Eight things to remember from Solidarity in Action’s year – Year in Review

We have had a great 2014 year!

The year began with the Solidarity in Action community inspiring others through the  Inspire Campaign, and following a few wonderful months in Peru, the year finished off with the 2014 Youth in Action program – Celebration Day. The year featured amazing participants working alongside the local Peruvian partners in youth programs such as Youth in Action, and health promotion initiatives, Hands for Hygiene, while having the opportunity to experience Peru. As we come to the end of the year I find it is helpful to reflect on the year that has been. We have put together a list of eight highlights from a successful 2014 year! We hope that you take the time to reflect on your 2014 year as well. Here are eight highlights from the Solidarity in Action 2014 year:

  1. OUR FOCUS: We offered travelers unique opportunities to work alongside local communities, and local project partners in Peru, while being introduced to Peruvian culture. Participants provided meaningful support to the local community and local organizations in the areas of education and health.
  2. NINETY PARTICIPANTS: This year we welcomed more than 90 travelers (participants) to Peru during the months of February to September. Participants were shown Peru through the eyes of people living in the cities of Lima, and Cuzco, and enjoyed building relationships while working alongside Peruvians in education and health focused placements.
  3. AMAZING PARTICIPANTS: Each participant visited Peru with the goal to support the local projects. During their time with Solidarity in Action,  participants demonstrated care, empathy, flexibility, and creativity. The participants guided health promotion initiatives in a community and school setting, helped children to take responsibility for their own hygiene, and taught English within public and private schools. Participants who supported the Youth in Action (YIA) program, helped to create a stimulating learning environment for children in a community-based after school program. Trained teachers and volunteers, assisted with a locally run childcare centre, and assisted in a school for children with exceptionalities. In addition, MBA students held strategy and business discussions with small-business owners and artisans. Here is a list of 2014 Project Placement positions that the participants performed:
      • Program developer – Youth in Action (Hijos de 28 de Julio)
      • Program assistant – Youth in Action (Hijos de 28 de Julio)
      • Health promotion campaign volunteer – Hands for Hygiene (Colegio Tupac Amaru II & Hijos de 28 de Julio)
      • Health promotion campaign designer – Hands for Hygiene (Colegio Tupac Amaru II)
      • Classroom assistant for children with physical and mental exceptionalities (Laura Alva Saldana)
      • ESL classroom assistant (Inmaculado High School)
      • Daycare staff trainer (Esperanza de los Ninos)
      • Daycare support volunteer (Esperanza de los Ninos)
      • ESL instructor (Colegio Tupac Amaru II, Inmaculado High School & Cristo Rey)
      • Program designer – Meaningful Physical Education (Solidaritas Peru)
      • Program evaluator – Meaningful Physical Education (Solidaritas Peru)
      • Professional development support – Communication strategies for non-verbal students (Laura Alva Saldana)
      • Small-business discussion facilitators – Small-business workshop (Chorrillos)
  4. MAINTAINING PREVIOUS RELATIONSHIPS AND DEVELOPING NEW ONES: This year we worked with seven Peruvian project partners. Project partners include local communities such as Hijos de 28 de Julio, and local schools, such as Cristo Rey. This year we partnered with Solidaritas Peru, a Peruvian NGO.2014 Project Partners:
      • Cristo Rey Public School – Chorrillos, Lima
      • Inmaculado High School – Barranco, Lima
      • Colegio Tupac Amaru II – Chorrillos, Lima
      • Laura Alva Saldana – Barranco, Lima
      • Solidaritas Peru – Chorrillos, Lima
      • Community of Hijos de 28 de Julio – Villa Maria del Triunfo, Lima
      • Esperanza de los Ninos – (Community of Pacifico de Villa) Chorrillos, Lima
  5. PERSONAL INTERACTION RATED #1: The highlight for many participants was the interaction with the local Peruvian people, which allowed participants to learn about a different way of life, and gain a new perspective. Many participants learned more about humanity and about themselves. through the interactions with Peruvians, and by listening to others, many participants realized that they had many things in common.
  6. MACHU PICCHU #1 TOURIST HIGHLIGHT: While participants volunteered alongside local Peruvians, the Solidarity in Action program also introduced participants to Peru’s history and geography through visits to important tourist locations. The tourist highlight for many was the visit to Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Located more than 2,400 metres above sea level, and built in the fifteenth century, it offers the most significant legacy of Inca civilization. Participants enjoyed a one day visit to Machu Picchu, which included a guided tour, and time to participate in a hike, such as the hike to the Sun Gate (Intipunku).Other tourist activities included, horseback riding within the Andes, visiting the Magic Water Circuit (Parque de la Reserva), exploring Historic Downtown Lima (Centro Historico de Lima), and the magnificent churches, such as the Saint Francis Basilica of Lima (Basilica y Covento de San Francisco de Lima) in Lima and the Qurikancha temple in Cuzco.Cultural experiences included:
    • Machu Picchu day trip
    • Historic Downtown Lima
    • Saint Francis Basilica of Lima
    • L’eau Vive Restaurant
    • Barranco district in Lima
    • Incan markets of Cuzco

  7. IMPORTANT ADDITIONS TO THE 2014 PROGRAMS: 2014 Additions to the Solidarity in Action program:We value the contribution that a participant can provide to a local community project partner in Peru. In an attempt to improve the contribution to the local community project partner we implemented two new processes: the primary and secondary placement selection, and co-planning with members of the Solidarity in Action team and the local project partner.The primary and secondary placement selection allowed participants to remain at one placement for the majority of the placement days. The continuity benefited the local project partner and the local participant, as the participant felt comfortable in his or her position, which allowed her to provide a meaningful contribution to the local partner.Co-project planning ensured that the participants, the local project partner and Solidarity in Action staff planned together whenever possible. Co-planning allowed the planning members to share their ideas openly with one another. As a result, each member had a clearer understanding of what to expect during the activity, and what role they must perform. Co-planning helped to overcome the language barrier between Spanish and English speakers.
  8. PLACEMENT HIGHLIGHTS

Solidaritas Peru – Meaningful Physical Education Program (Chorrillos, Lima)

Participants from Western University worked alongside Solidaritas Peru to conduct workshops in three different schools for more than 300 elementary students. Western students completed an evaluation for each game that they led, and provided a program curriculum that Solidaritas Peru could utilize to implement the program into future school programs.

Youth in Action – A community-based after school program (Villa Maria del Triunfo, Lima)

Solidarity in Action participants supported the program from Monday to Friday from 2:00pm to 4:00pm. Participants and Youth in Action staff led outdoor activities, and other values based activities. The themes included self esteem, teamwork, community, Peruvian history, geography, and respect.  The program received fifteen to twenty children each day, and was praised by the Hijos de 28 de Julio community leaders.

Esperanza de los Ninos – A community-based daycare program (Chorrillos, Lima)

Esperanza de los Ninos daycare program was started by Liliana Bernal and Julia Guillen, former staff members of the Solidarity in Action daycare pilot project (August 2013 to December 2013). The program began with two children in March 2014. Solidarity in Action participants assisted Liliana and Julia, and a Canadian kindergarten teacher provided pedagogy support, and offered teaching strategies and activities that Liliana and Julia could utilize with the children. The program has grown to receive more than ten children a day. Needing to make important structural improvements to the daycare, Solidarity in Action helped Liliana and Julia to host a garage sale. The proceeds of the garage sale were used to install a new floor, replace damaged roof tiles, and upgrade the electrical system and wiring.

Hands for Hygiene – Club de Salud(Chorrillos, Lima)

Solidarity in Action partnered with Tupac Amaru II school, a high school located in Chorrillos, to increase the students’ health and hygiene awareness. Solidarity in Action participants led class presentations to demonstrate the importance of hand washing. and developed a student-run health club, Club de Salud. Solidarity in Action participants led activities to reinforce health, hygiene and to teach leadership skills. The students continue to meet on a weekly basis, and in December the Tupac Amaru II students led classroom demonstrations for their peers to instill the importance of dental hygiene.

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PLANS FOR 2015!

The programs for the 2015 year have been posted on our website. Check out the amazing opportunities through the Solidarity in Action 2015 Programs Opportunities 2015, and discover meaningful travel and experience meaningful connections!

We thank you all for the interest and support that you have shown to Solidarity in Action, as we continue to support local projects, and introduce travelers to meaningful travel and the people of Peru.

Wishing you a successful 2015 year!

For more updates Follow Developing Together on WordPress.com

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Website: www.solidarityinaction.ca

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Twitter: @volunteerSIA

-Larry Shuttleworth

Solidarity in Action provides unique travel opportunities for individuals, while meeting the local needs in education and health in Peru. Follow, like and comment on our blog to find out about how you can experience meaningful travel in Peru, and to see how Peruvians and North Americans are working together to create sustainable development solutions in Peru. 

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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

 

Paulina’s Journey

 

 

 

Paulina is a sweet individual that I met in Peru during the summer in the community. She is from Poland and was working alongside SIA and Youth in action! This is her input from her experience in Pacifico.

How did you come to know about SIA and our work in Pacifico de villa?

I got to know obout SIA in Pacifico from Jacek Klisowki. I was working in the house for street children named Ayllu Situwa which he set up and has been running for more than 8 years. I was doing my volunteer service ( I was send by Papaya Foundation from Poland, and I was implementing the project funded by Ministry of Forein Affairs in Poland – program named Polish help) there and he told me about Larry and the activities for children which you organize. I really wanted to help and was interested in the work which you do.

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 What was your first impression of Pacifico and Youth in Action program/the kids?

I was amazed by the energy and happiness of the children. It was surprising that in this some kind of desert place there were so many children and that they are so willing to do all things which volunteers proposed them. That they get so deep into all activities, always with big smiles on their faces, try to do it perfectly…

What were your expectations or goal that you wanted to achieve while working with Daniel?

First of all I wanted to share with children and Daniel my experience in working with creativity. In Poland I work in developing creativity center named Kangur – cangaroo:) I wanted to share what I know and be with those children, help them with homeworks, spend time just be. I also wanted to get to know something from Daniel, he is very wise, has great contact with children. He is amaizing. I am very happy that I could work with him.

What were some of the challenges you faced while working with Daniel and youth in action?

The biggest challange was when they told us that we can not use local communal anymore:( We had to organize it outside and that it still was very cold…but all the rest was a great pleasure.

What kind of activities were you able to do with the kids?

We did a lot of art activities. Also connected with art and cultures. We were talking about Egyptian culture, a little bit about the India, we got to know some arabic letters, listening to polish legends. We did mandalas from spices, builded animals, were making a lot of ideas how we could use something or into what we could transform simple things. Painting, drawing, constructing. We also used the parachute to do some moving activities, played football. It was a good time. I hope it will serve them or even made them feel happy…

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Would you come back?

I hope so…The true is that I would love to. The problem is the distance. Peru is really far from Poland but close to my heart so I hope it will help. I would also love to spend more time, next time in guarderia. I love little kids and they need a lot of care. We will see.

What is one key message that you are taking back to Poland with you?

The key message which I brought from pacifico and casa Ayllu Situwa, after those three months which I spent working with kids is that you should never judge children but love and give a lot of attention and care. They are so innocent. And the other is that you should smile a lot because then you make others smile.

A look ahead to SIA’s summer in South America

Hello Everyone,

We are just about to begin our beginning our most active time of the year, as our first group of university students prepares to fly to Lima this coming Friday, May 4th.

I arrived in Lima, Peru on Sunday following a few days in Guayaquil, Ecuador. For the next four months we will be receiving more than 90 volunteers from the universities, high schools as well as a group of well meaning adults. During our time in Peru and Ecuador we will be interacting. Our first group of students is due to arrive to Peru on Friday May 4th. The group will include 20 university students and staff from Wilfrid Laurier University, the University of Guelph and other students from other universities and colleges.

Over the next few months you will be able to follow us as continue to improve the daycare in Pacifico de Villa, Lima. In Ecuador we will work alongside the Monte Sinai community, to help build a multi-purpose community hall. As well, stay up to date as we engage students and teachers in our English classes. These are just a few of the projects that we hope to complete this summer.

Stay up to date with our newsletter and check the blog regularly to hear about the personal experiences of our SIA staff, volunteers and with the people from the communities with whom we work. You will hear from our SIA staff, trip leaders, participants and members of the local communities.

We welcome your comments and suggestions as we look to continue to build the Solidarity in Action community.

We wish everyone a safe and successful summer and we look forward to receiving our SIA volunteers in Peru and Ecuador.

In Solidarity,

Larry Shuttleworth

The two newly completed classrooms of the Nino de Jesus daycare, Pacifico de Villa, Lima.
Larry listens as Florentino, the president of the Nino de Jesus daycare, and the other members of the executive discuss their ideas for the daycare. Lima, Peru
Javier Bazan and Larry joined the president of Pacifico de Villa, Luis Serna and other members of the executve to discuss the plans for the upcoming months and into the future.

“Students get crafty for a good cause”

Students at Pavillon de la Jeunesse Elementary School in Hamilton are raising money to support the construction of a daycare in the community of Pacifico de Villa, Lima, Peru. Nathalie Pageau is a Grade 5 teacher at the school, and traveled to Peru in August with Solidarity in Action (SIA). When Nathalie returned to the classroom in September, she was eager to share her experience with her students. After learning about Peru and the work Nathalie had done there, the children were eager to help, too. Ever since, they’ve been busy making friendship bracelets to raise money for the expansion of a daycare centre in the shantytown community, Pacifico de Villa. During the August SIA program, participants helped community members to build a retaining wall that will support the planned extension of one of the classroom areas. Solidarity in Action is working directly with the community to execute this and several other sustainability and development projects.

The students at Pavillon de la Jeunesse Elementary will be selling their handmade bracelets at the school’s upcoming Christmas festival. To request your own, send an email to Nathalie at onerisingstar@hotmail.com, or info@solidarityinaction.ca.

Students at the Pavillon de la Jeunesse Elementary School in Hamilton make bracelets to raise money for the Pacifico de Villa daycare.