Let's deepen on the reflections about volunteering as a learning process from the perspective of Critical Pedagogy with Abi, our coordinator.
Algunas reflexiones en torno al voluntariado entendido como un proceso de aprendizaje desde la perspectiva de la Pedagogía Crítica de la mano de Abi, nuestra coordinadora.
This was a week with a lot of news!
On Monday we had two introductory meetings:
Johannes, now nicknamed "Yoyo", came from Germany and started his volunteering in Comunidad Milpa for a couple of months and this was his first week adapting to a new country and a different language.
Also Emma, Dominic, and now PJ from the USA who are in Argentina for an exchange abroad from their university are joining us. During this semester they will be studying and having their intercultural experience from the service learning subject teaching English, in the community kitchen and in the early childhood center.
Soon we will give you more news about their learning and feelings about the different projects. We hope you all have a great experience!
A quick set of questions to deepen on the concept of volunteering delivered by Abi, our volunteers coordinator. Probably the first part on a group of articles reflecting about volunteering as a learning process, so yeah! expect more of these
In Argentina, August 1st is El día de la Pachamama. Pachamama is what natives call Mother Earth. The translation would be "Mother Earth's Day" In the vision of our natives, it's also our New Year, as opposed to the one in the Western calendar the colonization imposed. In different parts of the country, there are celebrations for this day, and MILPA participated in organizing a festival in the Parque San Lorenzo neighborhood. We translated their article so you could know more about this celebration and Comunidad MILPA's commitment to the community. You can read the original article in spanish in @comunidad_milpa instagram.
Abi, our coordinator, reflects on the learning process of volunteer work, and the expectations and disappointments which come along with it.
After about an hour of travel from the heart of the city, Cordelia, Abi, and I arrive at Comunidad Milpa. Located in General Pacheco, the garden and greenhouse of Milpa is one of two projects started by Voluntario Global. As I step outside of the car, I am greeted by Rashu, a majestic, black-haired greyhound, one of Valeria’s (Voluntario Global’s co-founder) two pet dogs.
In 2008, almost 10 years after my first visit to Latin America having just qualified as a Spanish teacher, I arrived in a cold, grey Buenos Aires. The plan was to spend 2 months volunteering with a relatively new volunteering charity called Voluntario Global. Back in 2008, Valeria Gracia and Armin Díaz, the original founders of the organisation, had set up a grass roots organisation that worked, principally, out of two community centres in impoverished barrios of the Argentine capital. What was unique about Voluntario Global, and remains true today, is that it looked to bring together the energy and enthusiasm of international volunteers with the local members of the poor communities of Buenos Aires who believed that change in their lives, and those of their neighbourhoods at large, was possible through international co-operation and partnership.
The crèche is not just a place where your children are welcomed and cared for, it is an institution with a deep history and wonderful human values. Indeed, founded by women many years ago, it was a way for them to combine the useful with the pleasant, but above all it was a matter of necessity. Unable to look after children and earn money, they had to find a solution to both problems. So, by building their own crèche, they were able to keep an eye on the children but also develop a business. The beginnings were not easy, sometimes having to bring food from home to feed the children they were looking after because of the little money they had. But with ambition and courage they succeeded and now allow other women like them to do the same thing by getting a job as a teacher, cook or cleaner in the crèche and also to be able to drop off their children. Most of the women working in this institution are, in fact, accompanied by their respective children, sometimes even in the same class.
Voluntario Global helps local communities by being available to discuss anything that local organizations need, and offering ideas for further change and development.
Location: General Pacheco. Buenos Aires. Argentina