Thanks to the efforts of Cooperar Perú, three months ago a water tank was instaled in the community so all houses with access to the pipeline system can have running water in their homes. That has been one of the big achievements for the project, but its everyday runs much deeper into the wellbeing and education of the Tankarpata children.
Every day at 3pm the volunteers head from Caja Mágica (the hostel helping fund the volunteering project) to the Tankarpata neighbourhood to help children with their school tasks, prepping for exams, or even playing. We have four sections running from 3.30pm to 5pm; Biblioteca (library), Ludoteca (play area), Computo (computer room - 4 units to be shared and no internet) and Area de actividades y Lavatorio (activity area and washing area).
As part of the education for good health and hygene habits all children must brush their teeth and hands before entering the building. Trust me, that does raise a few complaints but in the end, they understand (and I'd dare say welcome) the rules, so all end up obeying.
The favourite sections seem to be Computo for the 12-14 year old boys who love playing with their games, a few 4-10 year olds head directly to the Ludoteca should they not have homework to complete, and finally the few with homework do stay in the Biblioteca until their tasks are completed. From maths, to painting and colouring, to writing and conjugating and social sciences, we need to be ready to help with all at all levels, quite a challenge specially as the majority of volunteers' mother tongue isn't Spanish.
It's those very little wins that we see every day, a small 'thanks' here and there, a heartfelt hug, it's that which makes us realise what little big impact we're having in their lives. Today was a culmination of a great first week for me, and a big push of energy for all to continue with our task. One more day, one more week to keep learning of this wonderful children, who despite their sometimes strong temper and rough manners, when given very little open their hearts wide open to you in return.
As recently described, one could say I'm a free spirit. Not something I'd usually write on my resumé, but as it turns out this is my blog, my space, and my thoughts, well, that seems accurate enough. The rest, you'll learn in reading my posts.