Superlearner is an Italian NGO operating in Lima (Peru). Founded in 2017, it is a volunteer association that provides informal education.
In Peru, more than 50% of students do not reach basic-level standards in reading, science, and mathematics. Public schools represent less than half of Peru’s educational institutions and more than half do not have access to three basic services – water, electricity, and sewage.
It can be difficult to feel as though you can rise above such circumstances – these poor conditions seem to tell Peru’s children that they are unworthy, not smart enough, or even that they will not amount to anything. Superlearner aims to empower these kids to achieve their dreams through education. We believe that all children should be given the opportunity to grow into whatever they want to be. Our goal is to show them that this is possible.
Our volunteer project is based in Lima (Peru), in the sector of Pamplona Alta belonging to the district of San Juan de Miraflores.
Since the 1950s, this district has been the site of a series of migration waves from remote Peruvian regions. Thousands of poverty-stricken families chose to relocate here and built houses out of wood, cardboard, and plastic tarp. In particular, Pamplona Alta was primarily developed due to families who lost their houses in a large fire in 1963. After this fire, more families migrated from surrounding slums in Lima. Additionally, the Nueva Rinconada neighborhood is located at the height of the hills in Pamplona Alta and was chiefly developed in the 1990s. Nueva Rinconada lacks running water, basic infrastructure, and at times electricity – this makes it one of the poorest areas and difficult to access.
Superlearner does not want to simply bring meaningful education to some of Peru’s most vulnerable children – we want to empower them to build resilience through the confidence that true education provides. We do not want to only “help” communities with short-term projects - we want to collaborate with them to build a long-term, self-sustaining program that fits their needs and continues to benefit local areas long after our volunteers leave. To reach these goals, we need to learn from each other and train local teachers or community leaders who can upkeep Superlearner’s work.
We are trying to put together an excellent team to make our pilot project effective, efficient, and successful. Every volunteer can personally contribute through their individual abilities, skills, and availability, becoming part of a large community.
Our curriculum is intended to supplement the education that our children are already receiving (our students all attend their local public schools). While any schooling is meaningful, our kids’ educational paths are substantially behind that of expensive Peruvian private schools. We aim to close this gap by offering reinforcement in subject areas that they are lagging behind in. We believe our students are as naturally talented and worthy as students from wealthier areas and backgrounds. And, in order to realize these talents, they need more individual attention and more comprehensive teaching.
The mission: the volunteer has to develop, in English, educational activities for children and teenagers – this will stimulate them to express themselves in this language.
- Plan and develop educational activities for children (ages 4-12) and teenagers
- Produce educational material
- Participate in meetings to coordinate teamwork
The volunteer is expected to be able to adapt to a different culture, be a team player, and be punctual for meetings. It is essential to bring a personal device like a laptop or tablet.
We do not ask anyone to pay fees for volunteering with us. The only cost is the subscription fee (10 Euros). We use this to pay for mandatory insurance as we are an NGO registered in Italy. However, as we are a small NGO working on a low budget, we cannot offer free accommodation and food, as all of our funds are used to realize our educational activities. Though, we can help volunteers find a cheap solution (sometimes a free one).
For this program, it's possible to carry out a virtual volunteer project (partially or completely depending on the tasks that the volunteer wants to take care of).