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Volunteer Work with Children in South America

Volunteer and a child wearing face masks at a childcare project placement in South America

Volunteering in South America is an ideal opportunity for you to help others while living in a country with a unique culture and history. In South America, you have the option of working with children in care centres, kindergartens, and special needs centers. We also have placements in Bolivia where you can work in rehabilitation centers and homes for the elderly.

As a volunteer in South America, you will take an active role in the lives of children, ranging in age from small babies to teenagers. There is no required training or degree necessary to participate in these South American projects. All you need is a passion and commitment for helping others.

Volunteering with Children in South America

Volunteer works with a young child at a care center in South America with Projects Abroad

Volunteering at an childcare centre in South America is a fantastic way to help improve others’ lives using whatever skills you have. No matter how much experience you have or what you are passionate about, you can do volunteer work with children in South America.

If you choose to volunteer at a childcare centre in South America, you will find yourself helping to care for children who are eager for your attention and friendship. Many care centres have limited resources and staff are often overworked and unable to give the children the individual attention they need. As an extra pair of helping hands, you will be greatly appreciated.

Volunteers can participate in whatever aspect of the centre they are interested in. It could be directly interacting with the children and doing daily activities with them or doing maintenance work for the actual centre. Some activities you could do with the children while volunteering in South America are playing games, running educational and creative activities, and teaching basic hygiene.

Volunteering with Children and Adults with Special Needs in South America

Volunteer assists child in a wheelchair at a hospital placement on the Care project in South America

In South America, we have placements where you can help care for children or adults with special needs. This is a great way to investigate any interest you may have in pursuing a future in healthcare and working with mentally or physically disabled people while also making a difference.

Most of the children and adults you will be working with need help developing ways of coping with their disabilities. They may also need supervision because they cannot care for themselves. Our special needs volunteers can work in many different placements such as AIDS hospices or schools for the physically handicapped. Children and adults with special needs are grateful for any help, attention, or comfort that you can offer.

Volunteering in a Day Care Center or Kindergarten in South America

Volunteer washing children's' hands at a care center project in South America

Projects Abroad volunteers can also choose to work with children in day care centers or kindergartens in South America. At one of these placements, you will participate in a variety of tasks including helping prepare meals, playing games, helping with homework, or teaching any subjects that will contribute to the children’s educational development. Volunteers can also teach more practical lessons to the children– appropriate person hygiene or personal safety rules and precautions.

Volunteers are welcome to participate in any part of childcare regardless of their background. Childcare in South America is a field that is always in need of volunteers who are interested in care work, have a passion for helping other people, or are enthusiastic about meaningful travel.

Volunteering in Orphanages in South America

Over the years, our volunteers have worked with children at orphanages and residential care homes in South America. They have done incredible work at these placements, improving living conditions there and creating opportunities for children by supporting their education and care. However, we have decided to move our focus away from orphanages and homes toward community and family-based care. This is because we believe stable family environments are best for the children we work with. Read more about orphanage volunteering and our position on it.

This means that instead of volunteering in orphanages in South America, volunteers will work in placements like day care centres, kindergartens and schools, or support groups for the elderly and mothers and babies. This will help Projects Abroad build stronger relationships with local communities and – most importantly – help families stay together and flourish.

"The next day I was taken to work for the first time, at the Centro Canarito. This is a day center for children from the area surrounding ‘La Cancha’, the huge market that Cochabamba boasts. The Center aims to provide educational support for the children, as well as being a place for the children to go to avoid them simply wandering the streets when their parents are working. Happily, I was accompanied on my first day by Carmen; else I would never have found the place. The Centro Canarito inhabits two tiny rooms on the edge of La Cancha, with no sign outside or any recognition of what goes on inside the heavy iron door that blocks the way to the center. The children are looked after by four women from the local area, headed up by Nilda. It’s worth noting that Nilda has the last word in all disputes between the children, and can be used as a very effective threat…as in ‘If you keep doing that, we’ll go and see Nilda’. Simple, yet effective."

Chris Turner- Care in Bolivia

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