Introduction''BELEN' is the girl's orphanage of Cajamarca, Peru. Our live-in female volunteers will give aid and support to the children living in this well run orphanage. We will look after the normal orphans when they are not in school, and the special orphans the rest of the time; assist the staff in caring for these girls as well as give classes for them - help with their homework, read to them and generally care for them.
There is always more to do to fill the gap in these dear girl's lives. There is never enough love, never enough attention, direction and friendship in their lives to make up for the absence of their own parents.
BELEN ('Hogar de La Niña') is operated by the Society de la Beneficenca of Cajamarca. Bruce Peru participates with the Beneficencia to fill as many of the gaps in these girl's lives as we can. We play with them, bathe the little ones, teach hygens and manners; give classes in English, help them with music and art; help them with their homework and studies. Most of all we befriend them and give them as much love as we can..
Besides these activities, we welcome new ideas to make our project most effective for the orphns. Volunteering at Bruce Peru Cajamarca can be a tiring but immensely rewarding experience. You should be able to cope with big groups of children demanding a lot of attention and enthusiasm. You will have to be a team worker, working together with Peruvian and international volunteers. In the orphanage you will be a representative of Bruce Peru and are expected to be responsible and behave as an example for the children. What you do in your free time outside the orphanage is up to you.
Volunteering at 'BELEN' is a fantastic way of getting to know Peru, of improving your Spanish, and above all, of interacting with the community and with the children of the city in a positive and helpful way.
The Region:Cajamarca is a city of 110,000 inhabitants, in the Andese mountains of northern Peru. It is the site of the largest city in the Inca Empire, has the largest quantity and best preserved Inca ruins in Peru. Today it suffers from a range of social problems, including bad sanitation, lack of electricity and a shortage of food, and was recently classified as one of Peru’s poorest cities. Like many Latin American settlements, it is characterised by an attractive and ornate colonial centre, with the poorest parts sprawling up the mountainsides. For the visitor it is a safe and lively place, with good restaurants and bars, an excellent market, also there are opportunities for mountain walking, trekking and climbing and, as a testament to the great Inca civilisation, the place where the chief of the Incas offered Pizaro a room full of gold treasures in exchange for the Inca Empire - can be looked down upon from the balcony of the Girl's Orphanage. The local inhabitants are generally kind and friendly, and we have been able to cooperate well with schools and families in the past.
The Programme:The Orphanage is located in the heart of Cajamarca, housed in a typical Spanish colonial palace converted to the particular requirements of an orphanage for girls. It has a number of large dormatories, kitchen and dining hall, an enclosed play area, auditorium and workshops where the girls learn handicrafts, sewing and arts. We want to do everything possible to develop and encourage any talents the girls posess or show an aptitude for. They are enroled in state schools, usually during the mornings; but these years are all the preparation these girls will have: for when they turn 18 they will be completely on their own. We must help prepare them to become self sufficient, stable and able to cope with life outside the orphanage.