HELP Youth: Helping out at the skate ramp

Skate Ramp Skate Ramp

The Skate Ramp is up in the hills on the outskirts of Huanchaco town, in an area not visible from Huanchaco itself. This shanty town area is called Cerrito de la Virgen and most of its inhabitants come from ENSO phenomenon (El Niño Southern Oscillation), a natural climatic occurrence that caused excessive rainfalls in 1997/98 and resulted in US$ 3.5 billion economic losses in Peru. The Peruvian government didn't have the capacity to cope with the resulting housing crisis that left millions of Peruvian families homeless. In La Libertad region, authorities located some of the ENSO victims on the very arid land of Cerrito de la Virgen. These people had no choice and were made no promises by the government, there was not even any electricity or water available for the new inhabitants. They just got there and had to start making their lives again. As a consequence, the needs of the children, including their education were put aside while their parents were more worried about surviving.

The HELP Youth project (originally called HELP Community) started in 2010. The children living in Cerrito did not have access to a particularly stimulating environment, or much to amuse themselves with and as a result they tended towards misbehaving and acting up. However, our volunteers saw a lot of potential there, realised that with a little attention and some activities, these children could really flourish. With some land donated from a local surf school, the volunteers mobilised and built the Skate Ramp to offer a fun and stimulating environment for the children to play in.

The main goal of this project is to offer children a safe place to play, while providing the children with positive role models. If you enjoy working with children, have a sense of fun and understand the importance of being a good role model then you cannot miss this volunteer opportunity!

VolunteerRoles/WorkingHours

The main task of volunteers is organizing a schedule with activities that will suit the children and might help their development. Tasks include:

  • Teaching skateboarding and games to the children. Levels of skating ability vary greatly and not all of the kids go to the ramp to skate. Other activities depend on what the volunteers organise, but include other sports (especially football and volleyball) and games, Lego, drawing and crafts such as making friendship bracelets.
  • Instilling good values and reinforcing the importance of good manners. One of the most important elements of the volunteers’ work at the skate ramp is to provide a positive role model for the children. This includes encouraging them to share skate boards, to say please and thank you and to treat each other well.

  • Looking after the facility: tidying-up, cleaning, basic repairs and ensuring proper care and maintenance.

  • Bringing new ideas about how to improve the space and add new appealing features for children. Previous examples of this have included construction of new ramps/jumps, larger-scale repairs and painting murals.

During the summer holidays, the Skate Ramp can be opened anytime from Monday to Friday. Generally, however, the ramp is open Monday - Friday (15:00-18:00) for the rest of the year.

VolunteerRequirements

  • Age 18+

  • Basic Spanish level. We can arrange classes for your arrival if you have no Spanish or need/want to boost your level.

  • Minimum commitment: 4 weeks - the longer, the better.

  • Able to cope with active streetwise children.

  • Empathetic, responsible and open-mind personality.

  • Volunteers should have some experience of teaching or working with or looking after children, and may be subjected to a full criminal record check.

  • Leadership and discipline are must for this position. Experience in skateboarding would be an advantage, but not mandatory

     

    We also need a volunteer who is willing to take responsibility for coordinating the running of the Skate Ramp project - this role is more suitable for someone willing to spend a minimum of 3 months at the project.

Minimum Age (on Arrival)Level of SpanishMinimum Time Commitment
18+IntermediateMin. 1 month
LocationAround Huanchaco
Type of Role(s)Social work
Level of Project Structure
This is a developing project with the volunteers contributing different kinds of roles-teaching, role models and support.
Specific Skills/Experience Required
Volunteers should have some experience of teaching or working with or looking after children, and may be subjected to a full criminal record check. Leadership and discipline are must for this position. Experience in skateboarding would be an advantage, but not mandatory

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