1. Proper education
Many of the children often have mothers who work 6-7 days a week, from early morning to late in the evening, just to survive. Therefore they don't have much time or energy left for their children's homework and education. Classes in government schools are huge (sometimes up to 60 children per classroom), teachers receive little to no training or support, earn little money and don't care about individual students. Education is entirely based on memory. Volunteers will help kids with their homework. If they have no homework, they do fun tasks that support learning in a playful way. After homework, the children get a healthy snack and then groups rotate between sports, activities and individual teaching.
2. Healthy and balanced nutrition
A diet heavy in carbohydrates is common for the children. Rice, potatoes, bread and pasta are the cheapest and most common ingredients. Children almost never eat meat, fish, dairy products, vegetables or fruits. This is not just a problem for the development of their brains and muscles, but it also makes them receptive to bacteria and parasites. Every day at the project ends with proper hand washing, a healthy meal and teeth brushing. There is a 3 weekly rotation of recipes designed by a professional nutritionist that combines the rules for a healthy diet with the availability of local ingredients.
3. Health and hygiene
The majority of the kids here have never visited a doctor or a dentist. They have no running water or toilet in their home and they don't have a toothbrush or toothpaste. A lot of time is spent on teaching the children the basics like washing hands, brushing teeth and hygiene in general.
As a mentor a volunteer is responsible for one group of kids and will stay with them during the different parts of the project. They will work closely together with the organization's manager, the Peruvian teacher and the coordinators, and join the Monday and Thursday meetings.
All volunteer projects start on Mondays. You should, however, plan to arrive in Cusco on Thursday as you have a Welcome Package. This is an excellent introduction to the city of Cusco and the surrounding area and a great way to start your volunteer project. It includes a welcome drink, free Wi-Fi, a day tour to the Sacred Valley and a 2 hour horseback riding tour.