Ayacucho is a city of over 180,000 people located in a fertile valley. Many people moved to the city because they were forced to leave their homes due to violence or lack of opportunities in the rural areas where they came from.
When people move to the city, many end up living in slums in the outskirts. Children and young people who move here with their families, face many challenges. They are growing up in an unstable situation with a lack of access to basic facilities, and to education.
Since 2006, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Ayacucho.
Around 46% of the population of the region where Ayacucho is located, are living in poverty. Poverty is much higher in rural areas, even more so within indigenous communities.
As many of these families struggle to make ends meet, children are often forced to drop out of school. They need to contribute to the family income by helping with farming and caring for the livestock.
Dropping out of school affects indigenous girls and women more than boys and men. Of the Quechua population who have not had the chance to learn how to read and write, women make up 70%.
Just over 62% of boys living in rural areas between the ages of 5 – 9 are forced into child labour.
Although the number of children starting primary school has grown, many drop out of school early. This is especially true of children who live in poverty in rural areas.
In addition, a study carried out by UNESCO found that children living in a family where the head of household’s education level is low, are most likely going to start working at a young age.