Our experience volunteering in the Therapy Centre run by Peru Children’s Charity:
We are two French sisters, Souad and Leila respectively 30 and 32 years old and we worked 4 weeks in turns in the centre as volunteers. At the very start, we didn’t speak Spanish very well or at least not fluently and frankly we were a bit anxious that we could not be efficient enough without the language mastered. But finally, it turned out that once we started working in the centre it did not really matter anymore because when we spent time with the children we could always find a way to communicate, maybe better than with adults.
When we arrived in the centre we knew that it was not always easy for a child to live with a disability as we have ourselves a 26 years old brother born with a muscular dystrophy and one of us has worked for months with ill children in Africa as well. Therefore, our aim was to give the children some moral support and if possible some kind of joy and fun as much as we could through diverse activities such as games, reading, singing and dancing which they are very keen on by the way.
Anyway, eventually we realized that the children gave us more than we actually did. In fact, they taught us about what was essential in life. They are so brave and they know how to keep having faith, hope and a beautiful smile on their faces as well as giving love without condition which made us forget sometimes that all of them are living with physical and/or mental disabilities.
We also had the opportunity to visit some children at their home and meet the parents which allowed us to better understand their living conditions. We were pleased to talk with the families who welcomed us warmly and shared with us a lot about themselves. We surely know today that working in this centre was very important for both of us as we better understand disabled childrens’ living conditions and issues they have to deal with within such a poor area. Our wish is to have a chance to do more in the future for them and maybe come back working in this centre.
Leila and Souad