Teach New Skills and Improve the Lives of School Children!
Are you a teacher, or do you have experience in teaching? Do you enjoy working with children and want to gain some experience for you future career? Then come with us to Colombia, a rapidly developing and fascinatingly diverse country filled with incredibly welcoming people and stunning landscapes, and bring new skills and teaching methods to disadvantaged children. In so doing, you could encourage them to stay in the countryside and support their community. With your help, they will learn new talents, perspectives, and attitudes that will help them prosper!
This project is part of our Colombia Volunteer Circle, in which you can combine up to five projects located in the same region into one comprehensive program.
€ 1199,00 – first month
€ 1149,00 – second month
BRING NEW SKILLS TO DISADVANTAGED CHILDREN IN BEAUTIFUL RURAL COLOMBIA!
- Accommodation and three meals a day.
- Pickup and transport from airport.
- Pre-arrival welcome pack.
- Welcome Dinner.
- Complimentary t-shirt.
- 24 hour support.
The modern world, although bringing many benefits in its wake, can also have some drastic negative effects on society. Because it introduces a plethora of new ideas and social attitudes through different forms of media and the movement of people, it can encourage the dissolution of traditional family and social structures. In search of ‘The Dream’, many young people leave their rural villages for the city, which over time results in the breakdown of the community and the local infrastructure and economy.
When young people follow the promises of the modern world and emigrate to big cities in search of more opportunities, better financial prospects, and a higher standard of living, however, things do not always go to plan. A large proportion, unprepared for and uneducated about the harsh realities of modern life, vulnerable to exploitation and sheer bad luck, are losing their dreams to drugs, alcohol, criminal activities, and early pregnancies. By the time this happens, they often have no resources with which to get back to the safety and support of their families, and so on many occasions they continue on a downward spiral.
But it is also common in this region for children to have to face the challenges of the streets on a daily basis even at home, as they are often left outside to fend for themselves whilst their parents are at work or busy because the family cannot afford to pay for childcare. This again leaves them open to exploitation, and does not provide them with the stimulation to pursue a good education and so improve their prospects in life.
The flow of people out of the countryside also results in a lack of labor for local industries, such as agriculture. As a consequence farmers, for example, have to take on the burden themselves; many find that there is therefore no profit in farming, so decide to abandon their land. This obviously has knock-on effects for the local economy, and so as a broader consequence, on the local infrastructure and wider community.
The children of this community need better and broader education in order to achieve their dreams in their local area. By teaching children new skills and languages volunteers are therefore helping to improve their chances in life.
This project aims to create a better future for all by giving support to young people. We need volunteers to help to assist in or give lessons at the schools (in English, Spanish, science, math, sports, the arts, agriculture and construction, and personal development) and introduce these children to new perspectives and ways of life. This will encourage them to aim higher and hopefully begin a passion for a particular subject, interest or dream, whilst teaching them that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.
We want to teach the children new skills and support their social development; to teach them a new language so that they have more job opportunities in the future; and to teach them skills in agriculture, construction and tourism so that they can help their community and stay in the countryside.
Volunteer duties will vary according to your skill set and knowledge, as well as the specific needs of each teacher and student. There are 2 schools in which you can work, one a small school of 260 children in the village, and the other a school of 2000 located in the nearby town. Your tasks will include:
- Assisting and supporting teachers in their classes (science, math, music, the arts, sports, etc.).
- Assisting and supporting teachers during afternoon activities.
- Teaching your native language (preference is given to English).
- Teaching IT.
- Teaching agricultural or construction skills.
- If you would like, teaching any other subject in which you specialize (art, theater, dance, music, nutrition, etc.).
- Supporting any special needs children who attend.
- Helping the children with their homework.
- Using games and play to introduce the children to new concepts or subjects.
- Teaching the children about new cultures and ways of life.
- Reporting to your project leader on a daily basis.
- Keeping a diary for NGO Taxi and participating in weekly meetings.
The exact tasks you will be asked to carry out will depend on the current needs and priorities of the project as determined by the project organizer and NGO Taxi management. The tasks stated here are therefore examples of some of the possible types of activities you will be asked to do.
You will work about six hours a day, Monday to Friday, from 7am to 1.30pm (including an hour’s lunch break).
You will be based at either a small village school (which is also where your accommodation is) or a larger school in the nearby town, 2 hours from Colombia’s capital, Bogotá. Although the village is fairly rural, the town has shops, internet cafes, restaurants, ATMs, and night life.
Buses from the village to the town leave frequently throughout the day and cost around COP $2500 per trip, taking about 30 minutes (not included in the project fee). There are also plenty of taxis (including mototaxis). In all cases the project leader can offer their own transport, a car for a total of five people, for a small fee. There are also very frequent buses to Bogotá, run by a handful of companies, and to several nearby towns and villages.
Accommodation and Food
You will stay in the house of the project organizer. The area is fairly rural but all basic amenities are available. The house is split into two, with the project organizer and their parent living in the main house and the volunteers sharing the bungalow (which includes 2 bathrooms). There is also a garden and outside sitting/dining area. If there are more than 4 volunteers private rooms will not be available.
The internet can be very slow, although if you need to you can take the short bus ride into town to use the internet cafes there.
You will be provided with 3 meals a day from Monday to Friday. On a Saturday you will be given 2 meals (all of these will be shared with the family), although none will be provided on a Sunday. The project organizer is very happy to provide for any special dietary requirements (vegetarians and vegans, celiacs, any allergies or intolerances, etc.) if advised before you arrive. You are welcome to use the kitchen to prepare your own meals, as long as you keep it clean and tidy, or to eat in the restaurants in the village or town. If you choose to eat any meals not provided by the project organizer these will be at your own cost.
In general, all that is required of you is to be enthusiastic, willing, and prepared to learn new skills, displaying a hardworking attitude and respect towards the local community and those you will be living and working with.
Any experience in teaching or working with children would be fantastic! A generally patient attitude and ability to communicate well with children is required. Please bring with you some kind of skill or talent to teach (such as music, art, languages, sport, or practical skills).
Generally, you should be ready to respond to changes and be able to deal with the unexpected for any work or travel in South America. For this program in particular, you should be willing to live and work in areas where the standard of living is much lower than that in the EU or US.
You must have at least a conversational level of Spanish for this project, as few local people speak any more than basic English, if any English at all. However, the project organizer has a very good level of English, having lived in England for several years, and can help you if you have any problems. Having said that, there would be little point in volunteering in another country if you could not communicate with the people you live and work with. After all, the better the Spanish you speak or learn before you arrive the more you can bring of yourself to the project, the more you can communicate and understand, and the more you will get out of your volunteering experience. In any case, you will be amazed how much Spanish you will learn by simply living and working in another country. We can help you with this! We offer a wide array courses suited to your level, including specialized courses, for as many course weeks as you require. Please see our Language Courses page for more information.
Additional Information and Specials
Length of Stay:
At least one month.
Every Monday (arrive on the Sunday).
It is absolutely necessary that you have current immunizations. This includes, among others: yellow fever (certified), tetanus, typhoid, diphtheria, hepatitis A and B, and rabies. You’ll receive information pertaining to immunizations needed in Colombia, as well as your personal preliminary documentation, following your successful application with us.
You can inquire in advance concerning immunization requirements by consulting medical authorities in your country of origin, e.g. in the US, check with the Centers for Disease Control and Protection
- Accommodation including bedding.
- Three meals a day, Monday to Friday.
- Pickup and transport from airport.
- Pre-arrival welcome pack.
- Welcome Dinner.
- FREE NGO Taxi t-shirt.
- 24 hour support.
- Certificate of successful volunteer participation on your project.
- Daily transport to and from your project site.
- Weekend or non-organized activities.
- Snacks and non-mealtime drinks.
- Travel insurance.
- Personal spending.
- Any additional items not listed in the ‘Included Services’ list.
In general, you must bear in mind that you will be representing NGO Taxi to communities and project partners and are therefore required to demonstrate a professional attitude. Lightweight long sleeves and trousers are recommended for the area, as it can get very hot and there are mosquitoes.
Tidy and clean presentation is essential, so please keep your clothes clean, wear your hair up, keep your nails short and unpolished, and remove all piercings and jewellery. Please note that the schools are closed during the holidays (two weeks over Easter, July and August, and December to mid-January) and every bank holiday.
You will need to provide a criminal background check, medical records, proof of travel and medical insurance and any professional certificates or proof of vocational qualifications that you may have.
During this program, you will be in contact with a lot of people. However, you might also be the only volunteer working with local staff at times, so be prepared for variety in the people you will meet and work with.
Free Time Activities
NGO Taxi provides tours in other areas of Colombia, such as the Lost City trek or a trip to Punta Gallinas. Sounds like the thing for you? Then take a look at our page http://ngotaxi.org/tours/ for more information!
And if you want to explore this fascinating and diverse country on your own, may we suggest…
- Joining a graffiti tour in Bogotá, one of South America’s graffiti hotspots, and learning some fascinating facts about this hugely diverse and socially expressive art form.
- Visiting the underground salt cathedral of Zipaquirá.
- Taking a trip to the beautiful colonial town of Villa de Leyva.
- Experiencing the famous nightlife of Medellín and Bogotá.
- Testing your moves on the dance floor in the Colombian, possibly even South American, capital of salsa: the city of Cali.
- Staying on a coffee finca in La Zona Cafetería.
- Seeing some of the amazing archaeological remains of San Agustin and Tierradentro.
- Hiking in the glorious Tayrona national park.
- Watching the famous Barranquilla carnival.
- Exploring the Caribbean coast, including a day trip to Las Islas Rosarios off the coast of Cartagena.
- Meeting indigenous communities or taking a survival training course in the Amazon.