Development Focus: Youth and child development; Education; Infrastructure upkeep
YCA has two projects in Mexico that will run simultaneously:
Option One- Maintenance activities
El Nino Feliz is situated on large grounds which require a lot of work to maintain. There are two separate sites, housing the boys and the girl’s home and recreational areas. The home only has the ability to employ one person to maintain the sites, and this salary is paid for by the government. El Nino Feliz requests the assistance of volunteers to assist with maintenance activities to ensure the upkeep of the properties and to provide a safe environment for the children in which to grow and develop.
The next project departing in June 2013 will have a focus on the boy’s house which needs some attention as parts of the building are run down and if repairs aren’t undertaken soon it is at risk of being closed by the Department for the Integration of Families. Our partner RJI has vowed to raise funds to purchase the equipment necessary for the repairs and maintenance and we need a committed team prepared to undertake the work to upgrade the condition of the boys house. Some of the specific activities that will be required for this project will involve fixing fences, pipes, some cement work, and lots of painting. As well as these activities there will also be time spent with the children undertaking activities such as sports and arts and crafts.
The accommodation for this project will be in the boys house. Rooms are shared with bunk beds. There is running water, hot showers and a kitchen for cooking.
Option two- Teaching English
This project is suitable for those who are studying to be teachers, are qualified teachers or for those with an interest in teaching. All volunteers wishing to teach English must undertake a TEFL course to be accepted onto the project, or have completed a similar module at university.
In early 2012, RJI and VOICE, in collaboration with El Nino Feliz, decided to increase the involvement in San Joaquin and established a free English program for the local community. Currently volunteers teach group and private classes in the evenings for youth and adults. Starting in June 2013 this program will increase as the local school, San Joaquin School, has asked for assistance from volunteers to teach English classes. The school is a public school with only 60 students and therefore does not have a permanent English teacher paid for by the government as they are focused on schools with a higher number of students. The students who attend the school are from low income families and the majority of them are unable to attend the free evening classes provided by volunteers as after school they have to work in the corn fields and at the local cement factory.
Classes at San Joaquin school will take place every day for Grades 1-4. There are four classes for each grade, so volunteers will likely work in pairs and be assigned their own classes for the duration of the project. Classes at the school will be one hour each, and volunteers will teach four classes each morning starting at 7am. The school is walking distance from El Nino Feliz. Due to the high number of classes, volunteers need to be prepared to spend time working together planning and preparing their lessons.
When not teaching, volunteers will be able to undertake activities with the children of El Nino Feliz and possibly assist with maintenance activities if they wish to do so alongside the maintenance team.
The accommodation for this project will be in a training centre situated next to the main house where the girls live. The training centre is a three story building. Volunteers live on the second floor, the kitchen is on the third and community English classes are taught on the first floor. Volunteers share a room and sleep on mattresses on the floor. There is running water, hot showers.