On 17 October we observe the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, a day which presents us all with the opportunity to acknowledge the struggles and marginalisation that many people here in Australia and around the world experience.

The theme for 2022-2023 observance is Dignity for all in practice, a core underlying value that’s intrinsic across all of Mary MacKillop Today’s vital work, including our Vocational Training for Women and Young People in Rural Communities’ project in Peru. We know the cycle of poverty can be broken when people access learning and training to build their skills for better employment opportunities or to create a small business. This not only increases their income, but also improves the living conditions in their home and community.

Our project works alongside our local partners CCAIJO and the Quispicanchi Centre for Technical Productive Education (CETPRO) to provide people with accredited vocational training courses based on the needs of their community. The project trains teachers, equips classrooms with resources, and allows young people to join courses at a subsidised rate. Students also develop practical life skills and gain experience with the local business sector — to overcome marginalisation and be contributing members of their communities.

Since joining our vocational training program in rural Peru, Santusa is reaching her full potential with newfound skills. She is flourishing, thanks to the kindness of generous supporters.

Santusa lives in a rural village in Peru and is a mum of four children. She grew up without any access to education and missed out on the chance to learn how to read and write. When she heard about our training courses, she was eager to sign up and build an education for herself. We were thrilled to have Santusa enrol in a course studying Hospitality and Tourism. She has not only been exceeding in her studies, but she is already using her new skills to build a hospitality business hosting tourists in her home.

I study and learn a lot from my teachers about how to take good care of tourists. All that helps me so that I can receive tourists in my own home.
My training at CETPRO makes me feel safer and I love myself more because I can speak at the meetings of my community. I believe that women have the ability to represent and lead our communities, not only doing house chores, taking care of the children, and raising animals like our grandmothers or mothers.
I am determined and convinced that I will get my degree once I finish my studies and I will tell my children that they can do it too.Santusa

The impact of learning life and employment skills extends far beyond the now. So many people go on from attending Mary MacKillop Today’s training workshops to build better futures for themselves and their families. Your kindness and support today, and every day, can make an enormous difference in breaking the cycle of poverty.

If you are able to give, your life-changing tax-deductible donation can be made at www.marymackilloptoday.org.au/donate

Thank you!

Mary MacKillop Today


Vocational Training for Women and Young People in Rural Peru Program receives support from the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).