This kindergarten in Villa Hidalgo opened its doors in the year 2000. The kindergarten originally opened in another neighbourhood that lacked a safe place for the children to go during the day so that the parents could work or study. A group of mothers joined together to create the kindergarten that their neighbourhood needed and rented an abandoned space from a collective and refurbished it for the children. The kindergarten has since moved locations, but continues to provide care during the day time for the local children.
The coordinator at this project is Cecilia, her mother was part of the group of mothers who founded the kindergarten and she has taken over the work from her mother to continue providing a safe place for local children to learn, play and eat a healthy meal. They have around 25 to 30 children per session aged from 3 to 5, and there are 2 sessions per day. The kindergarten has only 2 or 3 members of staff to care for the children and so welcomes the help of volunteers.
Why is this project important for the community?
Cecilia had previously worked with youths and realised that many had to bring their children with them to work and that the neighbourhood lacked a place for parents to take their children during the day so that they could study or work. The kindergarten was opened to provide the safe place that parents needed, a place where their children could play, learn and eat a healthy lunch.
Role of the Volunteer
With around 30 children to care for in slightly difficult surroundings, the kindergarten is always in need of a helping hand!
Children have two sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Volunteers can choose only one of these.
Here is what an average day would look like:
- The first session begins at 8am when the children arrive at the kindergarten.
- The children spend the day doing educational activities and working from booklets or with different resources, as well as having time to play with toys.
- Between 11:30 and 12 the children have lunch which consists of a plate of hot food, a piece of fruit and juice or water
- After lunch the children from session one leave.
- At 12:30 the children from session 2 arrive and the above is repeated.
Here is a list of the different tasks available to volunteers:
- Most often the kindergarten needs help in the rooms with the children helping to play. The volunteers spend time playing with the children, with toys or with craft activities and other games and help keep the children entertained and safe. The activities vary depending on age and new activities introduced by the volunteers are very welcome!
- Help to prepare lunch for the children- the lunch is prepared in the kindergarten by the kindergarten staff and each day they cook and prepare enough to give each child a good healthy meal;
- Helping to serve lunch- preparing the plates and giving them out to the children;
- Helping to clear up after meals- children can be very messy eaters! After the children have eaten the volunteer can help to clear the plates and clean the tables and floor.
What can you learn as a volunteer?
Volunteering at this kindergarten will give volunteers an opportunity to practise their Spanish, either in conversation with staff for those speaking a higher level of Spanish, or learning basic vocabulary with the children. Volunteers will quickly learn colours, animals, numbers and dates, as well as useful phrases for helping and organising children. You will also gain valuable experience caring for young children, keeping them safe and entertained with certain activities from observing how the ladies at the kindergarten care for the children.
How does your work impact on the community?
Volunteers will have the opportunity to learn more about the Argentinian culture. The ladies working at this kindergarten love to teach the volunteers about their culture, cooking them traditional dishes and favourite foods, offering mate, and discussing the differences with the volunteer’s home culture. Also, volunteering at this kindergarten also offers the volunteer a chance to reflect on the differences compared to kindergartens at home, and experience the incredible work of the ladies in these areas.
For this project volunteers will leave at 8am and travel by public transport to the kindergarten, arriving at around 10am. Volunteers will stay with the children until 12:30/ 1pm.
The Center is located in Jose Leon Suarez, about 50-minute far from the centre of Buenos Aires and accessible by public transport.
1. Valid Passport & Visa: Most travelers do not need a visa to enter Argentina. Volunteers enter the country as tourists and can stay for up to 90 days. Extensions on your stay are possible; our coordinators will advise you on this process.
2. Medical Insurance: Voluntario Global requires the volunteer to have adequate medical insurance for the duration of the program and must be provided with details of such insurance coverage at the time of confirming their placement.
3. Spanish Level Required: Spanish is not required, although it always helps to be able to communicate in Spanish in site.
4. Minimum Stay: 2 weeks.