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Teacher Training for Parents, Carers and Volunteers

For several years, here in SKIP, we have been working with families to promote holistic-learning and foster autonomy. This year we continued to develop a very important project which builds empowerment through workshops for parents and carers who have been with the organisation a long time, so that they may become primary school classroom assistants.cararfam

Training is held once a month exploring a different theme in order to get people more involved not just in the project, but also in the academic results of their children, and furthermore to give a place for learning and reflecting.

The parents and carers who volunteer as teaching assistants have demonstrated the knowledge they have acquired throughout all their years of training, and they have offered complex and positive reflections, on what is considered to be essential for adequate teamwork.

Within these sessions we have concluded that:
• The team needs to have a common and clear objective to foster group bonding. In our case we have concluded that the objective is to promote individualised and professional attention in order to help our students become better people and to achieve more and better academic learning.
• Commitment, Involvement and Responsibility unite us and make us stronger as a group.
• This bonding is achieved through solidarity, cooperation and empathy
• We need to put a guide in place that will foster this liaison.
• Accurate and positive communication is what will allow us understand each other and move us forward in our objectives.parents and carers

Through group dynamics we have generated an atmosphere of harmony, happiness, love and mutual respect.

Volunteers and parents both have demonstrated a high level of involvement and participation in the project, as well as the love and absolute dedication necessary to achieve the longed for objective: to learn and to be happy.

In SKIP we continue with enthusiasm on this parents and carers classroom assistant project in order to improve it every year.

¡¡We will achieve this together!!

Vanessa Bellón Santamaría (Primary Education Coordinator)

 

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Sales in the Alianza Francesa

The Alianza Francesa (French Alliance) is a cultural center in downtown Trujillo that features artwork and cultural events helping to spread knowledge and understanding in a cross-cultural exchange. Approximately every 4-6 weeks, the center opens its doors to local vendors on Saturday mornings to sell their goods. SKIP has been using this opportunity to sell products made in our creative Economic Development workshops. Normally there are a wide range of vendors, ranging from fair-trade clothing and other NGO’s to organic food vendors and artists.

There is a good deal of camaraderie between the vendors, as we sample each other’s wares, eat and share coffee, as well as information about our products and organizations.  Overall it is a very festive atmosphere and a good opportunity for marketing our products as well as for friendly networking between like-minded individuals and organisations.

The staff at Alianza Francesa has always been extremely helpful and friendly, from Ana, the Cultural Coordinator, to the ever present French families who founded it and keep it running . I have met several other similar NGO’s after working in the Alianza Francesa, giving me the opportunity to learn about how they operate and where many of them sell their goods.  In addition, I have been able to meet people from larger umbrella NGO’s who work with local NGO’s like ours in marketing our products and reaching a broader network of people and organizations in our field.   Overall the Allianza Francesa is a fun time and a great opportunity for SKIP!

~Daniel Weaver

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Celebrating Youth Day

Youth DayOn the 13th of September we celebrated Youth Day in SKIP with all the young people from the secondary programme.

The whole Secondary team were really excited about the event and had spent time preparing their activities. We also made a few artistic creations for the office to dress it up a little and make sure that it was a special moment for everyone. It was a day to get to know each other better, have a little fun and let go, outside of the classrooms where we normally spend time together.

As part of the theme, “Together we can do it” we spent some fun time with the young people and, of course, it was a fun time for us SKIP volunteers too. The objective was to work as a team, develop listening skills, respect, communication skills and, of course love.

After all the games we took to the dance floor and everyone had took a turn to show off their moves. Some groups preferred to talk while others were happy to watch or looked for volunteers to chat to. The bravest danced in the middle of the patio while others watched on.Youth Day 3

So there were smiles all round and the loveliest comments from the kids, “Profe, can we have more days like this?” “I’m embarrassed to dance, but I’d like to try”
“Profe, Together, we can do it!”

 

A day filled with joy and happiness for adults and young people alike.

You can see more photos of Youth Day on our facebook

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The Women’s Meeting

In June of 2014 SKIP began a new group for women who are part of the programme “Compromiso de Mujer” (Women’s Meeting Group) a name selected by participants in the first session. In addition to introducing ourselves, we established the basis of this new initiative in El Porvenir, the foundations of a new home that we will build together.

In respect to that task, here we continue 3 months later, with meetings every fortnight on Fridays, where we lay new building blocks of knowledge, cement our trust to build a safe place, where we share experiences, knowledge, skills, and together confront our individual difficulties. Giving value to what everyone knows and to what everyone has, we multiply it when we add it to what others know and have.

The sessions are facilitated by the Social Work Programme, with help and support of the Psychology Programme. They assume the role of revitalisers and facilitators, promoting participation from everyone, generating ideas and increasing the power of individuals which collectively enriches them to weave a net of mutual support that cushions falls, that cares, that accompanies, that generates ties, that builds communities, and that promotes the empowerment of each and every woman.

A space of learning, reflection and knowledge, where we talk, where we talk a lot! We converse, we debate various subjects of interest of the group. From how to talk to teenagers, to education strategies for younger children. We also talk about gender violence, where to go for help, what to do, how to help each other, how to improve our self-confidence, how to be assertive, our sexual and reproductive health, community resources, and there are still many meetings and many more interesting chats!

There is so much to learn together, lots to share like when we talked about violence which was facilitated by Iris and Rosa, two of SKIP’s participants who have trained as neighbourhood leaders in the El Porvenir Emergency Center for Women, and wanted to share their experience and knowledge with other women. I’ll leave you with a picture of that Friday!

~by Veronica Garcia, SKIP Psychology Programme Coordinator

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George

Volunteer Blog: My Year Abroad with SKIP

Hello! I’m George and I volunteered with SKIP for my Year Abroad as part of my languages degree at the University of East Anglia so I was fortunate enough to spend a whole nine months as a SKIP Primary Teacher.

Being only 20 years old when I arrived and with limited Spanish at the time I was a little daunted at the prospect of being responsible for a class of fifteen children teaching literacy and maths but upon arrival I received great training from the Coordinators and advice from other Primary Teacher volunteers and I settled into the position amazingly quickly. The children are all amazingly welcoming too and they want to know everything there is to know about you on your first day so the ice is broken really quickly. It’s great to be surrounded by such enthusiasm from both the children as well as the other volunteers and there are so many fun characters about that no one day is ever the same. I started off as an assistant in one class and by the end of my time with SKIP I was the Primary Teacher for two different classes which just goes to show how easy it is to learn and also see personal progression.FIN_8759

The curriculum written by SKIP is so easy to follow and addresses not only literacy and maths but other important subjects such as community values and personal development. It is also really open so you can incorporate some of your own ideas too and really get creative. All the activities are interactive and encourage the children to share thoughts, beliefs, experiences and work as a team which is such a refreshing change from their normal school day. Primary also holds regular meetings so volunteers can share teaching ideas and suggest activities that have worked well with their own classes. Loads of the public holidays and important calendar dates are part of Primary Teaching at SKIP and it’s a fantastic opportunity to learn about Peruvian culture and values making posters and wall displays to share our work with the whole SKIP community.

Mothers DayPrimary Teaching isn’t just about being in the classroom everyday as there are so many opportunities to be outside, go out on day trips (I was lucky enough to take my classes to the beach and a world-touring circus during my time) as well as the end of term celebrations where classes, small groups, pairs or individuals can present their achievements and show off their crazy amazing talents, whether that be singing, drama, poetry or dance. A number of the children are nominated to receive individual recognition for their efforts and achievements and being a Primary Teacher I was full of pride to see my students go up and receive their certificates in front of their SKIP classmates as well as parents.

It’s not until I’ve come to write all this down that I realise how difficult it is to really put into words what it means to be a part of SKIP as a Primary Teacher. It’s a school and a community like no other but most of all it’s all about positivity and FUN. With all the happy memories, smiles and laughter and friends I made whilst volunteering in SKIP I am definitely assured that it was the best way have spent my Year Abroad. I just wish it didn’t fly by so quickly!

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August Newsletter

Read all our lates updates in the August Newsletter – See the our latest project develop as we build two new classrooms and find out about what our volunteers really think about their international volunteering experience with SKIP….

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The Vanity and Villainy of Volunteer Tourism

One of our fantastic volunteers, Hatty Farnham, had a thought provoking article published this week reflecting on her experiences volunteering in Peru with SKIP. There is an excerpt from the article below or you can read the full article on the Abstract Magazine website

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“…Before we are able to change the lives of others we must change our own. There is an ugly double standard in the colonial arrogance which allows willing yet unexperienced western volunteers to believe that they may teach children, work in medical clinics, or “change a life” simply by offering their time. Would we allow untrained medical students to operate on our grandparents in the UK? Would we be comfortable with adults entering a nursery or school without training or background checks at home? Or with groups of tourists photographing orphans in a care home in London? It’s so easy for us to excuse these bad practices abroad because without them, without foreign aid, even in the form of volunteer tourism, the reality may be even worse.”

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Youth Volunteering Project

Since the secondary programme began and as the years have gone by we have seen the children finish, and have followed what they have gone on to do in their lives for their families and for themselves when they have been into the office on occasions for advice and information.

Over the past years, we began to think about the possibility of involving them once again in SKIP. Why not call them again to see if they want to take part as volunteers? Who better to take on the role of assistants than those who have been in the classrooms? What better example for the children than other classmates who have already finished and are moving forward with their dreams? Why not someone who has been here before and who knows the programme?

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After several calls and meetings arranged through the families, in April we began this new graduate project. Three meetings were held with everyone who was interested, and we established the objectives of this new project, the activities they wanted to develop, their availability and interest in returning.

The idea is that on the one hand they will take part as classroom assistants and on the other they will be able to take the class they like most. At the same time we want to create a communication area which can be used to carry on learning but can also work as an information exchange, a place to bring ideas which can be enjoyed, an information point for concerns that might arise….a space that can be used to teach from their own reality, their personal experience of life based on everything they learnt as they passed through the classrooms at SKIP.

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To see that it is possible to follow dreams such as being a dance teacher, lawyer, doctor, police officer, school teacher, to combine their studies with giving their free time to the place they enjoyed not so long ago.

Jennifer, Marco, Carlos, Johny, Ada, Rosa, Jordan, Toushman,… Thank you for joining our-your team and for making this dream a reality!

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The Waves of the Sea bring Smiles, Hope and Excitement

Twice a year we go on a day trip with the SKIP students. Our aim is to have fun while, at the same, learning in a context outside that of the written word and the adding up of columns of numbers.

On this occasion it was the beach, in Salaverry. The town is home to a fishing port, boats of all sizes, fishermen and a peaceful beach.

We had it all planned; the only thing left to do was to let the families and students know the day and time for the enjoyment of a day of sun, sea and sand. Then, at the last minute, we were told that the buses we had been relying on weren’t available… Oh, no! (heads in our hands), What do we do? (all hands on deck).

No sooner was it said than done! Enthusiasm, love and hope are what drive us, and, so, we started to mobilise friends, relatives, past volunteers, etc. via social networks, and within two days we had enough money to hire buses to take all the SKIP students! It’s incredible how many generous people there are in the world…

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Families informed, rucksack packed with all the essentials, buses waiting at the gate, students brimming with excitement, mothers ready for the trip… Let’s go have some fun!

We all arrived at the beach wearing the biggest grins (needless to say that everyone had put on their best clothes, and even painted their nails), and, even though the sky was clouded over and there was a chilly breeze, nothing could stop us rushing to get straight in the water.

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Some of our students had never been to the beach before, so the trip was truly thrilling.

At SKIP we have daily, weekly and monthly plans for our work with the students, but, on this occasion, we let the students themselves organise the day’s activities.

Dipping our feet into the cold salt water for the first time, castles, pictures traced and shapes dug out in the earth, games in the waves, splashing each other, catching fish with our hands, finding sand crabs, searching for crabs among the rocks and watching how they move, more raucous games in the waves, chasing seagulls and watching them flock together, burying our feet in the sand, our hands, our bodies, digging and digging in the sand, fear and nervousness in the face of the unknown, the feeling of freedom with each movement in the water and in the sand, brimming with curiosity at each step, each movement, profound excitement conveyed in hugs and wide smiles, discovering what our bodies can do, making up incredible tales about huge fish, lauded friendship and fun group games, running and running til arriving breathless at the end of the beach, sharing food, along with love and joy, on the sand, going to the harbour to watch the fishermen, long walks together, races along the beach, happy mothers wearing smiles while they walk, talk, watch the goings on around them or buy fish, everyone transformed into children feeling the excitement of each of the SKIP students, smiles and understanding shared between us all, gratitude, joy… immense joy.

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Each game, each movement, each discovery… charged with beautiful emotions and feelings, of those that fill the heart, that are so intense that they wear out the body sending you to sleep on the bus ride home.

And so it was. We came back delighted and happy with the lovely day that we’d shared, worn out by the excitement, the races and the games.

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On the bus ride back to SKIP, everyone friends, everyone thrilled, everyone happy, everyone dreaming of the next trip.

Many thanks to the team of volunteers that, as always, gave their all: Adrián, Claudio, Fabianne, Fin, Hannah, Jacky, Katalina, Lali, Mar, Maja, Minerva, Silvia and Víctor. Thanks to the mothers, our classroom assistants, who accompanied us, along with their love and excitement. To the anonymous people who donated money so that we could realise this dream. To the bus company for looking after us on the way there and back.

The day was filled with magic, love and excitement, giving our all to the children who charmingly thanked us with their best smiles, and most heartfelt hugs and impassioned expressions.

Just like the ocean, every day we continue to drench ourselves in life!

Vanessa,
Primary Coordinator.