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Information

What?

An integral Community Centre

Where?

Villa Consitucion, Santa Fe, Argentina

Number of volunteers required?

One or two

Minimum length of stay?

Three months

Other requirements?

Basic Spanish; an interest in social movements, community development and working with children and teenagers; a willingness to share accommodation; volunteers must have valid travel insurance for the duration of their stay

Benefits?

A chance to work with children and teenagers, but also to take part in community oriented meetings; a chance to explore the work of CTA, on of the National Workers Unions; Vila Constitucion is only 68 kilometres from Rosario, Argentina’s second city and less than 300 kilometres from Buenos Aires; the volunteer will receive pre-travel preparation and in-country support from Jimena del Mazo (PC 88-90), Head of Social Responsibility at an Argentine Travel Agency.

Details?

This organization has been working since 2002 with 120 children aged 2 to 14, whose families are below the ‘poverty line’. It is an integral Day Care Centre, with close ties to a Workers’ Union, which is one of the reasons why the philosophy behind the project is not about charity but empowerment.

In Argentina, as with other developing countries, the majority of children in poorer families contribute to the family’s income. Sometimes they are the only providers. They either become beggars or belong to criminal gangs. This organization offers an alternative to 10-14 year olds who are the most exposed to these dangers.

The organization offers an integrated space with: childcare for smaller children; school homework support; art classes; educational workshops; nutritional support; legal and human rights counselling; workshops on the bakery trade; workshops on iron working; workshops on cooperativism.

Through the educational dimension of the workthe organization deals with citizenship issues, responsibility issues and social inclusion. At one of the workshops the children and their parents bake bread, pastries and chocolates for sale in the local area. In another workshop they learn the iron modelling trade. the goal is to promote the teenagers’ development and the reconstruction of family ties damaged by poverty.

Volunteer tasks?

the organization is looking for volunteers and interns. Depending on their skills and experience, they can work in areas such as: school support; educational workshops; recreational activities; English classes; micro-business development and management; institutional development; family needs assessments and so forth.

Costs?

A three month programme costs USD 1000. This includes transfer in from Buenos Aires airport; bus to Villa Constitucion; accommodation within the organization; and a donation to the organization. Each additional month costs USD 200. For stays of over four months, prices can be reduced.

Current volunteers?

None

Former volunteers?

None from UWCs