New experiences!

With every deed you are sowing a seed, though the harvest you may not see. – Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Today was full of excitement and new experiences! Who doesn’t love that…

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Retreat house

The day started with an orientation to introduce our new participants to the program and the values of SIA. During this orientation, we familiarized each other with some activities that activated our brain and got us talking about topics we don’t necessarily think about on a daily basis. We spoke about our skills, our favourite people, new experiences, and shared our stories.IMG_1609

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A view of the community

It was a positive start to a very positive day and it was all possible to the Peru D group. They got to sit down with the community members in the local community centre and just “chat” about their lives. A community leader went through and asked each participant (in spanish) their names and a question about themselves. It was really nice to see the participants retain the spanish and try to respond in spanish. The translator stepped in to make the communication crisp but there were many laughs and stories shared.

Today was all about contentment. We spoke about contentment at the end of the day by completing these two sentences: “I noticed that…” Some of the answers shared were about happiness and how they felt a connection with the people they met today because everything had a warm feeling to it. “I noticed that they took pride in every little thing.” It is very true that their hard work through out their community is very visible! You can see it in the way they interact with us, with each other,  and their attitude towards meeting new volunteers.

The following week we will be experiencing a LOT of the culture with the Peru’s Independence day right around the corner on, July 28th! The volunteers are excited to have the opportunity to be here on such a day.

Well tomorrow is a new day full of other new experiences!

Hasta Luego!

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Twitter: @volunterSIA

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-Mansi Parasher

 

Transition then keep moving forward!

It was during the last day at the community when Troy (a peru C volunteer) was speaking in front of the community leaders, “Youth in action” children and the other Canadian volunteers that made a lot of us shed a tear. He spoke about hiIMG_1493s week long experience working in the community with Youth in Action. The comfort the children gave him, the support he saw, the love he felt, all of it was summed up by his well written speech for the farewell ceremony. The children didn’t seem to want to let IMG_1499go of him when we were saying goodbye. The children loved all the Youth in Action volunteers as they created such a beautiful and educational environment for them to be in. They spent days planning their YIA programs, making sure core values were taught to these children about love and respect.10526009_10101189575513128_1488055161521007827_n It is the transition that happens beautifully from one group to another. Peru C got to meet with the Manitoba group as the Manitoba group was easing into being here and starting their projects.IMG_1529 The ESL program had gotten a fresh new start of its 6-week program and right now we officially have around 40 consistent children who attend our after school program and are eager to learn english every day for an hour. The ESL teachers from Peru C had a chance to sit with the new manitoba group ESL teachers to talk to them about the classes, the challenges, the lessons, the environment and just tips/tricks over all.IMG_1539 The children have also been involved with SIA after school in the “Club de Salud” initiative. This club allows them to come togetIMG_1549her as a group and speak about the important issues of hygiene with their peers. This club is meant to built leadership skills in the students so they can move forward and make better decisions for themselves and the community they are from.100_1622 Club de Salud did a presentation yesterday for the “Dia del Logro” (day of success), parents, teachers and, government officials all came to the school where different classrooms were set up for different demonstrations of the children’s excellence. Club de Salud did a demonstration of their own on the importance of hygiene and hand washing. IMG_1584 Different stations were set up for the visitors to see and the best part was that it was all run by the students themselves! Birdie is the project leader for Hands for hygiene, and with the help of the manitoba group volunteers has been able to put this club together for the chiIMG_1582ldren to speak up and gain this confidence. It was amazing to see their excitement when explaining to a teacher about the state of potatoes when exposed to different bacterias. Different potatoes were set up in different bags after being exposed to various platforms and bacteria. It was left to grow for 4 days and seeing the results was shocking!

All the programs have been running with great success, no matter what the challenges are, all our volunteers come together and make beautiful memories. This is visible by the excitement and attachment the children have with our volunteers.

Keep updated by following our facebook page at : http://www.facebook.com/solidarityinactioninc.

Instagram: Solidarityinaction

Twitter: @volunteerSIA

 

-Mansi Parasher

Peru C

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At the airport making their way to Peru!
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Monday morning orientation!

It is really interesting to see how Peru C has been interacting with the programs, the children, and with each other. Everyone is doing their best to fulfill their roles in each placement. The Hands for Hygiene groups did their first in-class presentation today. This took long planning, skit preparation and lots of communication! Their goal was to introduce the students to the new Champions program Hands for Hygiene is implementing in the school (Tupac amaru II). This champions program will allow the students to be directly involved in the Hands for Hygiene program to help raise awareness about health with their peers. It is so important for children to be involved in such after-school programs. It helps them gain confidence in themselves, step outside of their comfort zone and allow them to try new things but most of all, be in an environment that encourages personal growth.

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Eager teacher 😀

The ESL group taught their first class of the NEW 6-week program today! All the children gathered in the big auditorium where they were awaiting to find out who their Canadian teacher with me. Our volunteers fit right in while making the children feel comfortable during their classes. Today, we focused on getting the children settled into their new ESL classrooms, having introductions and talking a little about ourselves. The children enjoyed the games, and laughing along while the volunteers were saying their names in a “funny accent” during attendance. This week will set the stage for the next 6 weeks of volunteers who will participate in this ESL program and enrich it with their variety of knowledge.

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Chain tag!

The YOUTH IN ACTION (I capitalized that because YIA is so full of energy) group has been at the community in this chilly weather for full days making sure the children receive the best 2 hour after-school experience. They have been practicing their animal poses, and bonding with the volunteering. Today, they were taught about balancing life, making those tough decisions and being responsible. Sometimes we are so caught up in having fun that we forget about the 10370426_10101188434095538_3465606312051951992_nimportant things in life. Imagine kids as young as 6 years old being engaged a lesson like this, it is absolutely amazing what the volunteers have been able to accomplish.

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Keep updated by visiting our Facebook page at:  www.facebook.com/solidarityinactioninc.

Instagram: Solidarityinaction

Twitter: @volunteerSIA

-Mansi Parasher

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.

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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

 

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