Placement: Counselor/Play Therapist needed at School in Huaraz, Peru

Placement Type: Teaching, Humanitarian
Continent: SouthAmerica
Country: Peru

Type of volunteers accepted: Individuals, Partners, Small groups, Large groups
Maximum number of volunteers: 1-10
Minimum length of placement: 3 months
Average length of placement: 3 months

Preferred languages: English, Spanish

Price per week: £50 - £100


No dates provided.

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About the Placement

We are a registered charity which works to fight poverty by providing education and material assistance to some of the poorest children.

Our mission is to support children living in extreme poverty, providing education and vocational training for those without economic means, enabling them to break the cycle of poverty.

The School was opened in March 2006 and we now work with around 50 children aged between 6 and 18 who are at high risk of dropping out of public school and with a small number of children who do not attend public school, working with them to raise the standard of their reading and writing to enable them to enter the education system.

We provide a supportive environment in which the children obtain help and encouragement with their homework. This is crucial as most of the children come from families where the parents have to work long hours to support the family and/or cannot read or write. In either case, they are unable to provide the help needed to ensure that the children remain in education until they graduate secondary school. We also try to educate the children’s parents about the importance of them staying in school and the long-term benefits that this will bring to the children and the family.

We recognise that these children need to overcome disadvantage and many other barriers to succeed in education, so we try to ensure the children have everything they need to participate in their education through emotional and material support.The children are taught to take responsibility for their own education and to value the opportunity they have to learn. They are also given emotional support from our volunteers, taught the importance of personal hygiene and provided with a nutritious meal at the end of each session.We help to provide the children with school uniforms, study materials and school matriculation fees as required. In addition, we also help to pay for medical assistance as the need arises.


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Role of Volunteer

The school in Huaraz was opened in March 2006. We now help around 50 children aged between 6 and 18. We hold our school in a small house with 3 classrooms, a kitchen where we make food for the children and a bathroom with running water. There is also a garden where the children plant vegetables and can play outside safely after class.

Many of the children and young people we support have experienced abuse and neglect and would really benefit from therapeutic intervention to enable them to come to terms with their experiences and move on to a happy and fulfilled life. These kinds of services are simply not available here in Huaraz.

We are looking for a volunteer with qualifications and experience to come to Huaraz for a minimum of 3 months and undertake this vital work. The therapist/ counsellor will be able to get to know the children and young people a little and enable them to access a minimum of 10, weekly therapeutic sessions.

Supervision, in English, will be available to the volunteer.

The School

The children receive help with schoolwork from Monday to Thursday. On Fridays we focus on personal and emotional development as most of the children have experienced difficulties leading to low-self esteem and other issues. The volunteer will also be able to help plan and implement this programme if they choose.

The Team

The volunteer will be working alongside a mixed, international team including experienced social workers with adolescent mental health and sexual abuse specialisms, qualified teachers, and students and graduates who have an enthusiasm and energy to help support the children with their daily learning.



Travel Information

The easiest way to get to Huaraz is to fly to Lima and then take a bus up to Huaraz. The bus journey takes 7-8 hours. There are 2 main bus companies that we recommend using. We are happy to arrange this transport for you if you prefer.

Huaraz is one of the best places in South America to enjoy superb mountain scenery and plenty of outdoor activities such as trekking, mountain climbing, mountain biking, skiing and rafting. It’s also a great place for the less adventurous, who enjoy going for day walks and exploring the villages and their lively markets. The setting of the city, at the foot of the Cordillera Blanca, is spectacular. You can see more than 20 snow-capped peaks over 5000 meters, of which the most notable is Huascaran (6,768m), the highest mountain in Peru. Huaraz has two main mountain ranges, both easily reached by public transport; the snow-capped mountains of the Cordillera Blanca (White Mountains) to the east and the Cordillera Negra (Black Mountains) to the west. Huaraz provides all the facilities and infrastructure required by volunteers - just about everything you need is on or near the main street, Calle Luzuriaga, including restaurants, tour operators and agencies, banks and the post office.


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