- The Hogar del Niño Project is a program of HELP International specifically focused on sending volunteers to work in the Hogar del Niño orphanage for persons with disabilities in El Salvador.
What are the goals of the Hogar del Niño Project?
- To provide love, education, and stimulating activities for the residents of the orphanage.
- To facilitate continuing projects in literacy, education, and daily living to benefit the lives of a focused group of the residents long-term.
What is required of the volunteers participating in the Hogar del Niño Project?
- Two volunteers will live and work in the orphanage for a three-month shift (mid January through mid April; mid May through mid August; or mid September through mid December).
Dates are very flexible depending on volunteer availability.
- The two volunteers will be living in close quarters, and therefore need to be a married couple or of the same sex. The volunteers need to be prepared to work and live very closely for three months.
- Volunteers are expected to plan daily activities and classes for the orphanage residents.
- Volunteers are expected to begin and contribute to focused projects that will benefit the lives of the orphanage residents long-term. Projects can vary according to volunteers’ expertise, but ideas include teaching the residents to read, teaching the non-verbal residents to use assistive communication devices, offering recreational therapy activities, teaching the orphanage teachers educational theory and techniques, etc.
- Volunteers are expected to contribute 40 hours a week to improving the lives of the orphanage residents.
- At least one member of the volunteer team must be fluent or nearly fluent in Spanish.
- Each volunteer pays $1,950, which includes housing, program director, project supplies, and other associated costs. Does not include airfare, food, entertainment, and weekend travel.
- Many volunteers choose to fundraise the entire cost of their program participation.
What would I gain from participating in the Hogar del Niño project?
- Hands-on experience in your field of study. (Many university majors are even willing to offer internship credit for your volunteer work abroad, and this type of international experience is invaluable on applications for jobs, graduate school, medical school, or dental school.)
- An incredible opportunity to experience another culture, improve your Spanish, and see the world. (A week of travel is allowed in addition to your weekends.)
- Life-changing experiences learning from persons with disabilities.
- The chance to play rowdy games of UNO with Xiomara, to teach Geovany to use pictures to speak to those around him, to color with Matias, to blow bubbles with Inecita, to teach Maritza how to read, and to enjoy every day serving children who really need and love you.
For information on how you can volunteer with the Hogar del Niño project, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (801) 374-0556.