Learn about our partnership with Sagrada Familia and your opportunity to help children in Peru here.
Global Volunteers has worked for over two decades with partners a wide range of human development projects. We asked the Miller family about their experience to learn about travel and volunteer opportunity for families.
What led you to join in this new volunteer opportunity for families?
Irene: I wanted to do a family volunteer trip. I started to research and narrowed it down to several organizations. But I found I could relate to Global Volunteers’ focus on the children. I thought we could relate to that as a family; that’s why I chose Global Volunteers.
Hannah: I think that this is the best way to volunteer and travel. When you volunteer while you travel you get to know the community, actually. When you volunteer you really see the community and learn the culture.
“I wanted to take a vacation that was meaningful. I wanted to learn about another culture. I found I could relate to Global Volunteers’ focus on the children.”
What projects have you been working on?
Irene: We’ve been working on a variety of projects according to our skills. My husband has a painting company, so he is working on maintenance projects, painting and repair projects.
I’ve been working with the elementary school children on conversational English through games, books and other activities. My youngest daughter, Grace, is 11, and she’s been working alongside me in the classroom.
Hannah: I was working in the classrooms in the mornings. We have small groups of 5 or 6 kids, and we do basic games, like bingo or word games, where we teach the children basic English. One day I also worked in the library, organizing books by genre.
Irene: The work changes, based on the needs of the community. For instance, if a teacher is absent we go and help in another place. It’s all very respectful of the local people and what the leaders want – not what we want. We take our direction from those that we’re helping.
How do you think this is helping the community?
Irene: We bring a different culture to them; they have the chance to learn another culture. They are learning another language. Right now, we’re helping to repair and fix the community center. This sends a message of worldwide peace. It’s important for them viewing us coming here.
Hannah: It’s important that they see that people care about them and want to help.
Irene: The children don’t have much. But they have a lot of love to give. We’ve experience that. When we left, the girls cried.
“There is this one boy, Adrian. He has down syndrome. I only saw him the first day for about an hour and a half. He said he was cold, so I let him wear my jacket. And then on the last day, he just comes running up to me and says: ‘Bye! Adios! Adios!'” Hannah
Irene: The community organized a party. There were about 300 kids. And they said bye, we love you. It was very moving. I think we showed we cared about them, that they mean something to us. I think that for as much as they got out of this, we got more. Besides, it’s a good bonding experience for our family. We also got to make new friends.
“For as much as they got out of this, we got more. Besides, it’s a good bonding experience for our family.” Irene.
Check out the the video interview: