We develop programs aimed at social development, the prevention of violence, the protection and defense of children who are victims of violence.
About the Program
We work every afternoon from Monday to Friday in two community centers 15min by car from the center of Cochabamba provided by the local communities. In each location, we have access to two classrooms, an outdoor parc and a sports field. We always have one educator who is supervising all activities accompanied by 3 to 7 local and international volunteers to carry out the activities. We have up to 40 children and adolescents in each site, aged between 2 and 17 years old. We divide the children into two groups: the small children (pre-school), from 2 to 7 years old and the older ones.
Each day we offer a program of activities that are both educational and fun for the different age groups. The activities go from teaching English, helping with homework, doing sports, creative projects around art (theatre, music, painting, drawing, etc.), community projects, health and nutrition.
Being present every day in these two communities prevent the children from being left alone in the streets and at risk of being victims from different kinds of violence. Indeed, their parents have to work long hours and are often not able to take care of their children, nor to support them in their formal education.
As some of the children are living in "favelas" types of home with no access to electricity and water, we provide each child each day with a healthy snack and drinking water. We also put the emphasis on hygiene as they have to wash their hands and brush their teeth with us.
Your Role as a Volunteer
As we have to manage a big group of children and only have one educator per location, we need volunteers to be able to run our activities. Furthermore, volunteers bring new and innovative ideas for activities and are therefore an added-value for the children. We expect volunteers to help the educator on-site every day with the activities for the children, to follow Bolivia Digna's rules, to represent the association towards the children and their families. We also expect the volunteers to come up with ideas for activities, discuss them with the educators and prepare them.
Volunteers will always be supported by the Volunteer Coordinator for any issues or concerns or to prepare its activities for the children. He/she will be supervised by an educator and/or the Volunteer Coordinator and will never be alone with a classroom.
We generally work 5 days a week (from Monday to Friday) and mainly in the afternoons so weekends are free to explore the city or travel farther afield to experience all that Bolivia has to offer.
We support the volunteers before, during and after their volunteering:
“I get up at around 8:00, walk round to the local shop to buy bread for breakfast. I eat breakfast and drink my coffee on the terrace while reading email, checking Facebook and important news from home – so far, very much like at home only sunnier!
I don´t have Spanish classes today otherwise I´d now be dreading what my teacher will say about my pathetic attempt at writing sentences using the subjunctive. Instead, I have another cup of coffee and chat with the other volunteers who are now emerging from their slumbers.
At 10:00 we have quick a team meeting to make sure everyone knows what will happen today on the projects. On Mondays we discuss plans for the week, on Fridays we evaluate how the week went and argue in a friendly way about ideas to improve. After the meeting I finalize preparations for my project for that afternoon. One of the biggest challenges, whatever the project, is to come up with content that is engaging, interesting and educational for all ages. I run my ideas past the teachers and a couple of the volunteers who will be working with me and make some last minute changes to the materials.
At 13:00 we are joined for lunch by the local volunteers. Lunch is one of the highlights of the day as Doña Soledad, our cook, will have conjured up one of the local specialties. We have a different meal every day. As it´s my turn to clean today, I help clear the table and wash the dishes. There is just time to pack a bag with snacks for the kids before the taxis arrive at 15:00 to take us to the projects.
We are greeted by an unruly and excited group of kids hanging around the door of the community center all claiming to have got there first (this gives them priority in the snack queue). Ater about 45 minutes of fun, but slightly chaotic class punctuated with laughter, tears and incredulous stares as my bad Spanish leads us all astray, we all agree that we have achieved something and we have a short break before wandering down to the “cancha” for a game of football.
We return to the building somewhat hot and sweaty with half the kids complaining about the “arbitro vendido” (corrupt ref) and form what in Bolivia is called a queue to get water and snacks, before everyone goes back home.
Volunteers' schedule is flexible in the mornings and they are free in the week-ends. The volunteer coordinator will always give them advice of what to do during the week in Cochabamba and in the week-end closeby or in the country.
The volunteers house is located right in front a nice square which is also a park (Plaza Cobija) where they can relax. In the city, they shouldn't miss the Christ which is the second highest in the world (higher than the one in Rio), the main square where there is also the biggest cathedral of the city, the Santa Theresa Convent where you have a nice view over the city, not to forget the biggest market of the country (La Cancha).
Fee for a shared room: 97,5$ per week (stated as above)
Fee for a private room: 112,5$ per week
We pick you up at the aiport in Cochabamba any time, any day.
Possibility to have a private room or a shared room in our volunteer house, situated in a central, residential and safe area of Cochabamba.
Shared rooms are usually shared with one or two persons from the same sex and you'll each have a single bed, a night table and enough space in the wardrobe for your clothes. The shared rooms are approximately 40m².
Single rooms are approximately 20m² and you'll have a double bed, a night table, a wardrobe and a desk.
There are shared bathrooms in the volunteers house. In addition, at the house, you have access to internet, washing machine, drinkable water 24h/7d, access to the kitchen in the evenings and week-end.
You also have the possibility to stay in the host family where you will have your own room and shared bathroom. Such as at the volunteers house you will have access to internet, washing machine, drinkable water and access to the kitchen.
Volunteers get breakfast and lunch from Monday to Friday.
Breakfast: bread with butter and/or jam, with coffee and tea.
Lunch: typical Bolivian food cooked by our cook. It usually consists in rice, potatoes, meat and vegetables, with some variations possible (soups, pastas). We are able to adapt to persons with special dietary requirements.