Volunteer

First…

Helping Hands Cusco heavily depends on volunteers for its work and its survival.

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Since the start of Helping Hands Cusco, dozens of volunteers already helped our organization a hand. This makes us very grateful. Not only for the visual support that volunteers give, but also for the simple fact that it gives us the privilege to connect and feel connected with people all over the world.

People, young or old, whatever ideology or background, found and find in Helping Hands an interesting and challenging place, where they also actually can make a difference.

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1) Volunteer in Peru

Whether your interests our (maybe still undiscovered) talents may lie, whether it is in:

  • teaching
  • constructing
  • gardening
  • medicines
  • arts
  • sports
  • cooking
  • giving benefit parties
  • collecting cloths
  • or nothing of all above
  • or something totally different

…we are sure we can offer you an unique experience, which can be a win-win situation, for the volunteer, as well for Helping Hands Cusco. Experiences however showed us that most volunteers prefer to help in the classroom with the children, or help with construction work, or a combination of both.

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A lot of volunteers end up helping in the school San Gabriel, as a teacher or assistant teacher. San Gabriel provides school from March till December, during weekdays, for (so far) around 60 children from 3, 4 and 5 years old. The school starts at 9 AM and ends around 1.30 PM.

But, off course, variety is an important factor to stay motivated, and sometimes our children can get kind of “noisy” after a while, so we are fully aware of the fact that your voluntary work should be flexible, and offer various things.

10431678_10152862997065396_2826218882386174845_nBecause of this, before you start, we sit together with you and design an own personal volunteer program, something that can be challenging and fun at the same time. If somehow, during your period of volunteering, something is not going the way you expected or you want to adapt something, we are willing to lend our ears and search for a new scenario to make you feel comfortable.

After your period of volunteering, we have a quick debriefing, where we as Helping Hands are interested to hear your evaluation and your opinion about your experiences in order to learn from it.

Practically

a) Time

You can volunteer for any amount of time.  For reasons of continuity however, we advise to volunteer at least a week or 2. But again, exceptions are possible.

b) Costs and contribution

Unlike a lot of other organizations, we do not ask volunteers to pay anything for their volunteer work. We believe that if we can help volunteers having an exciting, meaningful and challenging time here in Cusco, Helping Hands Cusco can somehow also “profit” from that.

What we do expect however is to fill in our questionaire before working (including a motivation letter, where you shortly explain your motives to volunteer) and send it to helpinghandscusco@hotmail.com or helpingcusco2008@gmail.com. This questionnaire and letter will also be the starting point to set up a personal program.

Also, we do expect you to bring a material or financial contribution to our organization. It can be toys, school material (pencils, paper,…), board games, puzzles, or simply a donation. A lot of volunteers for example, before they come over, organize a benefit beforehand in their home-country for family and sympathizers, something that we like to encourage.

c) Lodging

There are several options that we offer.

  • stay in a host family in neighborhood (12 dollar/day, 3 meals/day included)
  • stay individually in shared residence in the neighborhood (80 dollars a week) – (only in case we have a lot of volunteers)
  • stay as a group in a shared residence in the neighborhood (150 dollars a week pp/ 3 meals a day cooked for you/ 1 delicious Peruvian cooking class a week/ and a soccer game a week included)
  • hostel in Cusco (to be organized privately)

 2) Volunteer in your own country

Some (ex-volunteers) volunteer from out of their own country, occasionally, an action on an individual level, for something that we really admire.  Others volunteer more structurally, like our friends from Helping Hands Nederland or Helping Hands Belgium. In their own country, they organize events, actions or benefits or get inspiration for their Peruvian brothers.

If somehow you would be interested to collaborate with one of these organizations with their actions in their homeland, contact them at info@helpinghandsnederland.nl or helpinghandsbelgie@hotmail.com.

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