A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about children

A child is for life, not just for Christmas

View Tour of southern Peru & London - before the off! on Rebecca Heller's travel map.

Much of my volunteering in the last month was centred around Christmas, be it Christmas crafts, party bags or throwing a party for the kids. As I walked around Huanchaco this week I kept bumping into kids from school and NAFE who were queuing to receive a present from some organisation or other, or go to a Chocolatada (hot chocolate and panettone party).

I realised that many of these kids had received 3 or 4 presents and been to at least the same number of Chocolatadas in the run up to Christmas.

It's lovely, it really is. Everyone loves a party and who says no to a present?! But I am struck by just how many companies come out of the woodwork to do something nice for the kids at Christmas, when all year round, many of these kids don't have food every day, enough money to go to school, and hardly any have running water.

I know it's not as fun, but what about giving school supplies? Food for the family? Collecting the money to pay for clean water?

I would hate to deny these kids the joy of celebrating Christmas, it's not my place to and I also gave the kids a party and presents. Just imagine though, what if they got one present and party but could also afford to go to school? Imagine how many Christmas presents they might have one day if they have an education.

I don't how to redress the balance but it does seem necessary to me that organisations don't just think of the kids at Christmas. They need help and support all year. After all, a child is for life, not just for Christmas.

Posted by Rebecca Heller 08:23 Archived in Peru Tagged children parties presents charity huanchaco Comments (0)

Bye for now Huanchaco

View London - before the off! on Rebecca Heller's travel map.

My two months in Huanchaco flew by so fast, it's hard to believe I'm back in Lima for the next part of my adventure.

I ended up working on many different projects, which meant I got to see even more of Huanchaco life than otherwise. As I mentioned I spent a month teaching at two schools in towns just outside of Huanchaco. It wasn't always easy, the mixed age classes and lack of help from the teachers made it challenging but for the most part, the kids made up for it (and when we had things like the rain simulation!). For the end of term we took 4 of the oldest kids from one school who had done their homework, to the cinema - it was one girl's first trip to he cinema! At the other school, we brought the cinema to the kids, plus so much food we were giving it away at the end.

I then took on the role of interim coordinator at NAFE Peru for a few weeks. This is an NGO who provides after school activities for local kids and on Sundays, a big lunch. I was responsible for organising volunteers and activities for Monday to Friday, and since it was the holidays, we opened mornings and afternoons. We had 40-50 kids nearly every morning and afternoon, which was slightly crazy but in our minds, a big success.

This role involved visiting many of the houses to talk to the parents and certainly gave me an insight into their lives that I wouldn't have otherwise.

Many of the kids at NAFE have very little in life, but are so full of love that it's difficult not to like even the harder to manage kids. Our Christmas party was chaotic with 90 kids, but it was a joy to see them enjoy themselves and I was sad to say goodbye (whilst also slightly relieved when it was quiet again!).

The other project I ended up helping with was getting Otra Cosa started with a database. They already knew they wanted to go for Salesforce, so I put on my former professional hat and helped them prepare and apply for the non profit grant, and then with the initial set up. I may not have cracked the system before I left, but hopefully they're in a good place to continue to build the database and make it truly useful for them.

I met some great people here. I know I'll see some of them again (I have some new places on my travel hit list now!) and the others I'll remember fondly. I'd like to go back and visit Huanchaco again some day, I don't know when, but it would be good to revisit when I can.

For now though, I'm in Lima and about to join my tour of the south for the next 3 weeks.

Posted by Rebecca Heller 08:01 Archived in Peru Tagged children parties school teaching huanchaco otra cosa nafe Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 2 of 2) Page [1]