Homes and Community Building Projects.
SOS CHILDREN'S VILLAGE - Mbabane, Swaziland: 26% of Swaziland's population has HIV - the highest infection rate in the world. The AIDS pandemic has ravaged the country creating a generation of child-led families and orphans. This experience offers incredible satisfaction by substantially improving the quality of life for families that have been devastated by HIV/AIDS. Volunteers work with our host partner, S.O.S. Children's Village, and their community outreach program to build homes and community care points that provide education and a daily meal for orphaned children. Each community care point is staffed by employees and volunteers who feed children from nearby homes with one meal per day. In exchange, the children must stay at the care point for 3 to 4 hours of education. Local women also operate handicraft businesses out of the same buildings.
Volunteer Experience Schedule SWAZILAND
EQUITABLE CAMBODIA - Chamcar Bei, Cambodia: Cambodia is one the most impoverished countries in the world still recovering after 30 years of violence and repression. Volunteers support a community-led participatory development project in the village of Chamcar Bei, which is one of the last holdouts of the Khmer Rouge. Chamcar Bei is a village with a population of about 3000 and covers an area of about 20 sq. km, and has only a very small commercial centre. It is renowned for being the last stand of the Khmer Rouge, who finally laid down their arms in 1996, almost 20 years after the height of the regime. Volunteers work on locally driven projects that involve food security, livelihood development, education for all children, including English and computer literacy and vocational training in integrated farming and renewable energy technology. Project activities include building ‘Dream Homes’ for the 25 poorest families, harvesting rice, renovating the local community buildings and leading workshops at an elementary school.
Volunteer Experience Schedule CAMBODIA
OPEN WINDOWS FOUNDATION - San Miguel Dueñas, Guatemala: Volunteers work in the Village of San Miguel Dueñas on the outskirts of Antigua. The community, with a population of about 9000, survives primarily on the coffee and flower industries and many of its citizens are subsistence level, transient farm labourers. San Miguel Dueñas is a very traditional Guatemalan community surrounded by the beauty of rural countryside with a great active volcano visible from throughout the town. Our host-partner, the Open Windows Foundation, works to provide disadvantaged children with the basic opportunity to learn how to read and free education. Volunteers will help children with computer skills, numbers and crafts and playing soccer! Volunteers also assist in the construction of needed infrastructure projects such as “youth-safe” houses, on projects ranging from painting to minor electrical, plumbing and concrete repairs at Dueñas public and rural schools.
There is a new opportunity in Dueñas with the development of a suburb that provides housing for the poorest in the community. Volunteers have considerable home building work for at least a couple of years. The homes are designed by a corrugated iron contractor from Antigua and will be about 300 sq. ft. with all walls and roof constructed of two sheets of iron sandwiched together, with sufficient space to permit air flow. Some homes are built with concrete block and corrugated sheet metal roofs.
Volunteer Experience Schedule GUATEMALA