Introduction'San Sebastian' CHILDREN'S CENTRE is in the San Sebastian 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 over the past 10 years. But there is improvised electricity, no water and too many children not in school.Water is trucked in several times a week. Bruce Peru have agreed to provide basic education to children who could not get into school.
The San Sebastian Children's Centre was founded by Meg Hayden, our
second Lima director, in a small public soup kitchen in a part of Pamplona
called "Chancharia"(Pig Pen) but has since been moved into a
little three room school house, which is perfect for our project.
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 'San Sebastian' 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 3 room school house in the residential part of the San Sebastian slum. It has no running water, but we built a latrine behind it. We bring in our school materials. 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 12:00 PM, (ending with light 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 and/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.