Programs to engage participants and instigate sustainable change: SIA Programs 2013

This summer, SIA witnessed determined volunteers, who brought their skills, passion and care to the SIA program in Peru and Ecuador. Our volunteers engaged with the community and with the development of our volunteers, our leaders, and the progress of SIA Peru, we have received an increase in support from individual community members. We have more people who are involved in the SIA program in Peru, Ecuador and in Canada. This year we will build on the success, by developing sustainable programs, which continue to use the initiative of the community members and of our talented North American volunteers.

During the summer, 90 volunteers and their leaders were allowed to contribute their skills to our international projects. The volunteers helped with infrastructure, health, education, social projects and many more. The volunteers were empowered by the experience, whether it was leading a community needs assessment, helping to design a bathroom, speaking with the women from the community or developing a youth day program.

On September 4th, we launched the 2013 SIA program schedule. This year’s programs will include the continuation of the youth programming in Pacifico de Villa. We will develop English programs that help improve the speaking skills of students in public schools and in the communities, both Pacifico de Villa and Monte Sinai. SIA will also continue to improve the access to health within Lima, through the Pacifico de Villa health promoters and in Guayaquil, through the support of the Mariana de Jesus Foundation’s Jose Obrero Clinic. In Peru, SIA is looking to improve the access to clean water in Pacifico de Villa.

During the summer, our volunteers shared with us their desire to be even better prepared for SIA programs, as they felt that they could have contributed even more to the program! This year we would like to help each of our participants feel prepared to contribute to the program, prior to and during their program.

The current, future, and past SIA participants are all invited to become involved with the SIA program prior to traveling to South America. Participants will be able to meet with their program leaders, other participants and with South American staff members, to help prepare for their experience, to allow them to better contribute their knowledge and skills during the program.

The programs rely on well prepared volunteers, who are willing to contribute their skills, whether it be skills learned through a university, or as a result of skills learned through job experience.

With many wonderful opportunities available, we invite all interested volunteers to connect with us and to determine the ways in which they can become part of this solidarity experience.

Let us know how you want to become involved!

Peruvian volunteers excite the youth from Pacifico de Villa.

Youth in Action (“Jovenes en Accion”)

Shouts of laughter echo throughout the community centre. The voices from the projector battle to be heard against the inaudible sound of joy and excitement. There are more than twenty children, who are seated on the stage, each one with their eyes directed to the wall, with the computer projecting the movie, “Big Fish” on to the wall. The voices quieten down, as the opening theme music begins to play.

Its midday on a Sunday afternoon in Pacifico de Villa and led by the Solidarity in Action Peru volunteers, the youth from Pacifico de Villa have been brought together to enjoy a movie and to spend time together. The day marks the continuation of the “Jovenes de Accion” (Youth in Action), a program that was inspired by a successful youth program led by Peruvian and Canadian SIA volunteers during the month of August. This program, led by SIA volunteers, Mayra Bazan, Guillermo Columbus and Pacifico de Villa resident, Daniel Contreras, will provide a safe place for the youth (10 – 14 years of age) to gain a greater understanding of themselves, help them to develop a skill or help them to discover a new talent.

“Jovenes en Accion”, believes in the power that art can have in helping the youth gain a greater understanding of themselves and the world around them. It will begin with weekly movie forums, where the youth can gather to watch a movie and to have a discussion. Each movie has been selected based on topics that will engage the youth, which will allow them to relate to the themes discussed in the film.  Following each movie, the youth will take part in activities and discussions that help them to reflect on the movie and their relation to it.

The program will run from September to December. Various art forms will be utilized during the four month program, including theatre and music. The youth are growing in anticipation for the first music class led by Daniel Contreras, to be held on Saturdays.

Youth in Action will continue SIA’s mission to create sustainable local change by empowering individual communities. The program will help to keep the youth engaged in activities that will help them to grow and it will keep them from getting involved in risky teenage behaviour within Pacifico de Villa.

The program was made possible by the kind donations made by the SIA volunteers who travelled to Peru in August.

Programs such as Youth in Action are possible due to our kind donors.  Please show your support to the program and help the youth in Pacifico de Villa to continue to develop. Find out how you can help Youth in Action.

Daniel Contreras and Guillermo Columbus, SIA volunteers and Youth in Action leaders, transform the Pacifico de Villa community into a theatre.
Mayra Bazan, SIA Peru volunteer and one of the Youth in Action coordinators welcomes the children to the first movie presentation.
¨The youth enjoy a “theatre experience” in Pacifico de Villa.
The Youth in Action participants work on an activity after enjoying “Big Fish”