AMY – COLOMBIA
“Supporting disadvantaged children and young people”
My name is Amy and I am volunteered in Bogota’, Colombia.
HOGAR DE ENCUENTRO:
The aim of project is to provide a safe house for children before and after school and provides them with regular sessions with resident psychologists. The project also aims to give the children a non-formal education through running workshops. Volunteer duties are to assist with workshops such as sex education, drug rehabilitation and understanding children’s rights, to help children with their homework, as well as more social activities such as trips to the park and the city and dancing lessons.
MY PROJECT WAS
supported by the YMCA and so there was a strong religious element to all the work that is done. As the only English speaker I also gave English class to a group of teenagers in the afternoon.
TEACHING ENGLISH WAS MORE THAN
speaking English. It was is also an introduction into difference in cultures, geography of the world including their neighbouring countries (this includes the fact that different languages are spoken in different countries) and answering questions about England and Europe.
IT WAS DIFFICULT FOR ME WHEN
one of the boys I work with lost his mother to cancer. At the age of 7, he was an orphan as his father was no longer around either. He was looked after by his older brothers who were only 17 and 18. As I had an especially close relationship with this boy, I spent quite a bit of time with him and it was very sad to see such a small child beginning the grieving process and trying to make sense of what has happened. However, it also meant a lot to me that he came to me for hugs, to talk about her and just to sit next to someone. It was moments like this that make my experiences and challenges in Bogota’ worthwhile.