Introduction'Hijas De Caridad' CHILDREN'S CENTRE is in the Parochia of Cajamarca, Peru, with the aim of giving aid and support to children from impoverished backgrounds living in and around the area, especially those too poor, abandoned or abused to attend school. The sisters of Hijas De Caridad, with participation from Bruce Peru, provide food, classes and activities to children who would otherwise be in the streets - our mission is to get them cared for and educated.
In Cajamarca, we will recruit a group of volunteers to join the sisters in working at the project every week day morning. Children will come for lessons and lunch, remaining at the centre until they are attending school regularly. The staff of the Centre liaise with parents, teachers and community members; and the volunteers organise activities of a wide-ranging nature.
Besides these activities, we welcome new ideas to make our project most effective for the children. Volunteering at Bruce Peru Cajamarca can be a tiring but immensely rewarding experience. You should be able to cope with big groups of street 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 centre you will be a representative of the project and are expected to be responsible and behave as an example for the children. What you do in your free time outside the centre is up to you.
Volunteering at 'HIJAS DE CARIDAD' 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 Children's Centre is located in the heart of Cajamarca, and is a relatively new ex parochial school converted to the particular requirements of a street children's facility. It has a number of large, bright and airy class rooms, a modern computer centre with internet connection, an enclosed playground, auditorium and ample dining rooms. Children attend the centre from between 9 AM and 12:30 PM, (ending with lunch) during the children's time in the centre the sisters and volunteers organise a range of classes, workshops and activities: including English, reading, writing, maths, art, music, science, sport and drama. Groups are divided up according to age or ability. None of these children go to school, so an important aspect of our program is teaching them group discipline and study habits. We regularly plan trips outside the centre, to play football and other games. Our international Volunteers do not live in the Children's Centre, but rather in home stay accommodation or (in the case of two long term female volunteers) in the Girl's Orphanage a block away.
The Language School:In the evenings English-speaking and French-speaking volunteers give English and French classes to adults in the Children's Centre., The small donation our students make is a contribution to the work of the Children's Centre ans our volunteers. Our students know that their tuition goes towards our work with the children and enables us to participate in the activities and expenses of the Children's Centre and our volunteers. Volunteers are therefore obliged to give at least one class per night to maintain our Language School.
Spanish classes are offered for free to all our volunteers.