Report of a volunteer in Argentina
My stay at a NGO – day care center for children in Córdoba
At my social volunteer project the kids between 3 and 12 years of age get the possibility to spend the morning with extra tuition or sports. Most of the children come from poor families. Some of the parents have to work all the day and cannot care about their kids. This place, the “hogar de día“ also avoid that the children have to work to support their families if they do not have a job. For the NGO the awareness of the children´s rights for the parents as for the children themselves is of great importance.
The „hogar de dia“ only opens in the morning, because in the afternoon the children go to school. Early in the morning first we serve breakfast (tea and cockies) on arrival of the kids. Then they will be assigned to different groups regarding their ages. Every group will have extra tuition or sport lessons.
My task was first to help with the breakfast. Then I could choose to assist at the extra tuition or at the sport lessons. Most of the time I assisted the classroom.
I liked my work very much because it was very diversified with the kids. The children as well as the colleagues received me very hearty. Most of the kids were open minded and the contact was easy. Of course there were some exceptions with the kids. Especially children from “problematic families” were more repellent and close-lipped. By the time I learned about the family stories and I could deal much better with the kids.
The classroom not always proceeded without any problems. On some days the kids were so nervous that they did not make their excercises. Because here it is not so formal as in a regular school the kids ran away and preferred to play than to learn. But some kids have very poor general knowledge and the extra tuition is of vital importance for them.
The kids were very interested in my home country, my familiy and way of life in Austria. Once a morning I displayed a presentation about Austria and they were an excited audience.
Finally I would like to mention that it never happened that I felt rejection, envy or something similar despite of the great differences between me, my colleagues and the kids.
I just can confirm that I liked my five weeks of social internship at my volunteer project within this social institution. It was an important experience for me and I learned a lot.
Kerstin (19) from Neukirchen, Austria