6 Opportunities To Work With LLI Volunteer Openings Starting From September!

Have you been looking at LLI and wondering a bit more about our positions? Are you looking for ethical volunteering opportunities? We have a wide range of positions available in Huaycán, Peru, and this blog post is going to dive into 6 different positions. Check them out – one of them could be the perfect fit for you

1. Reading Program Teacher

One of our most requested classes from participants: English. We have kids and teens with a range of English abilities who are looking to improve their skills. Our English program caters to both volunteers with teaching experience (we’ll talk about implementing your own ideas and experience!) as well as new or novice teachers (we have existing lesson plans and curriculum!). This is a great opportunity for those who have no Spanish (some Spanish doesn’t hurt either!) and are willing to make at least a six week commitment to volunteering in Huaycán. 

Finnish volunteer, Reetta, using music to educate

Meet Reetta (Finland), one of our current English Teachers!

“My best experience as an English teacher with LLI has been seeing how students have learned new things and increased their self confidence. It’s been really rewarding to notice that, as a teacher, I can help the students to improve not only their English language skills but also their social skills. In addition, I’ve gained a lot of teaching experience which is also very valuable.”

2. Reading Program Teacher

Did you know LLI’s Kids’ Center has a library with over 1000 books? Kids love to read at LLI and our reading program volunteers are in charge of providing a fun, nurturing space for kids to enjoy their favorite books as well as challenging them to think critically about what they are reading. If you have at least intermediate-level Spanish and are excited to challenge kids through reading, this is the position for you. 

Meet Amelia (USA/PERU), our current Reading Teacher!

“I like teaching with the kids. I like that they’re always eager to learn. If you treat them with love and respect, they will treat you the same way. Kids are easy to handle when they can see that you care about them. They always treat me like a teacher. Even though I tell them I’m not a teacher, they say, yes you are! They even gave me a chocolate for teachers’ day. Kids can change the world. When I taught them about plastic waste in the environment, I asked them how can we make a change. And they told me, ‘I am the change.’” That’s why I love working with kids.”

Kids’ Program participant enjoys a book in the LLI library

3. Art Teacher

LLI students often cite art as their favorite class… it’s a time when kids and teens get to be creative, explore something new and socialize with each other. Plus, LLI’s art program operates on the generosity of others: we receive almost all supplies from incoming volunteers, which makes are our art program easy to sustain! If you want to share your passion for art with our kids and teens and have basic Spanish skills, come join us as our next volunteer art teacher!

Kids work on a group art project as part of LLI’s art program

4. Women’s Program Manager

Looking for a unique opportunity to facilitate empowerment for women? Are you passionate about issues facing women? LLI is looking for our next Women’s Program Manager to start on January 10th, 2020 and stay until December 9th 2020. The position entails the oversight, management and development of our women’s entrepreneurship program (Mujeres Empredadoras). This includes overseeing financial education programs, managing the program budget, promoting the program in the community and much more! We are looking for someone who can think creatively to grow our program in line with our Program Goals. Advanced Spanish, leadership experience and a passion for women’s issues and education required.

Women learn to feel more confidence in themselves in public speaking class.

We asked our current Women’s Program Manager, Jess (UK), what is the most fulfilling aspect of her position: “Definitely seeing the women use what they’ve learned in the classes both in their businesses and also in their everyday lives.  I love seeing them come to class with so much enthusiasm and seeing them learn more and more each week, whilst growing in confidence.”

5. Women’s Program Assistant

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As Women’s Program Assistant, you could have the opportunity to teach basic computer skills to our Women Entrepreneurs

Would you love to help empower women in Huaycán but can’t commit to a whole year? LLI is looking for a passionate manager assistant for it’s Women’s Program! The Women’s Program Assistant plays an integral role as the right hand of our manager, Jess, in carrying out projects and tasks related to the management and development of the Women’s Program. This includes but is not limited to registration assistance, promoting the program, carrying out community surveys and interviews, and potentially assisting with program evaluation. Jess says, “We are looking for someone who is organized and a team player, with a demonstrated interest in community development. Spanish skills are a must and research skills are a plus!”

6. Teen Leadership Program Facilitator

This is a super cool position in which a volunteer is directly involved with one of our most exciting and important programs – our Teen Leadership Program! Volunteers facilitate leadership classes and assist in developing leadership curriculum and leadership projects! If you are passionate about leadership, have advanced Spanish skills, and are looking to make at least a 6-week volunteer commitment – this is the position for you!

Teens participate in a campaign to clean up a historical landmark of Huaycan

Meet Isabelle (USA), our current Teen Leadership Facilitator
“During my freshman year of high school, I created a tutoring program to help underprivileged kids with learning disabilities. I enjoy helping others and making a difference in the community. So far, the most gratifying experience for me at LLI has been helping the teens strive for excellence and seeing them continue to want to do well while maintaining a positive attitude despite any obstacles some may have.” 

If any of these positions sound like a good fit for you, contact us at vcm@lightandleadership.org

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Ethical Volunteering: The Why and the How

At LLI, the principle of ethical volunteering is central to the ethos of our organization. The idea behind it is intentional and thoughtful volunteering that focuses on impact and the sustainability of the project for the local community rather than focusing on the volunteers themselves. Volunteer Communication Manager, Ian, is focused on ensuring that this principle is implemented throughout the organization.

LLI is about telling the stories of the participants, and not those of the volunteers. We want to avoid perpetuating the tendency to glorify the volunteer experience, instead choosing to focus on community-led development. LLI uses a number of measures to ensure proper follow-through on this principle, such as a strict social media policy and recruitment of volunteers based on whether their experience and skills are good fits for the positions that are needed within the organization. Before arriving, new volunteers are given resources to inform themselves about the community of Huaycán, giving them context to what they will experience here. Another key component is adequate training of the volunteers when they arrive. They receive Cultural Awareness, Sensitivity and Appropriation (CASA) training which gives them tools to think about and react to cultural experiences they may encounter. This training encourages them to operate from a position of curiosity rather than judgement.

Ian and Ximena facilitating CASA training to a new volunteer, Blaise

Recently, at Huaycán Cultural, which is an open event that takes place every Saturday offering a space to learn and discuss about cultural topics relevant to the community, Managing Director Emma and Education Program Manager Yeni presented a version of CASA training, adapted to be more relevant to the local community.

Emma at Huaycán Cultural discussing the principles of CASA with members of the community

LLI is committed to developing our local volunteer and local staff base to create a more sustainable and stable volunteer team.  So far, we have a number of paid Peruvian teachers including for science, math and technology classes. Our science teacher, Andrea, has been working with LLI for 5 years now! In addition, we have volunteer teachers, including former teen program participants Miguel and Rildo who teach guitar classes, and Dario, who teaches public speaking for the teens and women.  These teachers are extremely valuable as we can count on them to teach for a much longer term than the international volunteers, which in turn allows us to provide a more permanent educational experience to the participants.

We also believe that it is important to constantly develop and deepen our understanding of what it means to be an ethical volunteer. We do this through monthly Civic Reflection meetings, which are led by one of the managers and is a time for us to reflect upon a piece of art, a photo or a video and how it is related to our volunteer experience in Huaycán. This is an opportunity to discuss why we are here, what we are doing, and inevitable problems that we face. The most recent civic reflection meeting was led by Emma. We discussed the complexity of the conversation surrounding cultural appropriation vs cultural appreciation sparked by a debate about Louis Vuitton selling a product based off market bags.

Kids’ Program Manager Brynn and others discussing an article about Caroline Herrera using indigenous Mexican designs in its latest collection

This sharp focus on ethical volunteering is very important, especially given that volunteering abroad has given rise to a billion dollar industry in which third party vendors send individuals abroad, making money off of this exchange. When asked why Ian believes that our focus on ethical volunteering is so important, he said, “I believe it works to challenge some of the existing tropes of cultural differences and stereotypes and that it works against neocolonial tendencies that may exist in the volunteering industry.”

We asked some current volunteers why they chose to come to LLI and why ethical volunteering is important to them. Dominic, a new member of the LLI family, pointed out how he liked the transparency of money flow on the LLI website and so he felt that his money was being used in a responsible and honest way and he was not being taken advantage of. For him, the transparent money flow was an indicator of an NGO that was grounded on ethical principles. Mary, the current Women’s Program Assistant, also pointed out the fair volunteer fees and the overall transparency of the organization as important factors in deciding to volunteer for LLI.

Would you like to be part of the LLI ethical volunteering team? We are currently looking for a Fair Trade Program Manager (with living stipend) year-long manager for our Kids’ Program (free room and board included) as well as shorter term volunteer teachers who would like to spend September through November with us. Please email Ian at vcm@lightandleadership.org for more information.

Parents’ Day: A New LLI Tradition

This year, LLI hosted our first Parents’ Day to give the parents of the participants an opportunity to see what their children have been doing in classes as well as to take a look at other classes that we offer. As the Education Program Manager, Yeni believes that Parents’ Day is important because it shows the parents how we teach at LLI as well as what the children are learning. For Brynn, the Kids’ Program Manager, Parents’ Day is an important way in which the teaching program has implemented one of this year’s project goals, which is to involve the parents and families of participants more with LLI. It offers a social space for parents to meet other participants’ parents and meet those who work and volunteer for the organization, a very important aspect to what we do at LLI.

Miles, a Reading and English teacher, is showing a number of parents the books that children have been reading

The classrooms of the Kids’ Center were set up with tables and at each table, a few members from each class presented a topic or did an activity to demonstrate what they have been learning  this cycle. For English class, there were games for the parents to participate in, for Chess, students challenged parents to play against them and in Art class, the students presented work they had done tying in with the theme of looking after the environment.

Aymar, Gabriel and Reyna talking about healthy living as a part of their Sports class

When asked what she thought of Parents’ Day, Guadalupe, an older cousin of one of the participants, said, “I liked it a lot as I could see what all the children had been doing in class and I learned a lot about the classes.”

Pedro Tipacti Ojanam, a parent of a participant, also pointed out how it was a sociable occasion which was beneficial for the children as they had an opportunity to share ideas and practice public speaking. In his words, “This event is beneficial for both parents and children and an opportunity for them both to learn more.”

One of the participants who was presenting, Yamile, told us that she enjoyed the day as she liked showing her mom what she had been doing in class and she also learned a lot more about the pollution of our planet through the process of presenting.

Yamile, Valeska and Stephany presenting their art work based on looking after the environment

Overall, Brynn was very pleased with how it went but was eager to reflect on what could be improved so that next cycle, it is even better. She was particularly happy with how organized and prepared the teachers were and the fact that lots of parents came to see their kids and seemed to enjoy learning more about LLI’s classes. We hope to have many more Parents’ Days to continue building upon these relationships with the parents and their children and we only hope that next time, even more parents come to see what we’re up to in our classes!

LLI’s 10th Anniversary Celebration–A Fruitful of Fun!

After more than two months of planning, painting, bunting, stringing, and running all around town for supplies, Light and Leadership’s 10th Anniversary has finally come! Let us set the scene for you:

The decorations were hung on the carpa with care, 
Followed by fun activities that we did prepare.
The weather was perfect; hard to tell it was winter here
The sun beating down upon us, and not a cloud in sight to fear.

Everything came together beautifully after lots of hard work moving tables and chairs and setting up the enormous tent that spanned the majority of the court on which the anniversary celebration took place. Teen, local, and international volunteers, as well as staff members, prepared for the event starting at 6am (!) until welcoming program participants at 2pm on the toasty Sunday afternoon.

Leaders all among us!

Our teens got to practice the leadership skills they’ve learned throughout this session of classes as they led the kids’ program participants in activities based on this year’s theme: Musical Fruits!

Pictured below are just a couple of the several activities offered during the day:

Adivina la fruta (Guess the fruit)
Manzana Colgante (Hanging Apple)

Don’t worry, we did do more than just eat fruit all day! Other activities included a photo booth, trivia, musical chairs, bobbing for strawberries, and many more. Participants had the opportunity to learn about the Brazilian martial art of Capoeira that dates back to the 16th century. It combines elements of music and dance, and quite frankly it looks like a whole lot of fun.

More than just the kiddos

Meanwhile, on the other side of the cancha, our women’s program participants got to partake in bracelet-making, hair braiding, and nail-painting. Viky, pictured below, is one of our longest-running Women’s Program participants and participated last year in the Mujeres Emprendedoras program. New participant, Emma, owns her own bracelet business and taught her craft to many of the other women on Sunday. Another participant, Yanina, brought some of her co-workers along to volunteer to do hair and nails in hopes of refining their skills and pampering the other women present.

Recognizing talent of all ages

Several participants from each of our programs (women, teens and kids) were recognized during our awards ceremony. It was no easy task to select the winners though. We have so many hard-working participants in the children’s program for example, that three of them were selected for the hardest worker award. What a great problem to have! Above we have the lovely Valeska (winner of the 2019 Ray of Sunshine Award) and our fearless Managing Director Emma Livingston, showing off their 10th anniversary t-shirts and Valeska’s award certificate.  

Shoutout to our donors!

We had a chance to recognize our local donors at the event, and we’d like to give another huge thank you to all of our international donors! We COULD NOT have done this without you, and we hope to continue celebrating the accomplishments of our participants and LLI for many years to come. Here’s to the next decade of educating the future leaders of Huaycán!


Donate to LLI’s 10th Anniversary Celebration!

https://donorbox.org/it-s-tee-time-support-lli-s-10th-anniversary-celebration

LLI is turning 10 and here in Huaycan it’s time to celebrate! (cue dance music!)

For our historic 10th Anniversary, Light and Leadership is hosting our annual party on June 2nd. And we desperately NEED your help.

Our hard-working participants deserve to go home happy with fantastic memories, smiles on their faces and wearing student-designed and custom-made LLI t-shirts. Our ambitious goal this year is to raise $1200 for our celebration in Huaycan. The theme for this year’s bash, you ask? Well, naturally—Musical Fruits! Be a peach and donate, please! Any amount you can squeeze out of that metaphorical lemon: $5, $10, $20 would be positively groovy!

Keep in mind that these are no ordinary t-shirts. They are specially designed by one of our talented teens and handmade locally by our Huaywasi artisans. Each of the t-shirts will be made in accordance with Huaywasi Peru’s fair trade policy. In other words, they will be sustainably and responsibly made in addition to supporting our talented artisans.

It’s a win-win, really!

So please donate using the link above and look on our social media feeds for more updates and information.

Our participants have worked very hard this cycle. Just ask one of our volunteers (and author of the current post) Miles Anderson. He says, “I have been an English teacher for most of our kids and students. Just finished grading papers actually, with great excitement for my students’ progress! Please let the fruits of their labor be celebrated by donating and continuing to support Light and Leadership.”

No more fruit puns we promise.

Miles explains the colors of the rainbow to art students in Zone S

Please be a part of our non-profit and help make a difference in each of our participants’ lives. The women in business courses, Huaywasi artisans, and students of all ages really deserve it. We know we’re repeating ourselves at this point like the chorus of a good pop song, but it needs to be said, celebrated, and cherished. In the meantime, check out our social media channels and website for more details on what is sure to be a legendary 10th anniversary!

Mujeres Emprendedoras: The importance of self-esteem for women entrepreneurs

Starting a business takes more than a good business plan. It takes a whole lot of self confidence.

It’s been an exciting couple of weeks at the Women’s Program, as we have started our second year of financial education classes in Huaycán. The goal of the program is to empower women to achieve economic independence by starting their own business. We have welcomed twenty-one aspiring female entrepreneurs to the program, who want to learn new skills to either start a business or expand an existing one. Their business ideas include handmade bracelets, Huaycán themed T-shirts, and natural cosmetics.

This year, for the first time, we have incorporated a self-esteem course into our program. This came from the initiative of a local volunteer, Maria Huallpa. She believed the self-esteem classes would be an excellent addition to the finance program. Last year, we did a small self-esteem workshop as part of the preparation for our yearly business competition and received great feedback from the women, who said the workshop helped them feel much more confident during their presentation.  We then realized we should make self-esteem classes a bigger part of our program.

Classes in self esteem, like this one, help women find their voice and feel confident in promoting their business

Self-esteem is extremely important for entrepreneurs. The decision to start a business requires entrepreneurs to believe in themselves and to believe that they are capable of running a successful business. All business interactions, from sales to networking to delivering a pitch, require confidence and self-esteem. Entrepreneurs have to be able to sell themselves as well as their product. They need to be able to trust their skills and abilities to be able to make good decisions, take risks when appropriate and recover from setbacks.

Self-esteem is even more critical for female entrepreneurs, as many women face stigma and discrimination in both their personal and professional lives, which can cause their confidence to take a knock. Studies have highlighted self-esteem as a major barrier that women face when setting up their own businesses. Many struggle to start their business because they do not believe they have the capability to do it, and if they do start one, lack of confidence makes it harder to access the initial capital, making women more likely to discontinue their businesses. This is what we are striving to change with our self-esteem classes.

Participants in LLI’s Mujeres Emprendedoras program will share their business ideas in front of a large group of friends and family at the end of November

Our self-esteem classes are led by local volunteer Maria Huallpa. We will have three sessions on the following themes: the role of women, leaving our comfort zone and learning to love ourselves. Last Sunday, we had our first session, which explored the different roles women can have – a mother, an entrepreneur, a professional, an artist, a sportsperson. We reflected on how women are not confined to just one role and that we can excel at many different things. We also spoke about the importance of setting goals for ourselves in the different areas of our lives, and how achieving these goals helps us to feel better about ourselves and improve our self-esteem.

LLI’s Mujeres Emprendedoras program encourages women to leave their comfort zones and explore different roles and talents they may not have considered before

Maria Huallpa explains “It is so important that the women know they are capable of playing different roles, that these roles have the same value as what they do in their role as mothers. This will enable them to feel stronger, more sure of themselves, and their self esteem will improve as they feel more fulfilled. They will also understand that they can be a source of change and inspiration for new things”

It was particularly lovely to see many of the women sharing, in the supportive environment created by Maria Huallpa, not only their ideas, but also their personal experiences they have had in these different roles.

In our next class we will reflect on what is meant by ‘comfort zone’, what happens when we stay inside it and the benefits of leaving our comfort zone.

Mujeres Emprendedoras helps women build confidence through sharing their thoughts and ideas in a safe setting, supported by other women.

Interested in helping out in the women’s program? We are looking for a Women’s Program Assistant starting in June.

Listening to the Community: LLI’s Community Forum

Community members discuss Huaycán’s future in LLI’s community forum

What is the community forum?

On March 30th, LLI hosted a community forum at our Education Center, inviting members from the Huaycán area to come and share their thoughts and ideas about their community. These community forums are held twice a year and they are an important way we put into practice the idea of ethical volunteering. We want community members as a whole to help shape what we do as an organization, not just those who participate in our programs.

Emma, LLI’s Managing Director, believes that the forum is important as “It’s nice to get a fresh pair of eyes to look at what we do from the Peruvian cultural perspective. And, the forums help us stay current in the issues that matter most to the community of Huaycán.”

One of teens, Sait, who attended the forum said that he enjoyed the experience as “it was interesting, educational and everyone had a good idea on how to improve Huaycán.”

Huaycán, City of Hope

Since the founding of LLI, we have invited the community to shape our focus as an organization. The original community forums that our founder, Lara, held showed her that equitable access to high quality education in Huaycán was what community members felt was most lacking in their city and that’s why, since the beginning, LLI has focused on offering high quality education free of cost to the kids, teens, and women of Huaycán. Now, we want to continue to listen to the community as we move into LLI’s 10th year and work together to determine how LLI can use the structure and expertise that we have in place to help solve Huaycán´s most pressing problems. LLI believes that we can accomplish so much more when we work hand in hand with community leaders towards shared goals.

This most recent community forum was the first of 2019 with the theme being: “Sueño mi Huaycan.” This year, the idea was to have the community members share their thoughts on what they like about their community, what types of things they’d like to improve, and then come up with possible ways to make those improvements.

The planning process:

Brynn, the Kids’ Program Manager, helped plan the event with our Teen Program Manager, Yara, our Volunteer Experience Coordinator, Ximena and Emma.

They began planning about a month in advance by having weekly meetings primarily discussing how to create a community forum that would be useful not only for the community as a whole, but also that would give us here at LLI an opportunity to check in with community members in what they want and need.

Here’s Brynn’s comment on the planning process:

“The purpose ultimately, was to take time to reflect on how we can stay relevant to the community’s needs through the work we do here.”

We personally invited key community leaders and also promoted the event through Facebook and outside of our centers to encourage as many people to come as possible.

The day itself:

As a result of Emma, Ximena, Brynn and Yara’s hard work in promoting the forum, 30 community members attended, both teenagers and adults of all ages. The positive aspects of Huaycán that were highlighted included the main park, the canchas (soccer courts), Huaycán de Pariachi (the archaeological site), the unity of the community and its organization, the schools and the shopping areas.

Yara revealing which aspect of Huaycán was deemed to be the one that needs the most improvement

The community identified 5 key areas in Huaycán they believe need improvement: Security, cleanliness, organization, hospitals, and the environment / green areas.

They discussed improving security by educating the children and implementing more safety measures, such as street cameras. Cleanliness they thought could be improved by instilling the idea of looking after the community among its members, and emphasizing the importance of looking after the local environment.

Discussing strategies for improving the highlighted areas as a big group

The final discussion point of the forum was how LLI could assist the community members in achieving these improvements. They proposed more educational trips and cultural events for the teenagers as well as encouraging empowerment and self-confidence through workshops and films, access to books and materials from other countries, specifically on the topic of feminism.

As Maria, another teen, pointed out, LLI helps the community members improve Huaycán because “they provide a place for meetings to be held which is very valuable to the area’s progress.”

Smaller groups discussing methods for improving Huaycán

How will we follow up?

LLI is an education-based organization, so our response to what we learned in the community forum is to explore ways that we can use our education programs to focus on topics that are important to improving the community. Through our leadership program, we will encourage our teen participants to give workshops to our kid program participants on the topics identified in the community forum as key for the future of Huaycán. We are also discussing the feasibility of longer term projects such as organizing a community clean up or painting murals encouraging people to care for the environment in outdoor spaces around Huaycán as part of art class. Additionally, we will hold a follow-up community forum in October to discuss in more detail how we can use education to help solve Huaycán’s most pressing problems.

We will be keeping our ear to the ground to make sure we stay relevant and engaged with the community here in La Ciudad de la Esperanza (the City of Hope), Huaycán.

LLI: The Power of Technology

Here at LLI, we offer tech classes to the children in the Kids’ Center in order to develop their computing skills as well as assisting students who do not have access to technology resources outside of school. It’s a great way for the students to enhance their knowledge of technology in a fun and informative environment.

Our Tech Program is offered every Saturday and is taught by our local teacher, Maria. Maria teaches basic coding and typing to our participants. She has been part of the LLI team since 2018 and she also works as a teacher in a local school during the week, teaching children and teens. At LLI, Maria is teaching typing to 16 children this cycle (March through May) in two different classes.

Maria outside LLI’s Education Center

Principally, Maria teaches the participants how to touch type, emphasising the importance of technique and accuracy. Her main focuses in her classes include encouraging the children to use all of their fingers when typing, looking at the screen without looking at your fingers: ‘blind typing’, good posture and learning how to write correctly.

When asked what Maria wants to achieve by the end of the course, she answered that she wants the participants “to be able to write without needing to look at the keyboard.”


Leonardo color-coding a keyboard to show the correct touch typing finger placement  

Both Maria and the rest of the LLI team believe that these classes are extremely useful for the participants, given today’s society where computers are an essential part of day to day life, whether that be at school, at home or in the professional world. In this way, this program sets the children up for success in the future.


Cristofer and Kalet color coding keyboards (Millene and Fabiana in background)

For Maria, this program is “a very good option that the NGO offers here in Huaycán” that allows the participants to grow in confidence as well as develop their tech skills. Maria finds it very interesting to teach these classes as she enjoys seeing how each individual works best and understands what she is trying to teach them. In her words, “each student is different and that’s what makes these classes so much fun to teach.”

Interested in joining Maria and helping advance LLI’s technology program? We are looking for technology volunteers during the summer months and during Cycle 4 from September through November. Check out our science and technology program placement guide.

To apply, email our Program Development Intern, Ian, at vcm@lightandleadership.org with your resume and a cover letter explaining what you would like to contribute to the program.


LLI – Forming Future Leaders

True to our name, LLI has an exciting and innovative leadership class, which we teach to the teens twice a week. Our dedicated local volunteers, as well as the program leader, Yara, are responsible for teaching a wide range of important topics. For example, some classes aim to increase awareness about important issues, such as the recent addiction class. Meanwhile, other classes are focused on community development, such as the classes about the history and culture of the community. The program also helps teens develop projects to make changes in the community of Huaycán. For one of these projects, the teens went out into the community to support a local nonprofit giving deworming for the pets in Huaycan and handing out free dog food.

The teens at the local park as part of their animal care project
                                                   

One of the teens involved in the project, Brian, said:

“This project is important to me because I love animals and this is a good way to help them. This is important because not everyone in Huaycan knows how to care for their pets.”

We also have classes which aim to teach the teens how to develop the individual qualities of a leader, such as self-esteem.

Here’s what our program leader, Yara, had to say about the classes:

“The goals of the leadership program are to improve opportunities for teenagers ages 13-17 living in Huaycán and its surrounding areas by teaching and practicing various life and leadership skills, with the goal of furthering community engagement and improving future social and economic mobility by creating social projects led by teens.

Local volunteer Pedro teaches teens about the history of Peru as part of the LLI’s leadership program

“I’ve really enjoyed being with teens and watching them grow and learn at these classes, I feel that they really like leadership and they’re anxious to learn more about themselves, their community and the world. During the classes, they’re also free to talk and discuss their ideas, feelings and experience in an environment full of respect, confidence and friendship.”

Leadership classes encourages cooperation, personal growth and good morals, and is one of the most popular classes at the teen centre.

Here’s what one of the students of the class, Saeed, had to say about the leadership class:

“The thing I like most about leadership class is that all of the classes are both fun and educational! The most useful classes that we have had so far have been the ones on communication and addiction. In the future, I would like to learn more about social skills.”

Former teen program manager, Gia, teaches a leadership class in the Teen Center

For more information about who we are and about our programs, are you can visit https://www.lightandleadership.org/

5 Opportunities To Work With LLI!

Have you been looking at LLI and wondering a bit more about our positions? Are you looking for ethical volunteering opportunities? Though we have a wide range of positions available in Huaycán, Peru, this blog post is going to dive into 5 positions. Check them out – one of them could be the perfect fit for you!

1. Teen Center Leadership Program Facilitator

This is a super cool position in which a volunteer is directly involved with one of our most exciting and important programs – our Teen Leadership Program! Volunteers facilitate leadership classes and assist in developing leadership curriculum and leadership projects! If you are passionate about leadership, have advanced Spanish skills, and are looking to make at least a 6-week volunteer commitment – this is the position for you!

Meet Yara, our current Teen Program Manager:

“The Leadership Program is the most integral part of our Teens’ Program, that’s why it is so important to have someone in charge of this area. This person will develop the curriculum for the classes and their evaluations, facilitate them, and, most importantly, follow day by day the teens’ projects to improve the community and the Teen Center. Additionally, we now have a Committee governed by the teens, however, this needs more preparation and meetings to allow teens to increase their leadership skills.
Daily tasks could change depending on leadership classes, meetings with the committee, assemblies, events, projects, etc. All these tasks will require energy and tons of commitment.” – Yara, Mexico

Saturday Night Event at the Teen Center: Smoothie Night!

2. Kids’ Program Assistant Volunteer

Have high intermediate or above Spanish skills and looking to work directly with program participants? The Kids’ Program Assistant Volunteer position is ideal for college students or grads who are looking for a diverse non-profit experience that includes program development, front desk work, administrative support, participant registration, special event facilitation, and even space for teaching a class if desired! Commitment requirement: At least 6 weeks.

Meet Brynn, our current Kids’ Program Manager:

“A KP Assistant Volunteer would not only be an asset to the manager herself in immediate KP related tasks, but they would also be an invaluable set of extra hands in in the center working directly with the kids. The KP assistant should be looking to work in a team environment as well as independently. They should be creative, kind, energetic, motivated, and approach their tasks with a can-do attitude! The KP assistant would help the manager with the daily responsibilities that keep the center running. This position is also an opportunity to learn more about the coordination and organization of a program within an NGO.  I am really looking for someone who can help me with the responsibilities of running the Kids’ Center on a day-to-day basis as well as complete some behind the scenes administrative work. I am always looking for new creative ways on how we can keep improving the Kids’ Program.” – Brynn, USA

Art Class at the Kids’ Center

#3. English Teacher

One of our most requested classes from participants: English. We have kids and teens with a range of English abilities who are looking to improve their skills. Our English program caters to both volunteers with teaching experience (we’ll talk about implementing your own ideas and experience!) as well as new or novice teachers (we have existing lesson plans and curriculum!). This is a great opportunity for those who have no Spanish (some Spanish doesn’t hurt either!) and are willing to make at least a six week commitment to volunteering in Huaycán.

Meet Jana, our current English Teacher!

“Being a part of the LLI organization and becoming one of their members was a really challenging experience. I am so thankful that I could participate here in Huaycán as an English teacher because you are not only teaching, you are also learning for yourself. As much as you are here because you want to help the community, in the end you will see that the community and all of the great people here also helped and influenced you. Even though I had no experience with teaching before, LLI warmly welcomed me in their small but gracious family.  If you are willing to help, even if you have no experiences with volunteering, I recommend you to come to LLI. They will take care of you and help you with everything from the very beginning.” – Jana, Slovakia

4. Short Term Volunteer

Want to be involved but can’t meet the 6 week requirement for a lead teaching position? We are always looking for shorter term commitments who get a diverse view of LLI’s programs by being classroom assistants, helping at our front desks, and assisting administratively! Still want some teaching experience? We can organize a workshop or special event while you are here.

Meet Lakeim, a current short term volunteer!

“I will be volunteering with LLI for a month and despite having a basic level of Spanish, they still found useful and meaningful things for me to do. I’ve assisted in English lessons, which has been great as it has let me interact with the teens of Huaycán. The highlight though was being able to do a workshop in social media marketing with the Women’s Program participants. It’s something I want to do in the future so I’m so grateful that I was able to incorporate one of my interest within the programme!” – Lakeim , UK

Women learn to open a facebook account for their businesses in Lakeim’s social media class
Lakeim shares social media knowledge with the women of Huaycán

5. Huaywasi Fashion Design and Business Development Intern

Interested in working with the seven women artisans we partner with at Huaywasi? Contributing your thoughts on designs to upcoming collections, as well as developing our social media and business plans? At Huaywasi: A Fair Trade Project, our interns work under the main designer to collaborate with the artisans in order to produce ethically made, sustainable pieces.


Huaywasi intern Sarah sits with Elena, one of our artisan partners, in her livingroom

Meet Sarah, our current Huaywasi Fashion Design and Business Development Intern:

“As an intern with Huaywasi I have loved the opportunity to visit the artisans, talk with them, and observe their process. I have visited Gamarra – the largest fabric district in all of Latin America with Jill, our main fashion designer, to buy the materials we need. I’m learning about how to market, how to make and track purchases and develop a budget, and how the artisans are incorporating the beautiful textile history of Peru, from Tela Andina to ceramic toritos, into the collections. With my position, I have had structure in helping with the upcoming collections, but I also have some time to develop my own projects and ideas. For example, I have been developing a photo storytelling series about the seven amazing artisans here in Huaycan that work with Huaywasi. I am working on blog posts, helping choose designs, and have contributed ideas for Huaywasi’s new one of a kind, upcycled, pieces.” – Sarah, USA

If any of these positions sound like a good fit for you, contact us at vcm@lightandleadership.org