Volunteer Work Latin America offers a social rehabilitation program in Argentina at a therapeutic household providing support and guidance to boys aged between 10 and 20. In general these youths have a hard-knock life from having lived on the streets or coming from situations of domestic violence, abuse or poor backgrounds. Some have mental disorders and behavioral problems.

There are about 25 boys living there at a time. The organization has the wish to build a common room for them to play games and also fix up the beautiful old building as it is currently in a rather rundown shape. Normally the boys go to school in different shifts, but some of them may also stay at home.

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A big requirement to work in this volunteer program is to possess a certain sensibility towards working with boys in difficult situations. It is particularly important to share time and interact with the boys. 

To learn more about the functioning of this Center of Social Rehabilitation in Buenos Aires we have asked a few questions to the coordinator of the volunteer program:

What are the goals of the organization?

  • Offer fundamental assistance (amongst other in schooling, health, documentation, recreation and above all a lot of love) to kids and adolescents who have been vulnerable in their rights.
  • Create spaces of emotional security and learning, where they can feel at ease and can build on their self-esteem; transforming usual activities in learning experiences, through acquiring habits, social norms and self-protection.
  • Promote, from a practical onset, their rights through networking with different institutes and the associated management for its respective defense.
  • To facilitate the planning and development of projects for life outside the institutional atmosphere.

What is the advantage of working with local and volunteers from abroad?
Working with volunteers is highly rewarding from every point of view. Different cultural peculiarities allow for an exchange of looks; stories and social get-togethers which yield innumerable mutual tradeoffs, enriching the lives of all part of it. Volunteers are a vital part in the structure of these Households as their assistance is incredibly helpful in the daily work we do with our children.

Generally, what are the tasks of the volunteers that mean most to the children? What are the benefits of the donation given by the volunteers?
Volunteers participate in various activities:

  • Early stimulation
  • School support
  • Recreation through music, art, etc.
  • Language teaching
  • Administrative tasks
  • Participating in excursions

The donation we receive is used for recreation and contributes to the acquisition of supplies needed to perform everyday tasks: school supplies, after-school workshops, etc. Last year, thanks to all these contributions, along with other gifts, we went on a holiday trip with all the boys from the Home, which enabled them to get to know the ocean.

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Briefly, until now how is your experience with volunteers who decided to collaborate with your organization?
Our experience has always been extremely positive. The kids accept the volunteers with enthusiasm, and the volunteers, in general, smoothly adapt to the dynamics of the Home.

If you would talk to a potentially doubtful volunteer, what would you say about the decision to be a social volunteer?
We strongly believe that volunteering is a unique opportunity giving volunteers and the kids of the Center the possibility to mutually inspire them. Volunteering to create a collective space of comfort by donating time, skills, knowledge and experience, with the aim of contributing to the consolidation and success of the Center is a very self-sacrificing act to do. I would reassure the volunteers, that they would enter a world of unimaginable experiences, that in many occasions will exceed the expectations they had when approaching the project for the first time.

To really make a difference, a commitment of minimum 4 weeks is required. Commonly the volunteers are at the home from 10 in the morning to 6 in the evening, from Monday to Friday. Volunteer Work Latin America can arrange up to 4 volunteer placements at the same time.

If you are interested please get in touch with us, referring to the program’s ID: SE-17, so we can send you the full details straight away!
Contact Volunteer Work Latin America here! or send an email to info4@volunteerworklatinamerica.org

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