It is hard to believe, but some individuals live on less than $1 a day! While education is free and mandatory over 280,000 children do not attend school because families depend on them to generate income. The government involvement in the country has heightened in the last decade, which has resulted in children either orphaned, abandoned or forced out of their homes to be placed in Social Welfare Housing.
Much of the assistance for Social Welfare Housing stems from organisations or religious associations from the local area. The local church will raise funds and hosts events to provide activities and engagement for the children under the care of the governmental systems. The purpose of this is to establish an awareness within the community and engage the churches to give them a role and responsibility in the lives of these children. Activities for those in the system include self-awareness, women’s healthcare & puberty assistance, counselling, education assistance and more. Due to the interaction of the church there is a great influence of Christianity and volunteers will encounter this on a consistent basis.
The hope of these institutions is that the home is a bridge to gap the time from their original home to their new home. The foster care system is very strong in aiding to the needs of the children and helping them cope with the lifestyle they came from. In many cases children have been victims abuse. The children are provided with stimulating activities, education, nutrition, healthy home-environment, weekly evaluations with a psychologist and community engagement.
While this reality is hard to face, these housing facilities are a much better outcome than the life of child prostitution, drug abuse, gang violence and crime awaiting them on the streets. The mission of PMGY Costa Rica is to provide assistance for the care givers and offer companionship for the children within these settings. To ensure our volunteers are equipped the childcare programme will include 1 week of language classes to start your project!
On the other end of the spectrum, many parents whom can find work will start early in the morning and work well into the evening. Coronado has a series of nurseries for young children to attend where they are provided meals, education and a place to rest. Volunteers are especially needed in these locations as the ratio of caregivers to children is 1:25 at times. The children are very cute and full of energy so get ready for craft time, meals and lots of singing!
Can I use PMGY's programmes as part of a university placement?
It is certainly possible to use one of PMGY’s programmes as part of your university or college placement. Project staff can sign off any paperwork required by your course tutors. PMGY regularly receives medical, childcare, psychology and nursing placement students at our projects around the world and we have ties with some of the leading universities.
If you’re a course tutor and would like further information about how one of PMGY’s programmes could meet the placement requirements for your degree course then please message us.
Is it safe to travel to PMGY destinations?
Although our volunteers work in the developing world, we always ensure our host locations are safe. Each programme has been extensively researched and has passed our strict vetting process. Our UK team undergo an extensive routine when establishing our in-country infrastructures and we continue to monitor our safety procedures on a regular basis. Furthermore, we monitor the stability of our volunteer destinations on a daily basis. Through our constant contact with consulates and embassies and our reports from our overseas teams, we are able to ensure that our volunteers are never placed in unstable regions.
The PMGY team have visited and participated in every programme we offer and verified them based on our own independent criteria. We carefully inspect every little detail of our set-up.
In emergency situations we have the necessary protocols and equipment in place and we are able to evacuate our volunteers from potential dangers. Our local coordinators are trained to deal with emergency circumstances.
When you join PMGY we will send you a Volunteer Handbook. This document addresses a range of issues such as health, safety, visa issues etc. Furthermore, our UK team are only ever a phone call away should you wish to discuss any aspect of your upcoming programme. When you arrive in-country, you’ll be given a comprehensive safety briefing during your orientation course by our local coordinators.
All our local teams are experienced development professionals who have years of experience in hosting international volunteers. They are our representatives on the ground and will assist you 24/7 throughout your stay. Whether you need to call home, travel at the weekend or require urgent assistance – they are there to support you.