Volunteer in this christian orphanage to support disadvantaged children
This christian orphanage is a refuge for disadvantaged children. Strictly speaking it is a ‘residential centre’ rather than an orphanage as most of the children have relatives. Some of the poorest and most neglected children of the town have been abandoned, others have their parents in jail, have been sexually assaulted or come from difficult family backgrounds of neglect and have nowhere else to live. It offers the children a caring home and base for growth and education. The older children go to school each day but return to the centre after school. It currently offers a home to 35 children.
Sister Maria, who co-ordinates the project, tries to offer a well-resourced centre to a small number of children rather than taking in more than she can look after properly. Their lack is sometimes financial but more importantly they lack the staff capacity to get involved with play and recreation with the children; something that most young people are offered by their parents. It is sited in an old colonial building, perched on the side of a steep hill, approximately 500 metres from the Pacific Ocean. This project is well resourced with a play area, a few computers and small library. The nuns and the children really appreciate the volunteers who stay for three months or longer.
This project is ideal for anyone who wants to work with orphans and disadvantaged children in general, including mature gap year students and those wanting to volunteer in social care, working with children and teaching English as a foreign language
Volunteers are needed to assist the few permanent staff at the centre with a wide range of activities, including feeding, cleaning, playing, teaching, supervising activities, facilitating excursions, taking the children to school, domestic work (the laundry is massive) and the visits of outside donors. Volunteers will have very close contact with Mexican staff, other volunteers and Mexican children in this highly rewarding project.
As with many volunteer projects, your enthusiasm and interests will be the deciding factor of how much you become involved in its multiple activities. Due to the vulnerable nature of the children, volunteers need to be totally dedicated to the orphanage and providing love care and attention to the children.
The children are from difficult backgrounds of neglect, abuse & poverty. They have not had the best start in life and you have the opportunity to help improve things, little by little, by sharing your knowledge, care, love and support in a respectful and considered way. The energy and additional resource you offer means more individual care and support to each child, which can make a real difference to their lives and yours.
The three months I spent at the orphanage have been the most demanding but rewarding months of my life, Student, Mexico