Meet our sustaining members

Please meet our current Sustaining members and read about their reasons for donating to our projects. If you want to become a Sustaining member yourself, please click here. We would be delighted to welcome you to this very exclusive club, but if you would rather be anonymous that is no problem either.

Silvia Pezzali, Italy

Skymember since 17.02.2010

I am based in London, UK, and although I have never been to Salasaka (yet), friends of mine have and so I decided to set up a little ongoing contribution. Every month, when the PayPal notification email flashes across my screen at work, I take a few minutes off to check what’s been happening on the blog. It makes me feel so happy to know that my small donation 100% supports that wonderful project and Robert’s efforts. You don’t need to have visited to feel the connection.

Greta Gillies, Scotland

Skymember since 16.02.2010

Hi, my name is Greta and I volunteered at Katitawa for two months from June to August 2009. During my time in Salasaka, I had many great experiences interacting with the community and other volunteers, many of whom I still keep in touch with and even meet up with today. The fact that many of these people are still sustaining members today is a true reflection of the wonderful people that they are. One of these other members who has become a life friend is Tara. Tara and I Live in the same city, Melbourne, Australia and we meet often. We have never forgotten our time in Salasaka, the children and families; Robert, a bottomless pit of generosity and selflessness;the volunteers, the landscape and more! I continue to support the school because I support it as a positive step towards equity in education, Robert and his thoughtfulness and the skills that working at Katitawa gave me.

Since 2009 we have held a few fundraising events with more to come. We had one fete with musicians, raffles and games and popcorn and another for my birthday where I asked for Katitawa donations instead of a birthday present. We have harnessed the generous support of our Melbourne friends and colleagues. One has even created us a Katitawa fund-raising logo. On both occasions we have been astounded with how much money we have raised. 

If you are keen to fund-raise and would like some ideas,the katitawa logo etc feel free to contact me at 

Matias Means, Denmark

Skymember since 19.04.2012

After three months of volunteering in Salasaka I began donating. Working with the kids, and getting an extraordinary chance to help them, first of all gave me a great experience, and I will never forget my time there. I became so very appreciative of all the possibilities I have been given all my life. Seeing these kids, being a part of their everyday life put everything into perspective, and knowing exactly where the money goes - uncut to the benefit of the children - there was no doubt whether or not I should donate to Katitawa. I look forward to being able to help more in the future!

Miroslav Eis, Czech Republic

                                 Skymember since 01.02.2010

People will forget what you said,
people will forget what you did,

but people will never forget how you made them feel.

In Salasaca they made me feel really great – Robert and all the people there. That’s why I decided to support this project. 
I wish them success!

Gaëtan Willems, Belgium

Skymember since 16.10.2012

Although we arrived at the house in Salasaka completely unannounced...less than one hour later, Robert had already managed to make us feek like family. These 3 weeks at the Katitawa School in Salasaka were the highlight of my round-the-world trip and will stay forever one of the best experiences in my life. We've met so many wonderful people and each of them had a little something that would make you want to stay more...The other travelers that also ended up in Salasaka with who great friendships took root...the inhabitants of Salasaka that welcomed us with a different eye than in other places. For once, we were not considered as tourists but as part of a community in the Andes...The kids at school whose smiles would melt an iceberg. Knowing them is loving them...And last but not least: Robert, the soul of this project. A simple man that dedicated his life to Salasaka and the kids. He proved that a simple man could make a difference and will stay an example in my life.
There's so much more that could be told about Salasaka but I think the best way is simply to go there, for a week, a month, a year, a life...
No matter, you'll never regret it.

Iora Hughes, UK 

Skymember since 15.08.2011

Volunteering at Katitawa for 6 weeks in Autumn 2011 was a highlight of my year's career break and to many extents a highlight of my life, being both a place so different and yet where you instantly feel at home. The experience of walking to the school each day through the mountains, feeling a part of the local culture and routines, working out how to cook a 3 course meal for 15 people on a dollar a head, seeing the children's excitement each morning, watching our crops grow and the new fences stay upright, meeting some amazing people, and helping a community to help itself really can't be put into words. Thank you SKY and all who I met there and wishing the Katitawa children a beautiful life through education x

Ron Charles, UK

Skymember since 17.07.2011

My Initial thoughts when volunteering at SKY were "Will I be able to communicate clearly to the indigenous locals & children" (not knowing in advance their language was completely different to Latino español). But when we arrived that evening of Monday the 10th of January 2010, we were greeted with such hospitality from the time we took a $2 taxi to our warm welcome at Pachamama....We were welcomed by our fellow volunteers.
I have so many wonderful memories of the Escuela Katitawa and Bibiloteca, a few of many come to my mind. Building Adrian a model plane from paper to breaking up fights between Cheeky Cesar and Minnie Mouse Fanatic Francisca....

Teaching after school at the library is another fond memory, teaching 
English & Spanish to my young amigo who's parents owned the grocery shop right outside the library...

He's done very well and even more so his little brother who was very keen for me to give him home work as well.... He was only about 3yrs... Bless him!

I enjoyed teaching the Ninos and I established such a great bond with them, it was heart breaking to leave after two weeks.

Please send my love to all the teachers older kids and infants and I look forward to flying straight into the forest behind the school.... As a surprise visit
Finally my condolences to the volunteers and the animals who were part of the family. Always Remembered Never Forgotten!

Meghan Hein, US

Skymember since 19.04.2012

In 2010 I traveled through Peru and Ecuador for two months. I hiked to Machu Picchu. I explored many cities, museums, and historic places. I drank a few Pisco Sours. While I had many great adventures and hold many memories dear, without question, the most meaningful and memorable experience from this trip was the two weeks I spent volunteering at Katitawa, primarily in the nursery school and kindergarten. I fell in love with the kids, and I met wonderful people from around the world who were also volunteering. In my short time in Salasaka, it became evident what an important resources this school is to children who attend and how much passionate work Robert has put into making its operation possible year after year, day after day. I am proud to support the work of Katitawa and the education of these dear, precocious children. I encourage anyone looking for a meaningful volunteer opportunity abroad to look into volunteering with SKY and invite you all to join me in supporting their work through a financial contribution. 

Matt Russell, UK

Skymember since 17.05.2011

I volunteered in 2010 for a short-time and went there based on the recommendation of a friend back home, who had volunteered herself. It had been one of the very few things I'd planned for my travels around South America. A lot of developments have taken place since I was there and it's been fascinating to see the work that's been done. The reason I give to the school and the projects is because I can see the results are real and having been there myself, I know that the money that I give goes directly into real materials, not admin and overpaid management, but bricks and mortar, school materials, equipment, paint, whatever is needed. I know from hands on experience when the money comes out of my pocket it's going directly into paying for the materials needed for these projects - I do not feel the same when I'm walking through the streets of London and get stopped by charities and wonder where my money is actually going. Robert is devoted in a very special way to the the school and projects and came across as being passionate about the school's purpose. Volunteering at the school has had a greater affect on me now than it did at the time and I wish I had spent less time being a know-it-all westerner and really seeing just how amazing the work going on there is. It's taken this time away from the school to see the difference between life here and life there and that became even more profound when I became a father. Many things that I find myself worrying about in everyday life, just seem so very unimportant when I think back to my time at the school. Volunteering at the school is good for the soul.

William Palmer, Japan

Skymember since 23.04.2010

When I began my time at Escuela Katitawa in 2009, it was both surprising and refreshing to find that the project, at that time, was being funded almost entirely from the pension of one incredibly selfless man who co-ordinated a group of unpaid volunteers.  It was also refreshing to find that the education that the project provided sought to both preserve, and celebrate, the ongoing cultural identity and heritage of this proud and unique indigenous community.  It was here, in the simple lifestyle of this poor, but not impoverished community, that I came to realize what is of real value in life, while at the same time sharing the experience with an amazing group of like-minded people.  The Escuela Katitawa experience remains very significant for me and always will.

Niels Aagaard, Denmark

Skymember since 11.05.2014

I'm happy to be able to 'give a hand'. The people at Escuela Katitawa are doing the hard work. I've learned about the school through Bec Fletcher and Tim Carter, who have worked as volunteers. Their support and recommendation of Escuela Katitawa has convinced me that this is a great project worth supporting. I find education essential to improve the life of individuals and to improve life for all of us. And as a place for different cultures to meet and interact I find your school unique. I have supported education in general through UNICEF for some years but I'm happy to have learned about this special project and to be able to support it directly.

Other sustaining members:

Amy Douglas, New Zealand - Skymember since 16.10.2012
Andrea Chiappello, Italy - Skymember since 19.03.2011
Anna Burroughs, Australia - Skymember since 28.05.2011

Candice Baroux, France - Skymemeber since 29.05.2013
Carmen Sobande, UK - Skymember since 29.12.2011
Carole Kiener, France - Skymember since 17.09.2013
Carrie Brooks, US - Skymember since 04.05.2013
Christoph Kose, Germany - Skymember since 12.08.2012
Emmily & Dotahn Caspi, Australia - Skymember since 17.05.2011
Emma Gore-Lloyd, UK - Skymember since 25.03.2012
Enda Sheehy, Ireland - Skymember since 01.04.2011
Erin Moon - Skymember since 04.11.2013
Eva Entenman, Netherlands - Skymember since 18.03.2013
Florian Kretschmar, Germany - Skymember since 22.05.2013
Gema Hoyas Frontera, Spain - Skymember since 22.03.2014
Hayley Snelgrove - Skymember since 02.07.2013
Hannah Murphy, US - Skymember since 11.12.2011
Holly Walker, Canada - Skymember since 25.10.2012
Jade Coupry, France - Skymember since 24.03.2012
Leo Tripiana, - Skymember since 12.06.2014 
Louis & Michelle, UK - Skymember since 20.01.2014
Lora Hughes, - Skymember since 30.02.2010
Maeve Harrison, Ireland - Skymember since 06.05.2014
Mary Knipfer - Skymember since 
Michael Witten, UK - Skymember since 29.10.2012
Nancy & Alex Darquea, US/Mexico - Skymember since 08.06.2011
Niels Aagaard Nielsen, Denmark - Skymember since 11.
Rebecca Fetcher - Skymember since 16.11.2012
Robert Bell, Australia - Skymember since 09.02.2011
Russell Conrad, Ecuador - Skymember since 17.09.2013
Sjoerd Tel, UK - Skymember since 06.04.2012
Stephen Wilks - Skymember since
Tim Carter, - Skymember since 07.
Zac Roney, Australia - Skymember since 19.10.2016