AYNI is a very small grassroots organization based in Piura, Nothern Peru. Margie Orsi, the founder of AYNI, is a high school teacher from Markham, Ontario, Canada. Margie established the organization in 2001. What started out as one individual’s small and innocent attempt at impacting positive change on a tiny part of this planet, quickly turned into an organized group effort of dedicated volunteers from around the world.
The word “Ayni” comes from the language of an old native culture called Aymara based in Peru and Bolivia, and it means ‘today for you, tomorrow for me.’ AYNI is based on the idea of reciprocity: working together as a group for the group, sharing ideas and resources, helping one another and having a sense of responsibility for each other.
AYNI’s work takes place in Alto de los Mores, a small isolated rural village of indigenous Peruvians. Our organization works together with this community to alleviate some of the major barriers of living in extreme poverty. Our role is multifaceted and continues to grow within the community. Our projects aim to reduce the barriers posed by poverty and include various education and development initiatives ranging from micro-credit loans to to tree-planting initiatives, to educational scholarships. To find out more, see projects.
AYNI has existed on a shoestring budget since 2001. We have made miracles from pennies, and we get paid in smiles. AYNI has opened the doors to the community of Alto de Los Mores to more than 350 volunteers from around the world.
Margie always wanted to do humanitarian work.
“So long story short, I took a leave of absence from teaching, and ended up in Peru with my back pack on my back, not speaking a word of Spanish and not knowing what I would end up doing. Fate led me to a small village in the coastal desert of Piura, Peru.”-Margie Orsi
What started out as an individual attempt at impacting positive change in one part of the planet, quickly turned into a grassroots group of dedicated volunteers from around the Globe.
Margie intended to stay only 6 months. Fast-forward 14 years later, she is continuing to work in this community with a network of ambitious volunteers, a handful of donators, and a lot of sacrifice. It has all been worth it, and words fail to describe this incredible ongoing challenging, life shaping, spiritual experience.
In 2015, Margie was honoured with the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award, a distinction presented to a Canadian who made a significant, sustained, unpaid contribution to their community, in Canada or abroad.