Red Uniendo Manos Peru (The Peru Joining Hands Network)
Volunteers are placed through the Red Uniendo Manos Peru – a network of 12 Peruvian NGO´s, churches and community organizations from across the country who work together to address root causes of poverty. Each institution has its own work in different communities in Peru, but together they do advocacy around economic development, environmental protection, and human rights.
All sites will include some amount of translation and/or teaching English. Apart from that, here are examples of what volunteers may concentrate on in their site placements:
- Map and document territories to protect indigenous land rights in the face of State-authorized misappropriation by mining companies.
- Empower disabled youth in their efforts to access better education, health and work.
- Accompany sexually abused children in their healing and re-integration into society.
- Promote the rights of Afro-Peruvian women in the face of unacknowledged racism.
- Assist in the development of community-based radio programming
- Help develop church youth and young adult programs.
- Provide pastoral leadership in 2-3 local protestant churches
- Facilitate the international sales of Fair Trade Artisans.
- Educate partners and constituents on Trade Reform initiatives of the network.
- Participate in environmental advocacy work, with a focus on La Oroya (one of the five most contaminated cities in the world).
To ensure a full immersion in the Peruvian context, each YAV will live with a Peruvian host family for the duration of the YAV year; this is an integral component of the Peru YAV program. In Peru, young adults often live at home until they are married (and even then, may stay in their home or their spouse´s home until they can afford their own place). To become part of the host family (and not merely a guest in the house), the YAV will be integrated into the daily routines and customs of the family, including sharing meals together and taking responsibility for chores in the house (just as any young adult child in Peru would do). Within the home, each YAV will be provided with a private bedroom.
Intentional Community Aspects
Although each YAV will be living at a different placement site (in different regions of the country), developing intentional community among the Peru YAVs (even while living apart) is an integral part of the Peru YAV program. Such community will be developed and fostered during an initial three week orientation upon arrival to Peru, led by the site coordinators. Also, volunteers will gather for four one-week long retreats throughout the course of the year, also led by the site coordinators. The orientation and retreats serve not only to prepare the YAV for their site placements and process their experiences but also to promote Christian community among the Peru YAVs.
Education: College degree required
Other: A basic level of Spanish speaking skills is essential. Special consideration may be given to a volunteer with little or no Spanish language skills. A volunteer's Spanish abilities will be assessed during the discernment event.
Jenny and Jed Koball