A Peruvian volunteer’s story: Melisa Ramos shares her thoughts

More people need to get involved but we need to continue working with them. Giving them the tools to grow as a community..to grow as people.. ….to grow as families……..to grow as friends… It is a long way but I think it is possible with the help of Canadian and Peruvian volunteers.

Hi there!

My name is Melisa Ramos, I am Peruvian and I am a teacher and I’m a volunteer in Solidarity in Action.

Let me tell you about my experience in Pacifico de Villa.

On May, 2012 it was the first time that I visited Pacifico de Villa that it is a community in Chorrillos (Chorrillos is a district in Lima). For me it was so shocking to see this reality totally different from where I live and work and also it is so different from other communities that are near Pacifico de Villa. (I live 40 minutes from that place)

It was so close from home but so different at the same time that really impressed me a lot. Most of the houses are made of clay-brick and reeds. Just a few houses are made of wood. They do not have roads or pavements. Neither do they have a principal supply of water. It is very dusty. Recently they have won a trial against SEDAPAL, a water company here in Peru. Now they will own their own property and they can start building new houses. … They will have water.

I have been a volunteer with Solidarity in Action since July 2012.
On July 2012, one group [of volunteers] worked in the kindergarten. They were building another classroom and a bathroom. It was not easy to do that kind of job. Also they were giving English classes to the mothers of the community in the afternoon and two volunteers gave workshops for teachers in different schools.

Following the first group in July, another group came soon after. They worked very hard with the community. July marks the time of vacations for students. SIA and their volunteers created a summer school for children from 2 years old to 17 years old. It was amazing! Also [we had] a health campaign and work[ed] on construction. They were divided in groups. We were all working so hard all the time!!

On August 2012, the last group was working in construction and with the summer school.

From October to December 2012, the Peruvian volunteers Daniel, Guillermo, Mayra and I were working on two projects: Youth in Action (In this group we had theater classes, and we watched movies) and we [held] music workshop for children. We were so glad and delighted to work with children. The music workshop was on Saturdays mornings and [the] Youth in Action was on Sundays afternoon. After each session, the children watered the plants and cleaned the [Youth in Action] park. It was amazing to talk and listen to the children. We tried to teach them values. We focused on values because they will teach someday to others later. In November, we h[eld] a soccer tournament with the young boys from the community. They loved it! With the help of two Canadian volunteers we had [a] wonderful tournament.

During [the past few] months I have seen that the community has been growing little by little. The mothers and children [have been] so glad to learn new things. Now the mothers are having a knit group, they are knitting purses, sweaters, scarfs, etc. They want to sell them in order to help their families to have better conditions to live. Their children want to continue having summer schools or workshops because they learn new things. The young boys from the community would like to have more soccer tournaments.

More people need to get involved but we need to continue working with them. Giving them the tools to grow as a community..to grow as people.. ….to grow as families……..to grow as friends… It is a long way but I think it is possible with the help of Canadian and Peruvian volunteers.

Melisa Ramos (Solidarity in Action volunteer staff)

Melisa and Ruth hang out during the women's knitting group.
Melisa and Ruth spend time during the women’s knitting group.
Melisa (2nd to the left) poses with SIA 2012 volunteers, Renish (far left), Avantika (2nd to the right) and Nabila (far right)
Melisa (2nd to the left) poses with SIA 2012 volunteers, Renish (far left), Avantika (2nd to the right) and Nabila (far right)
Melisa poses with Florentino one of the Pacifico de Villa section leaders.
Melisa poses with Florentino one of the Pacifico de Villa section leaders.

Melisa Ramos has been volunteering with Solidarity in Action since July 2012. Melisa has played an important role as a translator and organizing project logistics for SIA’s education programs. Melisa is an English teacher in Chorrillos, she volunteers during the weekends, evenings and during school vacations. Melisa is the Spanish instructor for all of SIA’s programs.

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An update in photos: SIA’s work in Pacifico de Villa (Lima, Peru)

PARQUE JOVENES EN ACCION (YOUTH IN ACTION PARK)

In December, the Rotary Club of Lima Sunrise joined the Central Executive from Pacifico de Villa and SIA to install a new playground toy. The park was initially developed with the support of SIA volunteers and children and youth, who participated in a leadership program during August (Youth in Action).
In December, the Rotary Club of Lima Sunrise joined the Central Executive from Pacifico de Villa and SIA to install a new jungle gym. The park was initially developed with the support of SIA volunteers and children and youth, who participated in a leadership program during August 2012 (Youth in Action).
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Members of the Rotary Club of Lima Sunrise and community residents make final adjustments to the new jungle gym. (Pacifico de Villa – December 2012)

NAVIDAD EN PACIFICO DE VILLA 2012 (CHRISTMAS IN PACIFICO DE VILLA)

“De esta forma se concluyó de manera satisfactoria la navidad en pacifico de villa, donde se puede rescatar que el esfuerzo mancomunado entre gente que quiere ayudar y solidarizarse con su prójimo llega a ser un éxito por la alegría de los niños y la satisfacción de los adultos por ayudar y establecer vínculos de solidaridad que el propósito de SIA PERU.” – Javier Bazan (SIA Regional Manager-Peru)

“Christmas in Pacifico de Villa reinforced the strength between people that want to help to build solidarity with their fellow man; helping to create joy and satisfaction for the children and helping to establish links of solidarity, for the adults, which is the proposition of Solidarity in Action in Peru.” – Javier Bazan (SIA Regional Manager-Peru)

Volunteers from a local Rotaract Club, students from Cristo Rey School, and the SIA Peru volunteers, celebrate Christmas alongside the residents in Pacifio de Villa. An estimated 230 children participated in the celebration.
Volunteers from a local Rotaract Club, students from Cristo Rey School, and the SIA Peru volunteers, celebrate Christmas alongside the residents in Pacifio de Villa. An estimated 230 children participated in the celebration.

PROYECTO JÓVENES EN ACCION (YOUTH IN ACTION)

The Youth in Action program was developed to provide an environment that allowed children from Pacifico de Villa to interact with children their own age, and to explore their skills. The program took place on Saturday and Sunday from September to December. The children participated in activities in theatre, singing and other workshops.

The Youth in Action program was developed based on the need to provide an environment, which allowed the children to share with other children their own age, and to explore their skills. The program took place on Saturday and Sunday from September to December, and children engaged in theatre, singing and other workshops. The project concluded with the children performing a song, during the Christmas celebration.
The participants performed songs during the Christmas celebration in Pacifico de Villa.

PROYECTO GRUPO DE TEJIDO (THE SEWING INITIATIVE)

The Sewing Initiative began in July 2012, when one woman from Pacifico de Villa, began teaching other women from the community how to sew. The group has grown and consists of women from different backgrounds. The women meet every week to practice sewing.

The sewing and weaving initiative began in July 2012, when one woman from Pacifico de Villa, wanted to teach the other women how to sew. The group has since grown and it now consists of women from different backgrounds, who built friendships. The program helps relieve the daily rigours of life.
The program helps relieve the daily rigours of life and helps the ladies to build relationships.
Having established a strong and united group, the women are looking to progress to the next stage; to make the workshop a avenue that will allow the women to generate income and to introduce their product to the market.
Having established a strong and united group, the women are looking to generate income and to introduce their product to the market.
One of the ladies stands proudly with her newly completed work.
One of the ladies stands proudly with her newly completed sweater.

For more information stay in touch.

Twitter:@VolunteerSIA
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LinkedIn:Solidarity in Action Inc