"I can make money for my children to study." - Mary MacKillop Today

“I can make money for my children to study.”

In Quispicanchi, a rural region in the southern highlands of Peru, only 10% of high school graduates go on to pursue further studies at university or vocational training centres. It means many young people in the area simply don’t gain the skills to build a sustainable livelihood for themselves.

María, a Vocational Training participant

To help address the skills gap in rural communities in Peru, Mary MacKillop Today has been supporting the Vocational Training project through our local partners CCAIJO and the Quispicanchi Centre for Technical Productive Education (CETPRO).

How wonderful it has been to see so many vibrant students — particularly women — learning new skills to build dependable livelihoods. In the past year, the project has supported 620 students to study programs such as breeding guinea pigs, agriculture, and hotel services. Each participant in the project has taken vital steps towards building a bright future for themselves and their families!

After a successful 3 years, the Vocational Training project has now completed its final year of operation in partnership with Mary MacKillop Today. The project has reached the point where these courses will continue to benefit the local community without the ongoing support of Mary MacKillop Today. Thank you for being part of this incredible journey with the inspiring people of Quispicanchi.

Meet María, a recent participant in the Vocational Training project.

“I am María. I’m 34 years old, and I live with my husband and two daughters, who go to school.

Before, I always followed my husband’s decisions, taking care of the house and our sheep. I never got any training in anything.

But then, my sister-in-law invited me to join the training at CCAIJO. She said women can do it too. So, I started at CETPRO CCAIJO last year.

In these trainings, I learned how to set up a horticultural garden with help from the CETPRO teacher. Now, I have different vegetables and flowers that I grew myself.

This helps feed my family, and I take some to the market every Sunday during the district fair. I make around 150 to 200 sales per week. Also, the teacher helped me set up a guinea pig shed, and now I have 120 guinea pigs that I sell at the market. I found out that with vegetables and guinea pigs, I can help feed my family and make money for my children to study.

I want to get my Degree of Technical Auxiliar in Sierra Agriculture. I also dream of having a stand in front of my house to sell my products regularly.”


The Vocational Training for Women & Young People in Rural Peru project was supported by the Australian Government via the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).