Friday, June 21, 2013

An Interview with Peru Country Manager Edith Rodriguez Preciado

What is your perspective on the Global Volunteers organization in Ecuador?
We give what it is needed: lots of love and attention to the kids, support to the staff and improvement in my ways the life quality of the kids. Global Volunteers helps in many ways and mainly volunteers bring the outside world to the kids who are eager to learn and ready to receive and give!

How is it different from other volunteering opportunities?
Through all these years at the Puericultorio A. Perez Aranibar (PPA) for instance , Global Volunteers has become well -known by the kids and staff because our volunteers want to serve genuinely. We're there to help and we will do what we are asked to do like mop the floor; to teach cooking to the kids. We do what they tell us to do and that is why we always be where we are needed.

How can volunteers make a significant impact on community projects?
Volunteers can change ways to think about foreigners. Most of the time people think that foreigners want to see and take pictures like tourists but when they meet volunteers and they notice that they want to help and they can be asked to do dishes for them, people change their way to see foreigners... There is a clear difference between a volunteer and a tourist. Also, volunteers' goals are to serve and that is why they offer quality f time to the people around. As PPA's psychologist said: " I prefer that our kids work with volunteers in physical exercises or development exercises because they're patient and loving -  that they dedicate their time to the kids is unique and appreciated".

What do you like volunteers to know about your community before they arrive?
I like volunteers to know and be aware that the kids at PPA deserve the best that they can offer. PPA is a special place where there are suffered abandoned, at-risk and unwanted kids... we have the difficult but it is an honor to be part of the love chain that will bring hope, smiles and the message that someone cares about them. 

Puericultorio A. Perez Aranibar has been the largest children's place in South America for many years. PPA is like a little neighborhood where volunteers help in different activities. Being a neighborhood, volunteers participated in celebrations like Christmas.Volunteers usually say they have gotten more than they have given. I think the experience is different from their daily life.

How does this service opportunity expand volunteers’ perspective of the world?
Definitely, volunteers are not in their comfort zone and many volunteers can adapt and understand that they can make the day for someone else. I always tell volunteers that PPA is the best place where they can understand that their presence is so important and it can make the difference.

What are your reflections as we prepare to note Global Volunteers' 30th anniversary in January?
Global Volunteers has done a lot for kids, children's homes, school and communities and there is a lot more that can be done and I think that is why these 30th years are just part of the many years that Global Volunteers will be. Global Volunteers will be where people need help, support, hope and love and this is only possible because of the great volunteers who are leaving their mark of love in the world. The service programs are not about bachelor degrees but instead of applying all our knowledge in helping, not always about donating things but instead giving them a better quality of life, and it is not only about teaching but instead learning from and being open-minded about the culture.

 Global Volunteers has accomplished many goals and has many other ones to do so, but we are not few volunteers, we are now many more who will be eager and ready to serve others.

Thanks to Global Volunteers, I have seen how a room full of pieces of furniture became a beautiful and modern library, how a sad and shy kid became an easygoing and smiley kid... and for sure, Global Volunteers has changed, improved and developed in many ways, communities and most important-- in many minds and hearts.
Thank you to all for what you do.  Please return again and again.