Educational Programs and Working with Street Children
|Project At A Glance
Location: Cusco or Manu Peru
Start Point: Cusco
End Point: Cusco
Duration: 1-12 Weeks
Hours: 20-30 Hours per week
Food: 3 local food daily
Room: Local Host family or hostel
Date: Mondays of each month
IVolunteer in educational programs and work with street children in Peru and enjoy a rich and varied heritage, including the ancient Incan capital of Cusco and the lost city of Machu Picchu. Teach English, computer skills and social skills as you give love and attention to children, improving their mental and physical development. IFRE projects aim to change the futures of Peru’s vulnerable and at-risk street children caught in the throes of poverty. Volunteers open up a whole new world of opportunities for these children as their horizons are expanded. With an education the children are more likely to stay off the streets. Through education, these children will have the ability to find employment and break the cycle of poverty.
In spite of Peru's significant progress in the last few years, the social and economic inequalities, which still affect much of Peru, have left the children in a vulnerable state. Several street children have never been able to go to school and while those that do go find that their school work deteriorates from having to work long hours on the street and difficult family lives. Other poverty stricken children are at risk of being enticed with offers to work in extremely poor conditions instead of getting an education or exploited sexually in the child sex trade. The most beautiful thing about teaching as a volunteer is being able to open up new opportunities for deprived children and that’s exactly what an education does.
There are no specific skills or qualifications to volunteer in the education and street children project in Peru. Beginner to intermediate knowledge of Spanish is preferred (not mandatory). If you cannot speak Spanish, we suggest you enroll in our Spanish language course to make your stay more rewarding – both for you and for the children you are helping. There are no specific qualifications needed to join IFRE's volunteer street children projects in Cusco Peru. All volunteers are expected to have a passion for teaching, love of children, tolerance and to be flexible and patient as they work with these children.
As a volunteer in the Education and Street Children Project, volunteers work with schools and nonprofit organizations 4-5 hours per day, Monday through Friday. Depending on individual skills and interests and the needs of the local staff, daily activities may include:
- Teaching basic English, health, math, science or other subjects
- Teaching computer lessons
- Providing daily care to children
- Helping prepare and serve food for children
- Teaching children life skills such as gardening, business skills, painting, building, sewing, etc
- Leading extracurricular activities such as games, sports, art, music, dancing, etc
- Accompanying children to and from school
- Helping to ensure the children are healthy
- Providing love and attention
- Watching over the children
- Making children laugh
- Teaching children about the world
- Promoting fundraising activities
- Assisting local administrations
- Helping plan events and excursions
- Assisting families
- Assisting medical staff
IFRE manages your living accommodations in Peru. In Cusco, most volunteers live with a host family, but some may live in a hostel. Our host families are socially respected and experienced hosts of international volunteers. They have strong interest in our volunteers’ safety and well-being and demonstrate this with caution and care. Host families will prepare three meals a day for volunteers consisting of local ingredients and foods traditional to Peru. In most host family situations, volunteers will share a room with another volunteer of the same gender. Our host families do not offer laundry services, but some will happily take up the task for a small fee.
Throughout the volunteer project, our local staff stays in contact with volunteers either with face-to-face visits or via email/telephone. Volunteers are always welcome at our local offices in Peru. If project placement is local, we request that volunteers stop by the office once a week to keep us posted on how they are doing with their home stay and project. If project placement is very far, then our local staff members maintain communication by either email and/or phone and try to visit every 2-4 weeks if possible.