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PERU | Friday, 6 June 2008 | Views [923]

Yuri helping to teach the children at 'Seeds of hope'

Yuri helping to teach the children at 'Seeds of hope'

I arrived early in Cusco and I felt terrible for waking up all the volunteers at the 'Seeds of Hope' volunteer apartment, as it was only 7:30am. Javier answered the door (a young man from Peru who has been volunteering here for 4 months). I then met Betty who is from America, and has been volunteering here for only a week. Lastly, I met Yuri, (the founder of 'Seeds of Hope'), who is a kind young man of only 30 years.


The apartment is so nice and cozy. There is hot water in the shower, and a very comfortable and warm bed. I am sharing a large room with Betty, and there is one bed spare for when the next volunteer arrives. The volunteers here are so friendly, and have made me feel right at home.


I found out that 'Seeds of Hope' is not actually an orphanage, as I had originally thought. It is in fact an after school program for poor children, but some of the kids were orphans and had to find homes with other families.  


Yuri first opened 'Seeds of Hope' in Huraz about three years ago, and has only recently opened up the school here in Lima about six months ago. The school in Huraz is much bigger, but I think the school here is so lovely and quaint. It costs 50 centimos (about 20 Australian cents) to get the bus to and from the school. 


The classes run for two hours between 3pm and 5pm, and there are about 30 children between the ages of 7 and 14 years. Many of the children here can't afford to go to school, and so they come here to learn. There is a schedule of the activities, and all of the children seem eager to begin.


Betty sits down and talks to two girls who are early to class. One of the little girls (Jessica) begins to shine a small, pink, toy gun (which is also a light) onto the page where I am  writing, and then into my eye. I proceed to tell her that guns are bad... the girls giggle. 


The children begin the class by going over any homework they have from school (if they go). The others are also given activities to complete ranging from maths, Spanish language, history, culture, art and more. Later, they all make their way outside to the tap to wash their hands before eating bananas. Then they are all given their own toothbrushes to clean their teeth, then they pray, and then they leave to go home. Some children stay back and help to sweep and mop the dusty floor.    


I will be back there this afternoon to video the children and capture the sort of work that the volunteers are doing to help.


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