Wednesday, January 19, 2011

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.

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