The Kindergarten is run by a non-governmental non-profit, pluralistic organisation independent from the political or religious viewpoint. Its goal is to work with children in extreme poverty, suffering from psychological maltreatment, neglect, malnutrition, etc. The NGO intends to help through prevention programs, protection and respect for the rights of children, thus ensuring that they have access to education, health, healthy eating and a balanced environment. All of this is achieved through the creation and formation of kindergardens, shelters and other programs to protect the child.
The childrens´ parents are often single mothers with very low income. Moreover, some children take 2 hours every morning to arrive at the kindergarten because they have to take three buses, which ends up being very expensive.
In the morning, you can help one of the teachers with the different assignments that she/he gives to the children. There are more than one hundred children in the kindergarten and they are separated into the different classes depending on their age (from 1 to 5 years old). In addition to helping the teachers with their own programs, you can teach English or other topics. The children love songs, and singing with them happens to be a very efficient way to attract their attention and help them remember the words.
In the afternoon (from 2 pm) around thirty kids come from schools in the neighborhood to do their homework. You can then be very useful in helping them with their homework in Mathematics, English or even “Communication” if your knowledge of Spanish is good.
The teachers working in the kindergarten are open to all new ideas that could entertain or teach new topics to the children. In addition to “serious” topics like English or Mathematics, do not hesitate to teach them your own talents like juggling, dancing, doing magic tricks, etc.
There is no minimum volunteer period for this project although we believe that you will gain more from the experience, and help the children more, the longer you can stay!
As a volunteer, you are not expected to work the whole day (some people at the kindergarten work from 6 am to 8pm). You can define on arrival when you are willing to work, and this schedule can be changed at any time if necessary.
Any donation is welcomed and helpful for the organization. It could be money but also furniture (chairs, tables, pillows, etc.), didactic objects, games, etc. We recommend that you do not bring items from your own country however, as we have found it is more effective to wait until you arrive and find out what is needed at the time. If you buy items in Arequipa it is also beneficial for the local economy and you will probably find that your money will go further (plus it doesn’t take up space in your luggage!)