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.
The 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.
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:More 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:The 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.