Saturday, May 24, 2008

Graffiti Taller

These past few weeks has seen an impressive graffiti workshop taking place at Conviven. A volunteer from Norway Sgur Seibt came to Buenos Aires to visit his girlfriend who is working as a volunteer at Conviven. They came up with the idea that as he was here he could do his own graffiti workshop with the kids. The project took some planning and of course fundraising on their part to be able to get all the spray cans needed for the project. The project would involve spraying the entrance hall way of the center and also some seperate workshops with youths in a prison. All of us have been very impressed with Sgur and Siri's commitment and hard work. The results are breathtaking and now every time I go to work I am reminded how much can be achieved when a person is really willing to get their hands stuck in. 
Thanks guys! We are really gonna miss you. 

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Road Trip

Saturday saw us all venture out of the city for a much needed break.

Armed with snacks, drinks, a guitar and a frisbee, we made the journey in a SUV and an exhausted old car to an Estancia 2 hours from Buenos Aires.

A dirt track coming off the highway led us to our picture -perfect sleepy ranch. In the neighbouring fields, horses grazed and locals played polo. After the clamour of the big city,
this place was perfect.

Those of us feeling a bit gaucho tried our hands at horse riding. The guys at the ranch cooked us up a mouth watering 'asado' on an open fire. A few of the group went to watch a polo match, while the rest of u entertained ourselves with football, volleyball and a frisbee.

When everyone regrouped at dusk, we gathered around the fire- Nate played us some tunes on the guitar and made us all happy.

All in all, a pretty sweet day......

[ Arjun ] 

Monday, May 12, 2008

Cecilia: An experience for life

Everyone should take the opportunity to become a volunteer. That is my conclusion after working as a volunteer at Conviven for nearly 2.5 months, writes our former volunteer Cecilia from Sweden.

Being a part of a team and knowing that your effort and contribution matters is a good feeling, as well as dedicating your time to people that are less fortunate than you when it comes to education, work, health and opportunities in life. A few years back, I actually attended a program called the corporate community and engagement program, a program meant to prepare its participants for the future workforce by organising volunteer placements. Back then, I was too busy with university and my part-time job to really appreciate my volunteer placement. As you probably can imagine, I did not stay for a very long time.

Therefore, when deciding to go to Argentina to work as a volunteer, I decided to take some serious time off in order to really be able to enjoy my stay, as well as making a difference, if not a great one, at least a small one that would matter to someone. And as a result, my experience became a totally different one. Being able to see the progress the kids make at class, as well as the improvements that take place thanks to dedicated staff and volunteers is really a good feeling. Also, the opportunity of becoming a part of a different kind of lifestyle and culture.

I can only hope that the future volunteers will take care of Conviven in the same way as the present and old volunteers have. And not forgetting that their time and experience here also will be one for life.

Fundraiser on Labour Day

Of course I plan a fundraiser for Conviven on the same day as a national holiday, Labour Day, in Argentina, writes our fundraising coordinator Alex Salas.

Despite this case of bad planning on my part the night was a big success. We are trying to secure an "Asocacion Civil sin fines de lucro" status, which is a legal filing that confirms Conviven's non profit status and legally registers the organization as an NGO. With the title, which must be processed by a lawyer, accountant or notary, Conviven can operate as an independent organization, open a bank account and raise funds that will go directly to Conviven and its community.

Conviven has operated since 1994, but has remained under the guidance of other NGO's like Help Argentina. They have been wonderful in supporting Conviven, but as is the case in all walks of life, it’s time for Conviven to spread its wings and operate independently. We feel that this will be the first step in the long and successful journey that Conviven will embark on. We have the foundation, the leader, the volunteers and more importantly the CHILDREN who are eager to learn, build and excel.

Through friends and family we managed to raise quite a lot of money which will go directly to the process of securing the Asocacion Civil. We are well under way and look forward to the new path that awaits Conviven.

Thank you to the volunteers of Conviven who helped entertain that night! You were great and I couldn't have managed with you.