A short story by Country Manager Daniel Salazar on how a volunteer is using professional skills to help in Peru:
Don volunteered to teach conversational English in Lima, Peru, where Global Volunteers works with students and faculty at the Language Center at the National Agrarian University (UNALM). Since he is an engineer, Don was assigned the class with faculty and staff. Cora, the other volunteer teaching English, was assigned the college students’ class. One student at Cora’s class wanted help with his “resume.” Since he was an engineering student, Cora directed him to Don. Don took him in and set up a private session with him for the next day.
The private session started right on Peruvian time, 20 minutes after the scheduled time. Hans was the name of the student. Turns out Hans didn’t need help with his “resume, ” but with an abstract for his Bachelor’s thesis. The confusion came as the word “resumen” (summary, or abstract, in Spanish) is similar to the English “resume.” In Peru, B.A. thesis require an English abstract, for which many students require much help. Gladly, an engineer like Don was there to help an engineer student like Hans.
Hans thesis’ was about the design of a machine capable of selecting a particular kind of Chirimoya (annona cherimola) for export. This would help an association of small Chirimoya producers in Peru. I would have not been able to help Hans, but Don was. His particular professional background and skills have helped a student finish is B.A. thesis. Like Hans, there are many other students at UNALM who need help with abstracts, resumes, journal articles, conversation, and many other things in English. Using professional skills to help in Peru is not hard. All you need is your mother’s tongue, experience, and willingness to help.