Year Joined MKLM: 2015
Focus: Education, Language and Cultural Studies
Project(s): Mercy Montessori School, Sacred Heart Daycare Center
People Served: Children, families, teachers
Project Goal(s): Offer life skills and educational opportunities to children, women and youth
Lupe works at Mercy Montessori Pre & Primary Schools, hosting 187 students, and Sacred Heart Daycare Center, hosting 75 students between the ages of 3 and 6 years old. The children come from vulnerable situations such as family violence, HIV cases, orphanhood and/or low-income households. The schools were started in the Ilemela neighborhood of Mwanza at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church by a Maryknoll Sister, who saw a need for better education for children in the area.
Lupe assists the school administrator, a Maryknoll Sister, in providing new education materials/ideas to the primary teachers. She also teaches in the Preschool/Daycare program.
The Primary School and Daycare Center are grounded in the Montessori philosophy, with a focus on no tolerance of physical punishment, which is a big issue in Tanzania. The school motto is: “Help me to do it by myself.”
Originally from Lima, Peru, Lupe has a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from the National University of San Marcos. She worked as a social worker in Peru and after meeting and marrying Charlie, who was serving in mission in Peru, she worked translating educational materials and as a patient registrar at a hospital in the U.S. She also volunteered at a pre-school and helped with a community meal program. Charlie and Lupe began serving in Mwanza, Tanzania, with their two children, Charles and Veronica, when the children were 6 and 5 respectively.