New day!

Over the last few weeks, it has just astonished me to realize that knowing English is such an enormous privilege/skill/blessing. All of those things. Being involved with the ESL program, i’ve seen many things. The children are so excited to simply be involved in a program of this sort. I’IMG_2763ve seen the children that are feeling sick, come to the program just so they don’t miss out. I’ve seen children who are travelling home and coming back the distance just to attend the class. And i’ve seen JOY in their eyes working alongside international volunteers.

10414587_10152246456643392_8319595151294323232_nWe’ve gotten such amazing support from the students, the teachers and especially from the principal of the school. The pilot program that was 6 weeks long just ended as our next 6 week program will start on July 8th. This is the time we get feedback from the students about how they liked our last program, so that we can make the next 6 weeks even better!

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Peru C group arrives today! A group of energized volunteers are going to working side by side with our ESL students, health program, and the day care in Pacifico de Villa. A volunteer from Peru C who arrived few days ahead of the group has been in the Day care everyday since she arrived. It is amazing to see how much a new set of eyes can bring to the table. She has already identified things that need improvement in the Day care and since SIA is a volunteer run organization, we will all be working together to figure out the best solutions for this Day care, especially with Julia and Lilliana.

IMG_1348The day care is run by
Julia and Lilliana, and they are really excited to have some help with all the children. They can be a handful for just one person. Also, children need maximum supervision to create a safer environment. IMG_1343

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These pictures reveal the environment these children stay in all day. Lilliana and Julia have done their best so far to keep it safe, clean, fun and educational. But someone who is looking in from the outside, who has experienced a day care in North America might be shocked at this view. It is beautiful to see how the children interact with one another and make use of this small little space!

A lot of exciting updates coming your way as our projects take charge once again with the help of international volunteers.

Stay updated via this blog.

Our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/solidarityinactioninc.

Instagram: Solidarityinaction

Twitter: @volunterSIA

– Mansi Parasher

 

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LIFE

Today, was education. Today, I learned about someones life and how to save a life.

We went to Tupac Amaru II school for our ESL classes but prior to that we had a meeting with a lovely individual who was willing to tell us about the history of the IMG_1062place we call our precious little garden of education. It was awesome to hear about the developments within the community but the hardships people faced to get where they are today are the rips in the timeline that make it imperfect in a beautiful way.

Imagine for a second, leaving your lovely home, moving far away to a place with no attraction, just wooden houses and sand…lots of sand and rocks. 40 years later, as she reminisced about her life, she shared with joy all that she has seen. I enjoyed the perk in her voice when she spoke about Tupac, a voice with pride. A community that fought for their rights to have electricity, water and sewage.

Imagine for a second, having to walk 20 blocks to go get water for things like laundry, and everyday use. Her children helped her through this process and well, it was normal for them. As she spoke about the issue of water, she got emotional explaining “it reminds me of a very sad time.” Tupac Amaru II is in a much better place right now, and with the help of people like this woman, it will only get better.

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Lilliana and Julia are the two amazing women who work day and night to make sure the children at their day care are happy and healthy. Sometimes keeping people healthy is a tough job in case of emergencies. James Nyugen, an extended volunteer and a paramedic by profession gave them a 3 hour course on different situations they might face while with children or with people in general.

They went over scenarios where someone might be choking on their food, what to do if the person is too tall, too short, in a wheelchair, or is too big. They even went on what to do if a person has stopped breathing after choking!IMG_1077

James did an excellent job at explaining every single detail to these ladies, and they were so interested in learning that they tried these procedures with each other!IMG_1075        Everyone should know the basics on saving lives because you never know when you might end up in a situation where you are the only one to give someone a second chance.

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Teaching Julia how to properly handle a choking baby

Another scenario they practiced was if the baby is choking, which can be really difficult and hard to handle. It was so amazing to see James handle everything with such care and precision. Julia and Lilliana asked many questions because in their line of work they’ve dealt with everything from fevers, falling and crying babies. Luckily they have never had a situation until today where the child had to be rushed to the hospital. But none the less, they left the office, way more educated on this subject than they came in with.

Don’t you just love learning!?

I will post a video on the entire workshop soon because our fellow viewers, and SIA believers, also can benefit from this information.

-Mansi Parasher

 

The best part…

A little birdie once told me, it always gets better. I love being in stressful situations, where the universe comes together to make you believe this is the ONLY thing happening right now and its happening real fast. Breathe. Wait. It gets better.

Or sing a song that speaks to your heart :)
Or sing a song that speaks to your heart 🙂

The best thing about horrible times is that you can look foreword to it getting better.

The best thing about when you’re upset is that it gives you appreciation for when you’re happy.

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Peru B group in downtown Lima

The best thing about when you’re angry at someone is appreciating the times when you’re laughing with them.

The best part about ending something amazing is reminiscing about the memories you made, the lessons you learned and the relationships you were able to build.

The best part about being unsatisfied is being able to brainstorm how you’re going to make yourself satisfied. Progressive minds!:)

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beautiful smiles from Hijos de 28

The best part about crying is seeing the beauty of a smile.

The best part about seeing someone who doesn’t have much is seeing how much you have.

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Carrying our priorities on our back

The best part about betrayal is that moment that turns you into a more honest person.

We like to view situations as they are happening to you. Not for what they actually are. Look beyond yourself, seek more, and get a birds eye view and most of all, appreciate every aspect of life, even the bad ones.

 

-Mansi Parasher

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Best part about silly faces is….

 

Celebrating end of MAY!

This month was extremely remarkable! To recap everything in its truest essence would be a difficult task but I can try my best to express my feelings towards this past month.

The adventure started with Peru A and Western group coming in at the beginning of the month. They started the projects that the rest of the groups will be fulfilling, perfecting, tweaking,  for the rest of the summer. The SIA staff members, and volunteers have worked day and night to make sure everything is happening with love, care and compassion.

We’ve seen three groups of volunteers come and go now. But to say they “came and went” is such an understatement of their experience. Each and every one of them put in their 100% efforts to the projects, to the planning, and to the relationships they built with the children here. The Youth in Action programs were successful due to the love and care each volunteer put into doing activities with them. The after school program is suppose to be a place of excitement, education and comfort for the children and I really think the SIA volunteers helped reach that atmosphere. The children awaited their 2-4 pm program each day and participated with full energy.

The health program got amazing feedback from the community and the school because of the efforts of all the volunteers. There was a lot of planning, documenting, surveying, meetings and preparing to reach the goals SIA and its volunteers had set out. The health program wants to improve general hygiene and evaluate the needs of the local communities that we work with. The volunteers worked on location, off location and ran events to create awareness towards these health issues. If it wasn’t for the hard work our volunteers put in, none of this would be possible. We had a health event in the community and in the public school Tupac Amaru II this past month and it only opens up more doors for the next coming months.

ESL is similar to the YIA program in that it allows for children to come out of interest to learn, and educate themselves. But ESL takes a solely english approach where the children come to practice their knowledge of english after school. I saw the volunteers and children bloom this month in the ESL program. There were always exciting stories to hear from each volunteers and I could hear the passion in their voice while expressing these stories. It is truly amazing to see volunteers really CARE for their placements that they took part in.

All of these amazing memories this month and a common theme of “end” comes to each volunteers mind. But this is not true! This is not an END! This is a celebration of the end of a month but the beginning of more progression. I highly encourage the volunteers to follow this blog, and our facebook page to keep that connection with your memories in Peru.

Keep in touch, all of you 🙂

-Mansi Parasher

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Farewells

Today was a day full of excitement because it was all about coming to an end of an experience. It is never an end to a feeling or motivation because these things can be carried on to your home with you!

That is the one thing we focused on during our late discussion with the group. Some of them wondered how they would possibly describe their experiences this week with their friends and family back home without missing the true essence of it.

Today, the western group had a grand conference for adults, and teachers from the physical education project. I got to see the aftermath of the amount of chairs left behind that it was truly amazing. I also got a gist of the event from the way they spoke about it at dinner. It was truly going home (going to Cusco) with a big bang!

As for Peru A group, we all went to the community called Hijos de 28 after the conference. This was the event that all the parents of the Youth in Action kids were invited to. It was a very successful event as more than 80 people attended. The health group including Nicole, Shavonne, Jasmine, Sydney and myself did a presentation for all the community adults about proper hand washing techniques and the importance of having a healthy lifestyle. Later on they expressed that they really appreciated our efforts and wanted to ask us questions. We all had hygiene packages for them.

The chaotic but beautiful part of this experience was the hand washing station we implemented for the Youth in Action program. After the rest of the group finished doing activities with the children, they came in to wash their hands. It was a lot of children with clean hands.

The event, the wonderful dinner, and the discussions all led to a super awesome day that no one will forget. Tomorrow is an exciting day for both groups as Western is flying to Cusco and Peru A is having a free day to explore Lima a bit more.

Group Peru A western

Mansi Parasher