Committed to the Education of Alto Biobío
The Pehuén Foundation of Enel Generación Chile was created in 1992, to collaborate with the development of Pehuenche communities living near to the Pangue and Ralco hydroelectric plants, in the area of education, productive development and the ancestral culture of these Communities.
Since 2004, the foundation has implemented a regular program that contributes to finance higher education for young people who want to continue their studies. In this way, the foundation has played a fundamental role in the future of about 170 young Pehuenches from eight communities located in the Santa Bárbara and Alto Biobío both municipal districts of the Biobío Region in Chile and, in this way, has empowered their sustainable development from the very foundations of the community. During this period, 60 young people have completed their professional careers, and today they work in different places around the region.
Altogether the support has contributed to financing the needs of students from the communities of Ayin Mapu, Callaqui, Pitril, El Avellano, Quepuca Ralco, Aukin Wallmapu, Ralco Lepoy and El Barco. One of the purposes is to collaborate with local families, so that their children overcome the lack of resources and great distances to the main urban centers, so that they can access the education system more easily.
In addition to this higher education program, the foundation collaborates every year with uniforms and school supplies for all middle school students in the communities, who study in cities outside their districtis of origin. The purpose of this program is to reduce inequality gaps with respect to city students. About 160 young people participate in this program every year.
To this important contribution, are added the school scholarships that the company delivers as part of the commitments made for the construction of the Ralco hydroelectric plant. These scholarships have been awarded since 2002 until today, and are in direct benefit of the young people belonging to the Pehuenche communities who were relocated as Ayin Mapu and El Barco.
These contributions were complemented since 2006 by the "Energy for Education" program, implemented by Enel Generación Chile. This year, it once again provided kits of school supplies to all public and private educational establishments in Alto Biobío, including the two Andean valleys (Biobío and Queuco). These sets include materials such as exercise books, pencils, calculators, paints, among other elements, so that students have everything needed for each level from pre-primary to fourth grade.
In addition, this program also offers many supports to educational centers throughout the year, such as formation of teachers in renewable energy, the visit of "Cinema in your School" to Alto Biobío schools, with full HD giant screen, the provision of books and library equipment through the reading corner, among other innovative education-related initiatives.