Monday to Friday
Main Role: Working with Children
Elementary School in the Village:
Education is a huge part of what AYNI is, and your main role is working with children different capacities. At school in the morning your role includes teaching ESL in the classroom, running arts & activities in the classroom, and running sports activities during recess time. This generally takes place Monday to Friday. Within school time you will also be responsible for coordinating organized sports activities at the school during recess time which lasts about ½ hr (i.e. soccer game, volleyball game, freeze tag, skipping, dancing etc.)
Your job is not to stand around during recess but engage the kids in an organized activity that you prepared. School runs from 8am to 1pm Monday to Friday. The children then go home for lunch.
Your other main role is to also run the library program after school. This is the opportunity for the kids in the village to come to the library (there are few libraries in Peru, and none in poor communities). This is an opportunity for you to read a story, for kids to pick books to read, and participate in organized activities that you create, ranging in arts & crafts, puzzles, games etc. Generally part of the library time can be spent allowing the kid’s free time to explore BUT it should consist also of the volunteer organizing their library time.
Your evenings are free, but you must spend 1-2 hours daily preparing your lessons to ensure that classes run smoothly and efficiently, and the kids are learning. It takes a lot of time to make a GOOD lesson! Remember you are taking valuable teaching time away from the main Peruvian teachers, so you must respect that, and make sure that it is worth it, so plan accordingly.
Secondary Role: Development Work / Advocacy
Your secondary role will be to assist Ines with any Development Work. Development work is described under Projects. Many of our Development projects have been reduced due to newer government assistance. This allows us to shift our focus back to Education.
However our Neem Tree Projects are still ongoing and may from time to time require you to tree plant with the community, teach about the Neem remedies, collect trees from the mothers, or distribute seeds and bags to the mothers to grow more trees. Also visiting last year’s micro-credit families is also something you can assist Ines with.
Advocacy can take many forms such as, visiting sick children, monitoring a child’s reaction to difficult family circumstances, enquiring about a child’s high absences or strange behaviours etc. You will get to know the children and their families and often time through that relationship you find that the children or parents need some sort of assistance (i.e. medical support, food, financial help via micro-credit loan or other, help with funeral costs, etc.) Situations creep up all the time, often they will reveal themselves one way or another. Before offering help or assistance, discuss the situation with Ines and or myself to decide the best course of action.
Weekends are usually free. Occasionally we organize class field trips, birthday parties, or a community project that is scheduled to a weekend day. It’s essential that volunteers are flexible and help out with enthusiasm even if it’s on a weekend. Having said that, you will have plenty of weekends to do shorter trips around the region, for example camping on the beach, go see Inca findings, hike in the mountains, visit Shamans….. you name it!