher's rooms, multipurpose rooms and bathrooms. The space was furnished with desks and equipment. 

Nestor Cayra, a parent and member of the community is pleased about the development: "The modules have changed the landscape of the neighbourhood, we went from a garbage dump and now it's different. The school was initially managed by the community but is now state-run."

He elaborated: "Our community has many needs. However, we wanted a school and a better life for our children."

Our community has many needs. However, we wanted a school and a better life for our children.​

Nestor Cayra - Parent and member of the community

My Colourful World was not the only school to see improvements. The Ministry of Education (MINEDU)  improved 357 public school facilities in low-income neighbourhoods across eight provinces.

The project bought 357 prefabricated modules as well as equipment to furnish the structures. Whiteboards, blinds, bathrooms and kitchenettes are some of the items that made up the inventory. Over 327,000 damaged desks and chairs were also replaced. Investment in the project amounted to more than $35 million.

"We are very grateful because thanks to this program children are better able to learn and study. Parents are also highly motivated," said Teresa Chavez, Director and teacher of My Colourful World.

Photography by Miguel Carrillo

Project detail

UNOPS provided MINEDU with technical advisory services to support the bidding process, awards of contracts and the distribution of procured goods.

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