Casa Hogar San Francisco is a childrens housing project located in Rodríguez de Mendoza, in the Amazonas region of Peru. It was founded 13 years ago as a means to provide accommodation to children who want to attend school but live to far away to commute everday. It currently accommodates 16 adolescents who attend high school in the town Mendoza but whose families live far away.
At first, the idea was to provide a means for children to attend school whose families cannot afford to pay the cost of lodgings in town – the children's families pay a very minimal amount to cover accommodation costs. In the beginning it was only a lodging house, but over the years it has developed into more of a farming schoolhouse. It has a ranch where the children learn how to raise guinea pigs, pigs, chickens and pelibuey (an animal that's a cross between a goat and a sheep), as well as various vegetables in the eco-garden.
7 (out of the 16 students) reside at the Casa all week, while the rest return to their families over the weekend. There is a cook at the house and children get all their meals made for them. In order to provide a good balance of work and play, everyone at the project has a proper timetable for studies, their various tasks, and their free time. The children work on a rotational basis to share the tasks in tending to the animals and vegetable patch. They eat the products they grow and sell any surplus to support the management of the house. Casa Hogar San Francisco is already famous in Mendoza for the high quality of its products!
With the support of volunteers, this project envisions to give children with no money the resources and chance to study while also learning valuable skills that will allow them to provide for themselves financially after their schooling.
Volunteer Roles/Working Hours
As volunteer you will assist the children with their various tasks throughout the day, in whatever capacity she/he prefers. The children attend school in the morning and in afternoon they tend to the livestock and vegetable garden, as well as have other lessons such as information technology, theatre and music.
Teaching the children English would be very beneficial for them, so would likely form part of your volunteer role. You could also teach the kids anything you think might be useful or you and they would enjoy; for example art, cooking, sports. You can also help with the construction of a new kitchen and new bedrooms for the children.
All our volunteers are required to commit 20 hours per week (Mon - Fri), so your time will be coordinated around the timetable of the kids. Volunteers can schedule English classes from 8pm to 9:30pm from Monday to Friday, and any other activities which the volunteer would like to do with the children can be co-ordinated with staff members.
Spanish level: intermediate at least as this project is remote.
Minimum time commitment: at least 1 month.
Flexible and independent person, you must be comfortable living in a remote place
An ability to work of ones own initiative
Volunteers must enjoy working with children