Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A day with the volunteers from Peru (Jorge and Vane Lozano)

By Jeena

A day with the volunteers from Peru (Jorge and Vane Lozano)

On 13th May 2012, Sunday afternoon, two kind hearted volunteers (Jorge and Vane Lozano) from Miami, United States visited MySmallHelp, Nepal with the aim to support the children of Nepal with lots of fancy and beautiful dresses. They brought three bags full of cloths for children, medical stuffs, dolls, tooth paste, toothbrush, shoes, socks and fancy clothes. Anjali and Alisha the children being supported by MSH, Nepal were provided the clothes and other gifts by the volunteers. They were very much happy and thankful especially the mother of the children was very much grateful for the support.

We all visited Marybert Orphanage to distribute  clothes and gifts  for everyone .The children were very happy and thankful to Jorge and Vane Lozano for everything. We all enjoyed a lot by singing and dancing . Also Jorge and Vane danced  with the children and enjoyed themselves. 

They were really happy to fill up the Auto books of the children with lots of love. They both loved the moment and happy to see the smiles on the face of the children. They also expressed their desire to come back to Nepal in the near future.

MSH, Nepal heartily wants to thank for the kind support to Jorge, Vane and all entire team who helped to donate all the things.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Volunteering experience of Caroline with MSH, Peru

Caroline Sommer

                                      Volunteering experience of Caroline with MSH, Peru

Sitting on the Plaza de Armas in Ollantaytambo, I am surrounded by the day-to-day busyness of this little town. All around me, there are Ollantinos, attending to customers in their little shops or restaurants or selling handcrafted textiles, dressed in their traditional clothes, and looking down upon all this from the surrounding hills are the amazing ruins the Incas left behind. Everywhere there is laughter; the Peruvian temperament, loud, humorous, is almost palpable and adds even more to the unique atmosphere of this place.

Then, the little bus I have been waiting for pulls into the Plaza. It is full of the children MySmallHelp provides transport to school for, coming home after another day at the Arco Iris school for children with special needs. I get in and accompany them the last bit of their way; every then and so often, Ruben, our driver, stops to let one of them get off. I stay on the bus until there is only Lourdes left and we drive on to Rumira, the little village above Ollantaytambo she lives in.

Lourdes is a charming nineteen-year-old girl who is always immaculately groomed and dressed, with an infectious laugh and driving ambition to study and do her best in all she does. Every weekday, I join her on her way back from school and spend the afternoon studying with her. Right now, she is learning to read and write and solve basic mathematic problems. In all her life, she was never able to leave the house and therefore could not go to a school and get an education, because she is not able to move herself. After a chance encounter between her and Leander Hollings two years back, she now has a wheelchair and gets out a lot more, which you can already tell has made a huge positive change to her life.

Spending time with Lourdes and her family during my daily visits to their house is my main occupation here. Even though I have only worked for MSH for a week, I already feel responsible for this family and want to help them as much as I can. Circumstances are often difficult in this rural region; alcoholism is a problem in almost every family and child labour is not uncommon.  Most grown-ups cannot read and write properly themselves, so do not always think it necessary for their children to go to school. Lourdes´ family seems to have understood the necessity of their children to study, but all the same, there are a lot of problems remaining, such as her younger sister having to work and look after the household in her free time. The work I do there requests a lot of patience, as one cannot simply walk in on a group of people and change their lives as one would like to, but it is therefore even more rewarding when I see Lourdes advancing in her studies and her siblings opening up to me a bit more each time I visit them.

My other areas of work include helping out in our volunteer house, which looks directly onto the ruins of Ollantaytambo, and doing whatever there is to be done, for example look through donations and distribute them to families who need them or helping with making folders for each of the families we support.Life in our volunteer house has been a great experience. I come home every day to people I have recently met from all over the world, here to help in the project or only to stay for a few nights while visiting Ollantaytambo. There is always something to do and it is never boring. The whole project is very personal, so is volunteering here, I have a lot of responsibility and always feel appreciated for my contribution.

In the future, the next big project I am looking forward to is taking Lourdes to Cusco on the weekends to a different school to enable her finish primary school in less time.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Reflections from a school bus

Reflections from a school bus

This past week I have been fortunate to help out My Small Help with two projects. The one I want to talk about today is the school bus project. My Small Help provides a number of special needs kids the chance to go to school. They provide a bus to take these kids from their homes to the school. I was there to make sure we picked up every kid and that they arrived safely to school. 

This could mean opening the door, helping the kids get to their seats, cleaning spittle off a chin, making funny faces, talking in broken Spanish, and teaching them the grease lightening dance. But each of these kids has completely touched my heart. I admire what they do every single day. They get up. They try. It’s more than some people I see back home, and here there are more complications. 

For example, there is a 19 year old who spent most of her life ignored by her family and without being able to walk, had never seen more than her own house. But with a wheelchair now and a bus, she is able to go to school for the first time. In fact she’s almost done her first grade. But what really impresses me is just what her day must be like. To get herself ready for school must take her ages. And she always looks so well put together. Clean clothes, washed and dried hair with barrettes, and even a hint of makeup. 

But to be honest, I see the same thing with all the other kids to varying degrees and on each face a smile. With nothing more than eye contact and a Buenas Dias, you get a radiant smile from each kid. I have really enjoyed connecting to each kid. Dancing to the latin pop on the radio or from a cellphone, or cuddling with this one little girl who with her beautiful green eyes flirts between waking and dreaming. 

Each day I felt really grateful (even if only for a short period of time) to take these kids to school. Mostly because it was so rewarding to see these kids interact. Even with all the discrimination and difficulties, these kids still get together and act like every other kid. Smiling, laughing, running, playing, and joking. Watching four kids kick up some dust on the playground was as beautiful a sight as I can remember seeing.

And while my contribution to their lives was small, I feel like it was just so incredible to be a part of it. If you want more information you can check out and help with your own small contribution to make a big difference.