Venture with Impact has partnered with Otra Cosa to provide volunteer opportunities to promote social development and education in local communities. Otra Cosa's vision is to create equal opportunities in Peru for everyone to succeed and thrive.
What is Otra Cosa & How can I help?
"Otra Cosa Network runs five of our own projects, which are all part of the Huanchaco Education and Learning Programme (HELP). HELP is dedicated to advancing the education possibilities and resources for the lower income children and adults in Huanchaco and the surrounding shanty towns."
What are the five HELP Projects?
- HELP Women
- HELP Environment
- HELP English
- HELP Literacy
- HELP Youth
Which HELP Projects am I able to participate in through Venture With Impact?
- HELP Women
- HELP Environment
- HELP English
- HELP Swimming Lessons
- HELP Youth
What is HELP Women?
"The HELP Women program tries to help women in a variety of aspects of their life, which makes for many interesting volunteer opportunities. The program offers different skills classes to the women which gives them the opportunity of selling their projects to receive an income and put food on the table. The vast majority of women with whom we work with receive a very low income and very few of them have jobs outside of the household. To give the women a better chance of succeeding and a means to earn an income, we want to offer them classes in basic business and marketing as well as workshops and training to support their education and personal and professional development. many women in Peru are often unaware of their rights, live with domestic violence and many girls get pregnant at a very young age. Education and support for their basic rights, family planning and sex education is therefore also needed. The majority of the women have either no education or have only finished the first few years of school, and a few of the women have also expressed an interest in classes to learn some of the basics including reading/writing, math and English."
Watch this video to learn more about HELP Women (below):
What is HELP Environment?
"One of our biggest goals is to have clean beaches and communities in Peru by educating youth to become environmental leaders who will then lead the environmental conservation efforts in the future. We believe that education on a grass root level is the key to creat an aware, knowledgable and involved next generation!"
Below are three ways the HELP Environment is working in the community:
- "The 'Yo Cuido Mi Playa' Campaign - One Sunday each month local youth from our partner schools and projects that have received environmental education and training will join us at the beach in fun, interactive activities based on environmental education and carried out through team exercises, petition signing, competitive beach clean-ups, etc.
- Trainings and Workshops - We have begun developing and carrying out trainings and educational activities to teach the children and youth in the local schools and our partner projects about the environment, pollution, and global climate change as well as how we can truly make a difference for the future of our beaches, our oceans, and our planet.
- Promoting Local Government Schemes - We work to promote the newly started recycling scheme in Huanchaco, by educating our partner projects about WHY it is important to recycle, and how to go about to become part of the recycling scheme. This is a new and promising governmental scheme, and by promoting it and making sure they reach more households, we contribute to the long term sustainability of safe recycling in Huanchaco.
Watch this video to learn more about HELP Environment (below):
What is HELP English?
"In Peru the English language is part of the government designed school curriculum. It is technically a requirement for schools to have English lessons. However, the schools in our area, like many others, are neglected and are not provided the resources or teachers to have English in their schools. At private schools children are made familiar with English at a young age however these schools are not within the means of the communities we work with. So this is where HELP English comes in. The goal of this program is to provide equal educational opportunities to students in local states schools as the children who attend private school receive in the form of English classes. On top of the attempt to close this gap, it is widely recognized that speaking English is very important in today’s world, providing access to more job and educational opportunities."
Watch this video to learn more about HELP English (below):
What is HELP Literacy?
Please note that we only accept long-term local interns at this project. Venture With Impact does not currently partner with HELP Literacy.
"This project began in 2013 when Otra Cosa Network received a grant from LitWorld, a US-based non-profit, to set up a reading club for girls, known as a LitClub, in the shanty town of Cerrito de la Virgen. LitWorld recognises that literacy provides access to history, knowledge, creativity and democracy and so aims to create social transformation at a grassroots level by funding LitClubs to improving literacy in disadvantaged communities in both the US and around the world.
The focus of the LitClubs is to help the children engage with and enjoy reading, writing and storytelling, whilst promoting self-confidence. Many of the parents in the areas where our LitClubs are based have not completed school and a few of the children have already been forced to drop out of school, in order to help with responsibilities at home – be that cooking, cleaning or looking after younger siblings. This means that for many of them, reading for pleasure is something completely new. The LitClub classes focus on reading, comprehension and creative writing to encourage the girls to use their imaginations.
Our LitClubs run once a week as an after-school activity for children aged 10-15 years old and the leaders of our LitClubs are members of the local Huanchaco community. The LitClubs are single-sex environments and aim to provide the children with positive role models of their own gender, as well as to create a safe space where they can build their self-confidence. The LitClub curriculum is based around seven key strengths which are designed to foster trust and mutual respect between the members of LitClub:
What is HELP Youth?
"The children living in Cerrito did not have access to a particularly stimulating environment, or much to amuse themselves with and as a result, they tended towards misbehaving and acting up. However, our volunteers saw a lot of potential there, realized that with a little attention and some activities, these children could really flourish. With some land donated from a local surf school, the volunteers mobilized and built the Skate Ramp to offer a fun and stimulating environment for the children to play in. In 2015, thanks to a massive fundraising effort from volunteers and supporters locally and internationally, we changed location (two blocks away) and built an all-concrete Skate Park with a proper side classroom for non-skate activities for children in Cerrito de la Virgen to enjoy."
Watch this video to learn more about YOUTH Swimming Lessons
Information taken in part from Otra Cosa. For more information on Otra Cosa, visit http://otracosa.org/