Volunteer Bruce Peru,  help street children in Latin America. Bruce Peru Lima: "Villa Maria" Children's Centre

Bruce Peru Lima, helps poorest children in Villa Maria squatters camp

Volunteer vacancies: volunteers: 2 longstay
3 normal term (Spanish speaking please).

On line Application

Introduction.....................Villa Maria Photo Album

'Villa MARIA' CHILDREN'S CENTRE is in the Villa Maria community of the 'Cono Sur' slums on the south side of Lima, Peru. Our aim is to give aid and support to the children of the families (mostly ababndoned mothers) who squatted this sandy mountain in the late '90s. The original squatters were ejected twice before they finally overcame resistance from the Limal authorities and formed a makeshift community on the steep sandy slopes. In the ensuing years they have built shacks, some of which have been improved into simple brick houses. But there is no electricity, water or school. Some electricity is rented privately from a community in the valley below, but water has to be trucked up the mountain twice a week. Bruce Peru have agreed to provide basic education until a school can be built.

Bruce Peru School inVilla Maria - a poor house serves very wellThe Villa Maria Children's Centre is housed in the home of our director - she lives with her daughter in another house, and so has dedicated her own home to be our school.

A marvelous feature of Villa Maria is tht the houses do not have locks - in Lima a city famous for its crime rate. How can this be? Villa Maria was formed by a group ofAndean peasants all known to one another. When they finally succeeded in posessing the land they bonded into a community; everyone looks out for everyone else. It is isolated from the rest of Lima, the only road climbing up the mountain to Villa Maria has a gate and a guard. It may be a shanty town to the ourside world, but to its residents it has as much community spirit as any community on earth.

Bruce Peru Villa Maria director, Rosa Caycho
Rosa Caycho Mayta
Bruce Peru Villa Maria

Many children do not attend school in Villa Maria, due to one or mor of three reasons: the nearest school is too far away, extreme poverty (even attending free school in Peru costs about $110 a year), abandonment or parental abuse (children of poor parents often are made to work instead of attending school) Our primary goal is to get as many children into school as possible, and this involves encouraging learning, talking to parents and in some cases purchassing uniforms and school books. We also are prepared to educate those children who cannot get into state schools.
Who do we need?
We are looking for volunteers to join our organisation who are interested in working with children and (preferably) have some knowledge of Spanish . Volunteers stay for as long as they like although we ask for a minimum of 1 month (three months for 2 female volunteers) to live either in the orphanage or else in home stay accommodation.

What to expect as a Volunteer:

Your Job at 'Villa MARIA CHILDREN'S CENTRE' will involve:
  • Teaching children
  • Team working
  • Sport activities
  • Recreation activities
  • Teaching English to adults, evening hours (back at Lima central)
  • Promotion work in Lima.
Milagros, one of our Social Workers from Trujillo, spends a week in Lima. She is able to visit the Villa Maria children and their mothers , to assure that they really qualify (are extremely poor, not in school). And on 25 March 2005, she approves our first group of 11 students.

Accomodation & food costs:

We ask a fee from our volunteers to keep our work going. The money goes to pay for the bills, meals, and the cost of the social worker, cook and secretary, as well as maintenance of the Children's Centre- also to promote the opening of other Children's Centres in Peru. This fee includes accommodation 7 days per week and 3 meals a day, 5 days a week.
First 3 months 360 a month

To read
more about Peru click HERE

Besides these activities, we welcome new ideas to make our project most effective for the children. Volunteering at Bruce Peru Lima 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 PeruVillan 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 'Villa MARIA' 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:

Lima - City of KingsMore than 400 years ago, the Spanish conqueror ("conquistador") Francisco Pizarro named Lima the City of the Kings ("Ciudad de los Reyes"). Nowadays, that same city, which rose from the lands of the native chief Taulischusco, is a metropolis of over 7 million people who proudly preserve the colonial convents and mansions which are symbols of their ancient and noble traditions. Lima, capital of Peru, founded on January 18, 1535, is a modern city which, while constantly expanding, has also managed to maintain the elegance of its Historic Center. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Center, due to the large number of artistic monuments found there, Historic Lima is an enchanting haven of a period long gone.

The Programme:

Bruce Peru Villa Maria, Lima - classes for children who cannot get into school: due to poverty, abandonment or abuseThe Children's Centre is located in a 2 room house at the edge of a small precipice. It has no water or electricity, but classes are in the mornings when there is always light, and we bring in buckets of water. Our international volunteers leave Miraflores at 8:AM and are in class teaching the children by 9:AM. Children attend the centre between 9 AM and 12:30 PM, (ending with lunch). Durting the morning volunteers and local teachers 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 and activities..

The Language School:

In the evenings English-speaking and French-speaking volunteers give English and French classes to adults in our Miraflores campus in Lima (where also our international volunteers live). The small donation our language students make is a contribution to the work of the Satellite Children's Centres.. 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.

Lima, one of the first cities in South America