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Performing Life Bolivia

Education Enrichment Assistant

Cochabamba, Bolivia

This program is developed and run by volunteers. Documentation of activities and transfer of knowledge to the next group is critical for maintaining momentum.

1. Introduction of the volunteer job

a) The purpose of the volunteer job is to provide Education Enrichment for youth between ages of 8 and 18 who participate in  Performing Life International, Inc. (PLI) Social Circus programs which currently take place in two satellite centers. 

b) Currently PLI is offering Educational Enrichment volunteer positions. Volunteers work with staff and youth to overcome the social exclusion of poverty while promoting youth integration into society.  The Education Enrichment volunteer will use media to disseminate awareness that, supported by positive values, children and youth can use their creative and artistic skills to be an engine of social change and a catalyst for community development.

c) The program of Performing Life International, Inc. (PLI) is about helping children and adolescents who are working on the streets, working in menial, often dangerous jobs, and living in situations of extreme poverty in Cochabamba, Bolivia to improve their daily lives and create better futures for themselves and their families through the arts.  

d) The Volunteer Position fulfills PLI’s mission by creating education enrichment programs that promote the social development of working children and youth.  Programs help youth develop practical skills to improve their economic and educational opportunities.

2. Description of the program

Many poor Bolivian children desperately want an education, a decent place to live, and hope for the future, but circumstances put them in risky, unhealthy situations. Performing Life is a proven model that successfully reaches at risk-youth to help them change their lives, together with their families, and communities. We are particularly proud that most of the youth regularly attending our programs attend school, have reunited with families, and no longer work on the streets. 

The Education Enrichment program is developed and run by volunteers. Documentation of activities and transfer of knowledge to the next group is critical for maintaining momentum.  The program is designed to broaden the horizons of youth who, coming from outlying areas with few resources, often attend low-performing schools.  Youth in our programs attend school, have reunited with families, and are no longer working or living on the streets. Since 2006, Performing Life has empowered over 3400 youth and family members to create better futures through the arts.

3. Volunteer Tasks

a)  As a volunteer, your job is to understand the education needs of PLI youth and create a Plan of Action with measurable results for your time with the organization.

b) The volunteers will help with one or more of the following tasks: contribute to the Education Enrichment Plan of Action; work together to develop and implement weekly series of classes that alternate with social circus classes in the centers;  maintain youth registration and daily attendance records; document classes, write reports, make observations, and take photos for monthly newsletters; and prepare regular evaluations analyzing the Plan of Action and actual results.

c)  The program is about empowering youth by teaching them productive skills that keep them in school and away from drugs while improving their chances for economic independence.

d)  The role of the volunteer is to develop short- and long-term educational projects that can achieve PLI objectives; communications strategies to engage diverse collaborators; and platforms for gathering community interests and values regarding education.

e)  The Volunteer will work with the National Director and Program Directors to improve education infrastructure; reach out to local collaborators and supporters; and facilitate communications between schools, youth, and families.

4. The Location 

a)  PLI programs currently take place in the Department of Cochabamba, one of nine departments in Bolivia. There is an office and music studio located in the city; circus and educational centers are located in Montenegro and Alto Buena Vista, each approximately one hour by public transportation from the city center.  Each center has a cafeteria and a manager, serving a meal after each class.  Each center has a Social Circus instructor and circus arts volunteers.  

b)  Volunteers working in the Education Enrichment Program will come to the PLI office in the City of Cochabamba every Monday at 9:00 for staff meetings, then either work in the office on their program planning and curriculum development or do errands required for the week's preparation. Volunteers may come into the office during Tuesday through Friday if they need to make telephone calls or work on their plans. The current office is small with only one computer for volunteer use. It is recommended that the volunteer bring their own computer.  For working during the week in the office, volunteers can schedule a time between 9:00 and 17:00, Tuesday through Friday to meet with collaborators or staff, conduct research, and prepare for classes.

5.  Expectations

a)  While enjoying themselves in whatever diversions they chose, the expectations are that the volunteer will develop and manage educational enrichment curricula, create innovative ways to engage youth from diverse levels of educational attainment; direct, produce, and disseminate enrichment programs in culturally-relevant formats that meet the special needs of the youth; create sustainable support from collaborators for special projects; market the Education Enrichment program to supporters, families, and volunteers; develop creative projects to improve youth educational attainment; and facilitate family understanding of the need for higher education.

b)  For  individuals entering Bolivia, the immigration department has Visa regulations that differ according to the country issuing the passport.  It is easier to enter as a tourist that as a volunteer.  PLI assumes that Volunteer World is advising on these issues, including computer and cell phone compatibility.  More details are in the PLI Volunteer Handbook, which is available in Spanish and English.  

Typical day

Work with other volunteers to develop a curriculum of creative learning experiences with youth that integrate a range of subjects; present daily activities that engage body, speech, mind, and the senses in a total process; encourage youth to explore new concepts, cultures, and ways of thinking; develop programs that help youth evolve a positive self-image, self-esteem, and relationship to learning; assess and evaluate participant progress throughout the program, including improvement in self-expression and self-confidence as a learner; help youth take responsibility for their own learning.

Locations:  Educational programs take place in two outlying communities:  Montenegro and Alto Buena Vista.   Social Circus and Health Programs take place in the same locations.  The Administrative Office and Music Studio are located in Zona Sarcobamba in the city of Cochabamba. Inexpensive public transportation is available to all locations from the city center.


Schedule: 

·       Mon, 9:00-11:00, staff and volunteer meeting; break for lunch; 13:00-17:00 meet with Program Director and other team members; complete weekly reports; develop special projects; develop program curricula; schedule presentations by resource groups.

·       Tue. through Fri., 9:00 – 17:00 work in one of the two Circus Centers where there are morning classes and lunch, then afternoon classes and dinner.  Volunteers can take their meals with the classes. 

·       Volunteers schedule times for curriculum development, registering participants, assessments, evaluation, maintaining documentation in participant folders, and meeting with families.  

·       Education Enrichment programs have morning and afternoon sessions.  Volunteers can adjust their individual schedules to meet needs for language classes or study time.  

 

Vacations:  Mid-December to mid-January; first two weeks of July

Details on Arrival

Volunteers are accepted in the programs any time during the year, except during vacations when no one is in the office.  Some volunteers arrive during vacations and use that time to travel around Bolivia before beginning work in the program.  Our schedule runs according to the public school year.  Volunteers who arrive at the beginning of the year should plan to be here the last full week of January when the team assembles and prepares to begin the program the first part of February.  Those who are here at the end of the program, usually the first week in December, should plan to stay for another week to prepare program documentation, help with year-end wrap up, and prepare sections of the annual report.  During the two-week vacation in July, many volunteers organize sightseeing and exploring ventures.  The other major holiday is Carnaval, when most  volunteers go to Oruro for the world-renowned folkloric parade.  Many volunteers come individually, while others come in groups of two to four. 

Free-time activities

Cochabamba is a very interesting, lively place. There are plenty of sports and outdoor activities for those who like to be physically active. There nice restaurants, interesting public markets, and well-stocked supermarkets for those who enjoy good food and cooking. There are clubs for those who like dancing and nightlife. And there are lots of other activities such as lectures, films, games nights, poker tournaments, dance classes, and concerts presented by local groups of all kinds. Several countries maintain centers in Cochabamba, offering regular programs and opportunities to meet new people. There are numerous museums and cultural exhibits that are a good introduction to the region. The surrounding villages and countryside offer beautiful places to visit. 

Volunteers frequently organize weekend trips to towns, national parks, and other attractions nearby. For example, Toro Toro features caves, waterfalls and dinosaur footprints; Chapare offers rainforests with monkeys, birds, and other wild animals; while the archaeology site of Incallajta and nearby Pocono provide the contrasts and connections between the people of pre-colonial times and current populations.

Water Sports
Swimming
Concert/Music
Climbing
Hiking
Museum/Opera
Sports
Riding
Winter Sports
Yoga/Meditation

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s). Of course, there is an exception for children that are accompanied by their parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak Spanish (fluently)
Health Declaration
required
Criminal Background Check
required
Education Requirements
at-risk youth, different learners, experiential methodologies at University, Gap Year, relevant professional skills (we do not accept high school students) level
Required Documents
Current CV or Resumé and " Valid passport with Bolivian regulations depending on country issuing it.
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
abilities to awaken curiosity and love of learning; multi-cultural and multi-lingual skills
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 09:00 - 17:00

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Families
Groups
50+

Any questions? Just ask. We at Performing Life Bolivia are happy to help you.

Contact Project Coordinator
Contact & Reservation
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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Performing Life Bolivia.
Airport Pickup at J Wilsterman Airport

Performing Life International / Fundación EnseñARTE Bolivia does not charge any fees to volunteers.  


Pick up is available from Wilsterman Airport or the Bus Terminal in Cochabamba.  Please send us your date and time of arrival, transport name, and bus/flight number at least five business days in advance of arrival.

Food & Beverages

Performing Life International / Fundación EnseñARTE Bolivia does not charge any fees to volunteers.  


The Social Circus, Education, and Health centers have cafeterias providing free meals to youth, Tuesday through Friday, following morning and afternoon classes.  Any volunteer who is at the center during meal times is welcome to share a meal with youth.


Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees. Please arrange your own accommodation.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is J Wilsterman Airport (CBB) in Cochabamba. We assist you to find cheap flights to Bolivia.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Bolivia provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Bolivia you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Bolivia.
Americas South America Bolivia Cochabamba, #58 Calle Chipaya

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