Asociación Civil sin Fines de Lucro FairServices is a Peruvian non-profit organization that was founded on September 16th, 2006, in Cusco, Peru. Its three founders include two Peruvian sisters, Fanny and Noemi Huanec Cabana, and one Belgian, John Adriaenssens. FairServices started with a vision of training single mothers who were living in poverty to become Spanish teachers. They were to teach foreigners, who represented a very competitive yet opportunistic market that locals took advantage of based on cheap labor and foreign prices. In January 2007 we opened our Spanish school and initially employed and supported 15 poor single mothers, who received much greater percentages from us than any competing companies offered. With a unique combination of quality, service, and social purpose, FairServices experienced rapid growth and became a serious player in Cusco.
In 2012, FairServices made its second attempt to combat poverty and started an after-school project for children of ages 6-11 from poor or extremely poor families. Each weekday, they came to our center after school where we executed a program focused on three pillars: education, nutrition, and health. Upon leaving the program at the age of 12, the most intelligent kids based on test scores received scholarships for private high schools. Since private high schools teach a broader curriculum, pay their teachers better, and possess superior didactic materials, we figured that these schools would align perfectly with our goal of sending these kids towards a higher education and a successful job. The only problem is that this didn’t work. Of the 6 students we supported in private high schools, none were accepted into a university and none have successful careers.
In the same period, we supported a number of children in a public high school, including 2 girls from extremely impoverished families. Initially they only used our facilities to do homework and school projects, but as they grew and excelled in high school, we began to support them financially. As a result, both were accepted into universities and one has already completed her bachelor’s degree and aims to start her own company! To determine why these poor girls succeeded where their private school counterparts failed, we decided to embark on a research project to figure out which qualities led these girls to success. We ultimately found that for children from poor families, their character qualities make a much bigger impact on their future success than their “intelligence level” as determined by test scores. On October 1st of 2018, we finally launched our scholarship program, Chaska. Sixteen select girls come to our facilities every afternoon during the week to get a healthy lunch, additional classes, and help with their homework. They participate in workshops addressing social issues like teenage pregnancies, addiction, bullying, and self-esteem. They have discovered new talents and have grown both mentally and emotionally. Due to their tremendous success, we plan to support them through university and will welcome new girls to the program each October.