One of the problems faced by the children living in poor communities is that there is simply little time or encouragement for the children to learn skills and demonstrate talents that are not immediately “useful” or lie outside the formal school curriculum.
What do we do?
We fill these gap by running projects which, although they might not have precise goals for knowledge acquisition or skills attainment, captivate, entertain and inspire the children and at the same time reinforce the core values that underlay all our work. We uncover and develop talents for art, music, acting, dancing, etc. that may otherwise lay dormant.
A few examples of projects undertaken
- A theatre production with the children and volunteers doing set design and construction; props and costume design and manufacture; learning lines, stage directions and rehearsing; sound effects; promotional materials; refreshments for the audience; and of course the big day when the parents and community members were treated to the show.
- A musical production of the Lion King along the same lines, but with song and dance added.
- A project exploring the geography of Bolivia with emphasis on the different climate zones and the various flora and fauna to be found in each.
- A project to design, build and fly some “rocket candy” powered rockets. This involved constructing and decorating the airframes; mixing fuel; building and charging motors; preparing the launch site; and, on the big day, counting down (in English of course) and sending them arcing into the sky.
- Singing, dancing, percussion and guitar classes.
- A mini-Olympics involving teams of children of mixed ages training, practicing and competing against each other in multiple disciplines.
- Cycling classes. Thanks to a donation, we have a number of kids bikes of different sizes and teach the small ones how to ride, the larger ones how to ride responsibly and how to maintain and repair the bicycles.
The ideas behind these projects usually come from the volunteers and, as well as helping the children, they give opportunities for the local and international volunteers to exercise their creativity, showcase their talents, plan and take responsibility for a significant project.