Context: Despite recent economic growth, poverty in Cusco province is still widespread: over 60% of the population lives in poverty, with over 33% in extreme poverty. 13% of youth are unemployed and 55% underemployed. This especially affects young people from precarious urban areas and whose parents lack professional connections. Cusco has over 10,000 domestic workers, mostly girls ages 13-17. Most have not completed secondary school, 63% do not attend school, and 16% do not have any education. 50% report no remuneration. Many migrate to Cusco because they have been forced by their parents, need to earn money, are escaping family violence, or believe they will have access to better education.
Organization: Founded in Lima in 1990 by a group of teachers, health workers, and theatre professionals, Kallpa works with local schools, government, community organizations, and youth activists to develop and implement sustainable, collective solutions to a range of health and related challenges facing at-risk children and youth (unemployment, early pregnancy, malnutrition, limited access to early education, vulnerability to violence and abuse, limited access to information on sexual health). Kallpa’s youth employment center (CJE) successfully provides different pathways to employment for young people (job-readiness skills training, vocational orientation, entrepreneurship training), and has expanded its reach to exceptionally at-risk youth such as young Quechua women domestic workers who often need it the most. Kallpa’s strong relationship with the municipal government of Cusco and its leadership in local coalitions provide essential platforms for sharing learnings and influencing policy on critical issues affecting young people.
Current Grant: EMpower’s 4th grant to Kallpa increases employment and life options of particularly vulnerable youth (with a focus on young Quechua women domestic workers), develop leadership skills, and facilitate access to support/protection services.