Monday, January 31, 2011

Zoo Trip

Just before Christmas we took some of the children from Conviven on a trip to Buenos Aires Zoo. We had a bus pick us up from the community center and drive us into the middle of the city. A few parents came along to help chaperon the group. The kids where aged from 5 to 15 and where ready for their day out! We spent the afternoon going from cage to cage seeing such a wide range of animals most of witch the children had never seen before. I am pretty sure the elephants and polar bear where their favorite. For lunch we had lots of sandwiches and the children got to hang out in the play area which was full of swings and slides. As the trip drew to a close the children where still full of energy running round with smiles on their faces but for the
grown ups it was time to pack up and head home.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Mural Project in La Mantanza - Fun, Art & Action!

Conviven will soon be opening a new Centre in La Mantanza. Conviven will be working closely with Patricias Argentinas who are an established organisation in the community.

In January 2011, Conviven & Patricias Argentinas worked together to create a beautiful mural at Patricias Argentinas Centre in La Mantanza.

Day 1

We all spent time in the afternoon with the children and teenagers
who attend the Centre
drawing out designs for the mural. The kids had really great, colourful ideas.

The Centre is a place of action, so we started transferring the designs onto the wall the same day. We worked together to decide the design and it was great to see everyone so enthusiastic about the project.

By the end of the first day, the teenagers had designed the mural and sketched the design on the

Day 2

So time to add some colour! The kids from the Centre were eager to paint so started right away.

The teenagers who attend the Centre arrived with lots of ideas for the final section of the mural. Before long, everyone was covering the walls (and themselves!) with paint.

It was great to see everyone working together & having fun.

Day 3

Everyone worked really hard on the final day to finish the mural. It was a really long, hot day
(34 degrees) but we still had lots of

We added a few more features to the murals and mustered all our artistic ability to make the mural as beautiful as possible. Here is the end result so you can judge for yourself………

Andrew & Alison, January 2011, London

My husband & I were very fortunate to be able to take 6 month career breaks. We are travelling around South America we spent five weeks volunteering at Conviven.

For us, Conviven is all about - taking action, involving the Community and making a difference.

Conviven are expanding and opening a new Centre in another under-privileged area in Buenos Aires (La Matanza). We were asked to start the English classes in the new Centre.

Andrew produced a flyer to advertise the classes and we started drafting our class plans. The Centre has very limited resources (only tables & chairs), so with no access to computers, blackboards….we set about improvising with hand-drawn flashcards and worksheets.

We had one little girl attend the first lesson; by our fifth lesson we had 11 children attending the classes. Andrew taught the older children (12 & 13 year olds) and I taught the smaller children (5 - 8 year olds). The children are very keen to improve their English and even asked us for homework!

Everyone at the Centre was very patient with our limited Spanish and the kids loved teaching us Spanish.

In December, we were very fortunate to be invited to the ‘despedida fin de ano’ party at
Conviven’s main Centre. All the children who attend the Centre & their families came along to celebrate the kids hard work during the year. The children’s art work & photography was
displayed around the Centre and there were many different performances - rock band, circus skills, tango, rappers….

It is amazing to see how Conviven achieve so much with so little and how a few people can make a huge difference.

If you are thinking about volunteering, we would really recommend Conviven. We have met so many incredible people, learnt about their communities & have so many great memories.