Is working with children in Peru right for me?
If you want to help support disadvantaged children, this project is for you.
It’s also a great option if you’re planning on a career where you’ll work with children. For future social workers and teachers, for example, this is relevant work experience to add to your CV. You’ll also develop skills like planning and leadership, which can help you in any career you choose.
Best of all, you’ll be working toward long-term, sustainable goals we’ve set, and helping where it’s needed most.
You don’t need any previous experience to take part when doing childcare volunteering in Peru. We’ll teach you everything you need to know, and our staff and the local teachers are there to guide you. We also run regular workshops for all Childcare and Teaching volunteers, where you can exchange ideas for activities and get advice.
Our Childcare Project in Peru runs throughout the year, and you can join us at any time from a minimum of two weeks. We encourage you to volunteer for longer, so you can have a bigger impact on the kids you work with.
What will I do during this project?
You’ll work with children at one of our partner organisations, and be a source of support for local teachers and caregivers. These are some of the activities you could take part in:
- Promote early childhood development through fun, educational activities
- Improve literacy and numeracy among children
- Support local staff at care centres and kindergartens
- Encourage regular hygiene practices, like hand-washing and brushing teeth
- Work at summer schools to run educational activities during school holidays
Your role at your placement will focus on the following areas:
Promote early childhood development through educational activities
Children learn a great deal in their early years. These skills ensure that they can thrive as they grow up and start school. With each child we work with, we have identified areas where they need improvement. These areas are related to their physical, social, and cognitive categories.
You’ll help by running activities and games. For example, a ball game can help improve hand-eye coordination. You’ll track and monitor the children’s progress through our Global Impact Database.
Help children improve literacy and numeracy
Learning the basics before they start school can boost a child’s confidence and get them off to a good start once they start school. You’ll help raise literacy and numeracy levels by doing fun, creative activities and playing games. You could also do things like singing a song about numbers to learn about counting.
Support local staff at care centres and kindergartens
As a volunteer, you’re a welcome pair of helping hands for staff at the care centres. You can assist with tasks like preparing teaching materials, planning classroom activities, and more. It’s also worthwhile to spend time creating resources like posters and flashcards. Teachers and other volunteers will be able to use these materials to teach long after you’ve left.
Encourage improved hygiene, like hand-washing and brushing teeth
An important part of your role is helping to keep the kids healthy. The best way to do this is to encourage good hygiene practices every day. Make sure they wash their hands before meals and snacks, and show them the most effective ways to brush their teeth.
Work at summer schools
If you choose to volunteer with children in Peru during the school holidays from January to February, you’ll work at a summer school. The children attending are between the ages of 7 and 14. At the summer school you’ll teach basic English, and do fun activities like arts and crafts or sports.
Where will I work in Peru?
You’ll live in Cusco, a fascinating city with a rich history. It was once the capital of the ancient Incan Empire, and the remains of this civilisation are clearly visible today. As you move through the city, you’ll move through different ages just by looking at the architecture around you. Cusco is near the Urubamba Valley, and is surrounded by the Andes mountain range.
You’ll work with children at one of our partner organisations. You can choose to work at a kindergarten, daycare centre, or special needs centre. Most of the children are from disadvantaged families. Their parents often have to work long hours to earn an income.
The centres also have large numbers of children, and the staff need all the help they can get to help each child.
A typical day on the Childcare Project in Peru
Your typical day in Peru will depend on which placement you are assigned. Generally, volunteers begin work at about 8am during weekdays, and finish in the afternoon at around 4pm. At some placements, volunteers finish slightly earlier in the afternoon.
During the day, you will help run the centre’s activities. For example, you’ll plan and run educational games to help the children learn a skill. You can also be involved with teaching children the basics of reading and writing. All the work you do is added to our Global Impact Database, so we can monitor the progress of each child.
There will be a break at about 10:30am, where you’ll supervise children while they play. You’ll also get a lunch break. Remember to remind them to wash their hands when they come running back inside!
In the evenings, you will return to your host family for dinner.
We sometimes organise community activities on days when there is no school. These can include visits to a centre for the elderly, where you can spend a day providing companionship and support to elderly people. You could help prepare meals, or take members for walks. Other community activities can include planting vegetable gardens and painting educational murals at schools.
You can use your free time and weekends to explore Cusco and go beyond the city. We recommend being adventurous and trying as much of the local food as possible! Also: a visit to Machu Picchu is a must!
What are the aims and impact of this project?
The main aim of this project is to support early childhood development and the work of local staff at disadvantaged care centres.
Many of these children are from underprivileged families, and their parents work long hours during the day to earn an income. The placements are often limited in their staff capacity, and local teachers struggle to provide individualised care and attention to all the children. We need volunteers to support the staff, and make sure the children learn the skills they need to thrive at school.
We have set goals for this project to ensure our impact in Peru has a responsible long-term impact. They cover these main areas:
- Promote early childhood development
- Increase literacy
- Increase numeracy
- Improve English
- Improve the quality of life for those living with disabilities
Experience volunteer opportunities with children in Peru, and help us reach these goals.
We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.
Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.
Measuring our impact
Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.
Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.
Leisure activities and free time
Peru is a vibrant country with a mix of activities for every kind of volunteer. Whether you’re into arts, culture, history, or nature, there’s sure to be something for you!
One of the biggest attractions of Peru is the Inca history. There are awe-inspiring archaeological sites like Coricancha, Tambomachay, and of course, Machu Picchu.
Over a weekend, you can take a trip to the village of Pisac, where you can browse bright, eye-catching textile markets. Don’t miss out on seeing the llamas and alpacas too!
There are also lively restaurants, the perfect place to spend an evening relaxing and enjoying local cuisine, like ceviche.
We run a variety of projects in Peru so you’ll likely meet many other volunteers on your trip. It’s the perfect opportunity to connect and travel as a group. However, you’re welcome to travel independently if you prefer.
Safety and staff support
Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.
Find out more about safety and backup.
Meet the team in Peru
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