Volunteer blog: Peru Project 2015 Leeds RAG
Hello, I am Jessica Belfield and I have spent two consecutive summers volunteering in the Peru Project at SKIP through my university: Leeds. I have now graduated with a degree in Mathematics.
I have grown up with a love and interest in the Peruvian culture, so when this project was advertised around the university, I knew it was an amazing opportunity and something I had to participate in.
In my first year with the charity, I taught English in two of the local schools in Trujillo and in a variety of different classes within SKIP; some of these included Sports, Art and Library sessions. I thoroughly enjoyed building a strong relationship with many of the pupils as I taught them in both their Primary school and at SKIP.
As a group of 36 volunteers from Leeds University, we built a beautiful mosaic of the world in the outside playground in SKIP. We constructed all the pieces out of blue and green tiles except for Peru, which we had in red, so that it could stand out in comparison to the other countries. This was a fun project and hopefully a piece of artwork that will remain in the charity’s area for a very long time. We also painted beautiful animal images around on the walls to make the area look more colourful and enticing.
I loved the project so much, after it had finished, I applied for the Leadership role for the next upcoming year. I successfully passed as an applicant and at the beginning of the university term, started planning the project. There were four Team Leaders and two sets of groups each of around 20 volunteers. We had to gather our volunteers through advertising and then delivering presentations to gain a team. This was fairly easy as Peru is an interesting and fascinating country so many people were very keen to participate in the project. We managed our team efficiently by making sure they had guidance and support in their teaching and projects.
We also lead numerous projects, one of them included planning a very successful ‘Family Day’ which was an organised event to celebrate the charity’s successes with its team and members. It involved innovating a theme, short play and a range of fun activities; some of which included hat making, football and bowling.
Another project we did was renewing a classroom in SKIP. This involved sanding, debugging, repairing and then painting a classroom. The changes to the room were astonishing and our group were very proud of what we had achieved.
Lastly, we created a ‘Leeds RAG Games Box’ which included renewing or creating fun games for the children such as: Cards made out of DVD cases, Frustration, Fruit and Animal Snap, Guess Who, Operation, Maths Worksheets, Doll Dress Up, Dice, Checkers.
Overall, my experience with SKIP has been amazing and I have learnt so much about teaching and team leading skills. I adore the charity and will continue to remain in touch with them to see their positive developments and the growth they will have in the many years to come.