Today, the volunteers got the chance to officially emerge with the children during their placements. The day began nice and early at 6:45 AM. It takes anywhere from 30-45 minutes to get to our placements depending on the traffic. We took the ocean side view today on our drive over to the district of Chorrillos. The volunteers seemed to really enjoy the drive, even though it was early, there was energy laughter and excitement.
Lynn and Stephanie have been spending their time at the Day care in Pacifico de Villa. Working with children can be exhausting especially if you’re going it ALL DAY. Sure enough, Lynn and Steph were tired by the end of the day but with a huge smile on their face. When asked about their day, Lynn said she was so happy because she got to read to the children today. They had 3 children at the day care today and had an amazing day just bonding and playing with them. These activities included anything from going to the playground to making music to reading books.
Our ESL and Hands for Hygiene groups spend some time at Tupac Amaru II school for the first time thisweek. There were many observations made today with the group of children the volunteers worked with. Bottom line was that the children here do not have the same opportunities that children back home have. Therefore, they don’t built up their social skills and confidence until a very late age. Children from 14 years old and younger get to experience leadership opportunities through extra curricular and the children at Tupac seem to lack those opportunities. It is so important to give them the platform to shine and share their opinions. And that is exactly what the Hands for Hygiene is doing in their Club de Salud group.
During ESL, Eva (a volunteer) got to meet all the children who are devoting their vacation time to learn English and be involved in these extra curricular activities. They made family trees, jumped rope, made sentences, and had fun learning new vocabulary and games they can take home with them. It was a great introduction day to get their new teacher Eva a little better. We hope the children come tomorrow with even more excitement and interest.
It makes us all feel very privileged to be here and spend this time with individuals who inspire us.
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.
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.
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 important 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.
Keep updated by visiting our Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/solidarityinactioninc.
To give you a SLIGHT idea of how it went, go on our facebook page (SolidarityinactionInc) and click on the link of our shared photo from “Solidaritas” page. The album will simply make you smile 🙂 It shows the interaction between our Western group and the children of a local school is Tupac district.
Also, it was amazing to see the interaction between the children of Youth in Action with the volunteers! One thing I can say is that the volunteers definitely have their hands full! There are so many excited children that want to genuinely come out even after a long day at school. I saw Lauren O. in Youth in Action doing it all with a smile, sweating and running around with the children.
Today was another amazing day for the health program as well. We got to meet with the Principle of a school called Tupac Amaru where the Western group has been running the ESL program. He told us that general hygiene is a national problem and we need to address it step by step. His goal is to teach the parents through teaching the children. Ever since he’s been there he’s implemented a safer environment for the children, and a cleaner environment. It was a truly inspirational beginning to a great movement!
Not going to lie, a lot of participants admitted that the first day of placements was a bit difficult, out of their comfort zone and hard to adjust to. There are many factors for that. But EACH AND EVERY participant decided to go back to the SAME placement to give it one more shot and to stick with it! I thought that was amazing because it is human nature to run away from something that makes you uncomfortable and they challenged themselves.
Here are a few pictures from some exciting moments so far.
All the participants are trying new things, stepping outside of their comfort zone and challenging themselves as far as possible!
Tonight Larry Shuttleworth sat with them after dinner to talk about the responsibility you have as a fortunate human being to “do more.” With whatever it is.
Today the group woke up only having a little bit of sleep from last nights late flight. They all looked fresh and ready to explore!!
In the morning, the group got to visit the beautiful Downtown Lima. Where they saw old architecture, peruvian culture and some wicked history in the catacombs. During our lunch at a very nice restaurant, which has a history of its own. The waitress told them their history and how they came to be working there. They mentioned things about changing the world if you do a good job at whatever you do. It was really nice to see that they wanted to share that insight with our young generation.
After visiting downtown Lima, the group then enjoyed a lovely evening of leisure time where they got to visit the grocery store, internet cafe, and a nice walk to the beach if they wanted. Most of them were up for a nice walk! The sunset tonight was beautiful, I wish I had a picture of it !
Tomorrow they will be entering into a week of new experiences, meeting fantastic people and making meaningful relationships. Hope they get a good nights rest 🙂
Peru A and the Western group arrived into Lima at 2:30 am this morning! The SIA staff eager and happy to welcome them into this beautiful country. The next two weeks will be a jam-packed experience for each and every one of these participants. It was beautiful to see that they had already gotten comfortable with each other starting from the Toronto Airport.
They’ll be exploring Downtown Lima today and it’s beautiful architecture. Until then, I shall go meet with them and see all their excited faces!