This program makes a truly positive impact on impoverished children and youth through the support of a variety of programs. There are several areas of focus and volunteers generally assist in areas where the need is greatest, or where their skills are best suited. Volunteers can work on; Pre-School Education – providing a safe place for children under six to relax and have fun through participation in social, creative and educational games (a reprieve from their normally tough lives), Teaching English – which builds the self-confidence and communication skills of children by encouraging them to speak English, After-School Care Program – encouraging children to work on their homework and study with adults supporting them (supervised by a qualified local teacher), and the Football School – where football is used as a way to prevent children and at-risk youth from ending up on the streets, in addition to teaching them valuable life-skills, building self-esteem and instilling the values of commitment, discipline, responsibility and teamwork.
Goals of this Project:
- Provide support through development programs to underprivileged children and youth in Bolivia
- Improve the future prospects of children and youth through teaching them skills and improving their educational prospects
- Boosting the confidence and aspirations of marginalized youth
- Enable inter-cultural exchange which benefits both students and international volunteers alike
Volunteers play an essential role in supporting impoverished children and youth through these programs. They will spend time assisting the local teacher with daily activities, teaching and playing with the children. They will also assist with other tasks such as devising new ideas for the children, preparing lesson plans and organizing fundraising events and other marketing activities to improve the outcomes of the project. Volunteers will also be encouraged to share opinions, come up with ideas that improve the lives of the children and take responsibility for the outcome of the projects that they work on. This is a unique and hands-on opportunity that is not often available in other programs!
Volunteers usually work 3-6 hours per day, starting at around midday at the volunteer house/offices, using this time to prepare. This includes sourcing materials, planning the afternoons activities, lesson plans etc. The program then runs for 2-3 hours in the afternoon. As volunteers on this program will be working with at-risk children, a four-week minimum commitment is required.
Volunteers on this program will contribute in a number of ways and can expect to undertake the following tasks:
- Helping to teach children
- Attending to and interacting with the children
- Creating activities and entertaining the children with games and songs
- Teaching basic English, hygiene, and spiritual values
- Help with kitchen and other duties where required
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A volunteer’s work day on this project will generally last between 4 and 6 hours and while we ask all volunteers to be flexible in this regard, a typical daily schedule is likely to go something like this:
8:00am: Breakfast at the volunteer house
9:00am: Time to prepare for the afternoons activities
Midday: Lunch time and siesta (rest time)
2:00pm: Pre-start team meeting
2:15pm: Depart as a group to your assigned project site
2:30pm: VOLUNTEERING DUTIES START
5:30pm: VOLUNTEERING DUTIES END
5:45pm: Return as a group to the volunteer house
Evenings: Free time to relax and grab some dinner or explore the sights and sounds of this truly amazing city; a place so far untouched by large scale commercial tourism!
Upon your arrival in Cochabamba, you will be collected at the airport and delivered to your accommodation, which also serves as the local project base. Here you will receive an orientation to help you settle in, find out about your volunteering placement, the local surroundings and meet your fellow volunteers. A representative from the local team will fill you in on local and regional customs, traveling, rules and recommendations, and of course, what to expect from your volunteering experience. They will also provide you with your Welcome Pack, which contains a local sim phone card, local maps and a transport guide. This is a great opportunity to get to know your hosts, meet your fellow volunteers, and ask any last questions you may have.
- Program Arrival Day: SUNDAY
- Program Departure Day: SATURDAY
- Arrival/Departure Airport: Jorge Wilstermann International Airport, Cochabamba, Bolivia (Code: CBB)
Volunteers on this program are accommodated within a large and spacious volunteer guest house, located in the heart of Cochabamba within walking distance to all the main attractions of this fascinating city. Volunteers are provided with a comfortable shared bedroom and shared bathroom, separated by gender, and thanks to the variety and popularity of this program, they will have the opportunity to meet and socialize with other like-minded people from around the world. Wifi and laundry services are available onsite. The volunteer house is well managed and is a perfect home away from home. A wonderful base for your stay in Cochabamba!
Private double rooms are available on request (additional fees apply).
Breakfast and lunch are included on weekdays. Food is usually prepared communally by volunteers (based on a roster system). Given that almuerzo (or lunch) is the most important meal of the day in Bolivia, long lunches are typical and businesses and shops often close between the hours of 12 and 3 pm. A typical Bolivian lunch consists of several courses, including a soup, a main course of meat, rice, and potatoes, then a dessert and coffee. Plenty to get you prepared for the afternoons volunteering ahead!
Dinner and meals on weekends are not included but the kitchen can be used and there are plenty of cafes and restaurants in Cochabamba that are worth trying.
Registration Fee: The registration fee is USD 299 for those volunteering for the first time or USD 149 for any subsequent volunteer placements. The registration fee includes: lifetime Alumni Membership, fundraising support & advice, dedicated pre-departure support, certificate of completion (on request), and exclusive access to the Trip Planner.
Requirements: We welcomes all those 18 years and over who wish to assist in the ongoing support and development of marginalized and at-risk children of Cochabamba, Bolivia. This highly interactive and varied project does not require participants to have a background in the field of childcare, as there are many ways you can assist. However, volunteers with suitable education, qualifications or experience are highly sought after. Regardless, a volunteer’s individual role can often be tailored to suit their particular skills and interests. Volunteers on this project will need an understanding of Spanish in order to communicate effectively. Importantly, all applicants must first and foremost have a genuine willingness to help, show drive and initiative, and bring a positive ‘can-do’ attitude. If this sounds like you, we want you on the team!
Additionally, volunteers applying to join this program will be required to supply to following documentation: Emergency contact and Police check.
Project Location: Cochabamba is a city in the heart of Bolivia. In the city’s center is Plaza 14 de Septiembre, a colonial square surrounded by arcades and the Andean-Baroque San Sebastián cathedral. Nearby are several colonial churches, such as Santo Domingo with its striking carved stone facade. Bolivia in general remains largely unspoiled by the waves of international tourists that are often found in other major cities of Central and South America, thus it is a wonderful place to explore and experience while volunteering!
Start Dates & Duration: This project is available year-round and programs start every SUNDAY. Volunteers can choose to participate for periods ranging from 2 weeks to 12 weeks.