email: volunteer@otracosa.org

HELP Women

Promoting women’s empowerment in Huanchaco.

The HELP Women programme is about supporting women and women’s empowerment in and around Huanchaco. Since this project began in 2011, we’ve been working with several groups of women, but currently we are mainly working with the Comedor group of women that has been organised through the local church. We started collaborating with and supporting this women’s group in June 2013, although the Comedor is an institution that has been up and running for over a decade.

The Comedor group has a monthly budget provided by a large amount of sponsors from abroad. This budget provides the women with groceries to cook breakfast and lunch for the children and themselves and is supervised by an empathetic and sincere Peruvian social worker. The Comedor also provides the children and their mothers with a safe space where they can play, do their homework, do crafts or just have a nice chat with their friends and community members.

The HELP Women programme tries to help women in a variety of aspects of their life, which makes for many interesting volunteer opportunities. The programme offers different skills classes to the women which gives them the opportunity of selling their products to receive an income and put food on the table. The vast majority of women with whom we work receive a very low income and very few of them have jobs outside of the household. To give the women a better chance of succeeding and a means to earn an income, we want to offer them classes in basic business and marketing as well as workshops and training to support their education and personal and professional development. Many women in Peru are often unaware of their rights, live with domestic violence and many girls get pregnant at a very young age. Education and support for their basic rights, family planning and sex education is therefore also needed. The majority of the women have either no education or have only finished the first few years of school, and a few of the women have also expressed an interest in classes to learn some of the basics including reading/writing, maths and English.

Volunteer and Internship Opportunities

HELP Women Coordinator

All of our HELP Coordinator positions are higher-level volunteer positions for more experienced volunteers with strong leadership skills, who are looking to coordinate and manage one of our own Huanchaco Education and Learning Program (HELP) projects. In this position, you would receive supervision from OCN staff and you would be responsible for overseeing and supervising the other volunteers assigned to your HELP project. There is a lot of room for creativity in these positions. You will be expected to have a great deal of initiative in helping to create the structure by planning, organising and facilitating the schedule of meetings, events, and activities for your project.

The women’s empowerment coordinator position is one of the most challenging positions we have to offer, although it can also be incredibly rewarding. The women can be inconsistent and it is going to take a while for you to build trust and strong relationships with many of them. The women come from low-income backgrounds and a generation influenced by sexism and abuse; many have migrated from the highlands of Peru, where these issues are even greater. These issues can mean that sometimes the position can be stressful, frustrating and emotionally draining and we are looking for coordinators that are culturally sensitive, strongly motivated and well grounded. Despite the difficulties, many of our coordinators with the above mentioned attributes have discovered incredible moments of achievement and satisfaction with the HELP Women project, especially in the personal relationships and individual successes they have witnessed and shared with the women.

Working hours

The Comedor is open Monday-Friday, from about 5am-4pm (although workshops can be scheduled until 6pm), which provides a very flexible schedule. In addition to the activities that you’ll do with them, the women also greatly appreciate support every once in a while with the daily chores of the kitchen, and this is also a great way to build trust and relationships with the group. Depending on how often you choose to meet with the women and their children, this position could be full time (20 hours a week) or it could be part time and split with another volunteer opportunity.

Volunteer roles

Liaising with the Comedor social worker
Supporting other HELP Women volunteers
Providing the link between OCN and the Comedor
Meeting individually and in small groups to build relationships with the women
Supporting, attending and participating in group meetings, events, training and activities
Offering classes or training in:
Sewing, knitting and or crocheting
Handicrafts and things that could be sold for an income
Baking
Marketing, business and IT for beginners
Literacy classes
English classes
Giving workshops on women’s rights/sexual education/domestic violence/hygiene/nutrition etc.
There is also flexibility for other innovative ideas, workshops or training that would benefit the women, although please bear in mind the sustainability of your ideas after you leave.

Volunteer requirements

Age 21+
Advanced Spanish level
Minimum commitment: 3 months, 6 months+ preferred
As this is a women’s empowerment programme, we only accept female volunteers.
Mature, flexible, patient, empathetic, enthusiastic.
Desirable: skills in sewing/baking/crafts
Desirable: background in business/marketing, and or psychology, social work, women’s rights, gender studies, social studies, sociology etc.

HELP Women Volunteer

The Comedor is open Monday-Friday, from about 5am-4pm (although workshops can be scheduled until 6pm), which provides a very flexible schedule. In addition to the activities that you’ll do with them, the women also greatly appreciate support every once in a while with the daily chores of the kitchen, and this is also a great way to build trust and relationships with the group. Depending on how often you choose to meet with the women and their children, this position could be full time (20 hours a week) or it could be part time and split with another volunteer opportunity.

We are particularly looking for volunteers with skills in crafts like baking, sewing, crochet and knitting to continue the weekly classes with the women.

Volunteer roles

Meeting individually and in small groups to build relationships with the women
Supporting, attending and participating in group meetings, events, training and activities
Offering classes or training in:
Sewing, knitting and or crocheting
Handicrafts and things that could be sold for an income
Baking
Marketing, business and IT for beginners
Literacy classes
English classes
Giving workshops on women’s rights/sexual education/domestic violence/hygiene/nutrition etc.
There is also flexibility for other innovative ideas, workshops or training that would benefit the women, although please bear in mind the sustainability of your ideas after you leave.

Volunteer requirements

Age 21+
Advanced Spanish level
Minimum commitment: 3 months
As this is a women’s empowerment programme, we only accept female volunteers.
Mature, flexible, patient, empathetic, enthusiastic.
Desirable: skills in sewing/baking/crafts
Desirable: background in business/marketing, and or psychology, social work, women’s rights, gender studies, social studies, sociology etc.

You are donating to : Otra Cosa Network

Your support makes it possible for us improve education opportunities and social development in the communities where we work around Huanchaco. Creating lasting change through local empowerment. You can Donate by Bank Transfer if you wish.

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