In January and February 2020, the entire team of the Huchuy Yachaq social centre was mobilised to offer children from the Puquin sector in the Santiago de Cusco district, a program intended to promote the development of children and teenagers within their family, the society and their community.
A total of 70 children and teenagers, aged from 6 and 16 and mostly from the Hermanos Ayar, San Pedro and Dignidad Nacional districts, participated actively and joyfully in different workshops: writing workshops, graffiti and urban art, theatre, plastic arts, photography, mathematics, life project.
A participatory and playful educational approach
A participatory methodology has been implement in order to have these young people participate in the programme and encourage them to express their ideas and their expectations. Two general meetings have been rganised to involve the young people in the choice of activities and the functioning of the group. A third meeting was held in presence of the parents. Young people and parents could share their feelings and expectations.
Through artistic and fun workshops, young people have grown in maturity, autonomy and critical thinking: development of the social skills, consolidation of socio-emotional skills, implementation of fundamental values (respect for others, equality). It was difficult to propose activities for life project and personal development because the children are not familiar with dreaming, introspection, or even expressing their aspirations.
The management team
7 professionals (theatre, drawing, anthropology teachers,) and 3 volunteers supervised 3 groups of young people grouped by age. This project was a huge success thanks to the competent, complementary and invested team.
“To be a volunteer in the Huchuy Yachaq association is to give a lot of love and affection, but also to receive a lot in return. It is about creating joy, smiles, laughter. It is also the experience for me to create a project with others, to participate in a project where we can add our personal touch to give a unique result. It is to feel useful to others in a context of mutual sharing. In fact, it is to see every day that our work is rewarded by the love that children give us, and the confidence that they place in us.” Manon
“Everything is going very well. The team is great and the children adorable. The activities go on and I have no trouble being accepted by the children and the team.” Tom
A positive and constructive experience
The involvement of several members of the community made this Huchuy Yachaq initiative possible: the authorities of the Dignidad nacional district made the communal lounge available, salaried professionals and volunteers formed a dynamic and united team. Huchuy Yachaq’s partner associations contributed to the financing of the project. The financial
participation of Los Chico de Cusco (1,500 euros) represented 30% of the total cost of the project. 49% of the parents also participated financially according to their possibilities (contributions ranged from 30 to 60 soles for the 2 months).
It was a positive and constructive experience. Some other children could be involved and from now on, they can also benefit from the various social and community activities the Huchuy Yachaq centre proposes throughout the year.