New students start Tilimuqui Secondary School

March 2, 2016 by The Co-operative Food

In December, the first students graduated from Tilimuqui Secondary School. The event marked a seminal moment in the Co-op’s involvement with Fairtrade as the school was largely funded by the sales of Co-op Fairtrade wine. Last week, 107 new pupils joined the school to begin their studies – much like the recent graduates, they look forward to receiving an education which would otherwise not have been available to them.


The 107 new students on their first day at Tilimiqui Secondary School.

Before the school was built, there was no secondary education in the area and opportunities for local children beyond the age of 13 were limited. Most would leave school at this age to face a future of working on the land, starting families at an early age with some even turning to alcohol. In contrast, the future seems much brighter for the students at Tilimiqui Secondary School – for those beginning their studies, and for the graduates who are now looking forward to moving onto higher education.


Tilimuqui Secondary School was funded largely by sales of Co-op Fairtrade wine.

When the school opened in 2012, initial fears that it would be undersubscribed quickly evaporated. Demand for places steadily rose and it is now running at its full capacity of 337 students. To cope with the demand for places, the local authorities have decided to invest in the building of twelve new classrooms. When the work is finished there will be scope for some 650 students to attend the school.

The graduation event really epitomises the virtues of our work in collaborating with our supply partners. It shows how Fairtrade projects are really making a difference to people’s lives, even in communities as far from home as Tilimuqui. The new students also have a lot to look forward as the school continues to expand, and we are continuing to grow more stories like this as we work with Fairtrade to build a brighter future for our producers, their families and their communities.



To learn more about the benefits of Fairtrade wine, read our latest Fairtrade Wine Report.

You can also meet our Fairtrade producers and learn more about funding future projects by visiting our One Community Share Fairtrade Hub!


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