Stimulating Creativity

While the majority of our group of volunteers in Peru arrived home on Wednesday, August 10th to catch the last few weeks of summer before September and the new school year starts, Calyn’s work in Peru is not yet complete.

A trip leader for this 2011 August Peru trip and the head organizer for the English Second Language (ESL) volunteer placement, Calyn is spending some extra time in Lima and will be running an art and leadership program. The program is called Project Karma and participants will be the kids at Virgen del Carmen daycare and orphanage in Lima. A journalism graduate from Wilfrid Laurier University, Calyn was impressed by the creativity and talent of some of the children that she spent time with during an SIA trip last summer. The kids took pictures of their friends and the scenes around them using the disposable cameras that she provided. With logistical and partnership support through Solidarity in Action, she created Project Karma photo exchange, a program for Canadian and Peruvian children to take photos and share them with each other as a way of building cultural awareness and appreciation.

Starting Monday, August 15th, Calyn and her friend Jen will run a five-day visual arts and leadership program for 24 kids and teens from Virgen del Carmen. The participants, between the ages of 9 and 15, will have the opportunity to develop leadership skills through team work and activities, and express themselves through visual art projects which include photography, painting, drawing and writing.

Last week, our entire SIA volunteer group had the opportunity to stop in and visit the daycare/orphanage, which is home to 16 children and operates as a daycare for another 24 local kids. We only had a short visit with the kids but they were happy to see us and eager to share some of their drawings. The director Clara and the other staff members were warm and welcoming. Solidarity in Action has worked with them during the SIA trip to Peru in May. Volunteers worked with the children in the daycare, assisted in the expansion project by pouring a concrete floor and providing medical check-ups and basic treatments from volunteer nurses.

With Calyn and Jen’s hard work and dedication to helping the kids at Virgen del Carmen, Project Karma is sure to be a success! Find out more about Project Karma and follow the progress of the program starting Monday, August 15th (complete with photos and art work by some of the kids) by visiting the blog at

Child at Virgen del Carmen
Games and toys
"It's not 'goodbye' it's 'see you soon!'"

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