Psychology/social work at home for ex-street children

In Peru childhood is one of the most vulnerable and unprotected periods of a persons life. Two thirds of children under the age of 5 live in poverty, and 2 out of 10 live in extreme poverty. Similarly, 4% of children aged between 5 and 11 years do not attend school. More than 54% of the population lives in poverty or in extreme poverty meaning children and adolescents are at great risk.


Street children are minors at social risk who live in deplorable conditions on public roads where they eat, sleep, steal, sniff glue, and are victims of labor and sexual exploitation. 92% of these children consume drugs and alcohol. This critically affects their mental and physical health. These children mostly come from dysfunctional families with major economic problems, where they were often victims of abuse and violence, and are far more likely to drop out of school. Their personality is characterized by low self-esteem, frustration, irritability, deficits in self-control, distrust of others, problems with authority and exacerbation of sexuality and aggression.


Started in 2001, the home for ex-street children is a non-profit organisation whose goal is to provide children and adolescents living in the streets and in extreme poverty an opportunity for a better future. It strives to generate the necessary means and resources needed in order to reintegrate the children into society. The home is located in Huanchaquito and has the capacity to accommodate 20 children.


The house is run according to a very rigid schedule. When a new child enters the home he will learn the rules and regulations and have to adapt to living in a group, which helps in reducing anti social 'street' behaviour. The childs integration into life in the home is aided by a multi-disciplinary team of professionals - teachers, psychologists, social workers – as well as a varied program of activities.


Volunteer Roles/ Working Hour

For Psychology:

  • Assisting in initiating and developing psychological workshops.

  • Supporting therapeutic activities.

  • Supporting the psychological evaluation of the children.

  • Observing and monitoring the work of the institution (learning and training).


For Social Work:

  • Assisting the social worker in taking the children to various appointments

  • Delivering documents to different institutions.

  • Accompanying the children to visit their families.

  • Assisting in organizing birthday celebrations.

  • Implementing recreational activities for parents and children during the visit days.

  • Working hours can be flexibly arranged. Volunteers are required to commit 20 hours per week of volunteering.


Volunteer Requirements

  • Spanish Level to Start Project: Higher Intermediate

  • Time Commitment: Min. 2 months

  • Minimum Age: 21 years

  • Experience working with children and/or adolescents

  • Professionals or students in relevant area (social work, psychology etc)

  • Enthusiastic and Punctual

  • Ability to work in a team

  • Responsible and mature


Prospective volunteers for this project must provide a CV and motivation letter both written in Spanish

Minimum Age (on Arrival)Level of SpanishMinimum Time Commitment
25+AdvancedMin. 2 months
Type of Role(s)Health and social work
Level of Project Structure
Loosely structured - Newer project and/or roles not clearly defined - volunteers need to be flexible, ask questions and offer suggestions
Specific Skills/Experience Required
Volunteers must be mature, self-disciplined and be able to be a role model to kids. Relevant academic & professional experience in Psychology & Social Work is required for this position. Punctuality and adaptability are also essential traits. Volunteers may need a full criminal record check.

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