The journey of Gabriele Olivos Espinoza

  • Nationality: Italian

  • Volunteer from: October 2019 to December 2019

  • Place: Ventanilla (30 km from Lima), Perù
  • Mission: Istituto Scolastico Fe y Alegria 43 

“It all started with my idea to finish my degree course in Professional Education by creating a thesis that would allow me to make comparisons between the educational system in Italy and the educational system in Peru (my father’s birthplace). I had the opportunity to get in touch with the La Salle Institute in Rome and I was offered to work in the context of Ventanilla, within the Lasallian school, Fe y Alegria 43, supported by the local NGO “Tarpusunchis”. 

In Peru, there are no support teachers in state schools and often the most difficult children are not considered enough. My work in just three months of volunteering was to carry out an Educational Project, focusing on four pupils. The goal was initially to meet with the teachers about the reports that I received from them, about the students, to understand more about the struggles the teachers were facing. Subsequently I did a short period of behaviour observation of the students during class hours. Afterwards, the Headmistress and I met with each student, explaining to them our plans to give them the support they needed. Once the children had chosen whether to get help or not, we met the parents to inform them and ask for confirmation.

Afterwards, I had the opportunity to talk individually with each student and get to know them better, trying to understand their interests, their passions and their experiences. The goal was to build post-school activities, within the school, that were of interest to the children, so that we could establish a strong educational relationship and become more familiar. During the activities I tried to discuss the students’ issues with them, but also the potential of each individual child, enhancing the strengths and trying to support them during all moments of work. The number of kids I worked with is certainly not high, but it can be useful to make them understand a different educational method within the school context. 

The message I would like to share is to always want to get involved, accept and understand the context in which you volunteer in. There will be times when the actions, cultures or problems of these places may not be clear, but we must always try to be positive and at the same time treasure all the things that are different to our hometown or country. In a country or territory new to us, there will always be new things to learn. We must try to have the desire to learn more and more by adapting to the lifestyles of the local people, without ever judging.”

Share This Post