Earth Day with Azul Wasi
In celebration of International Mother Earth Day on the 22nd of April, the whole team went to Azul Wasi to run activities on sustainability and the environment with the boys. We wanted to do activities that involved learning about the three Rs: reusing, reducing and recycling! Our Social Enterprise Coordinator Miles Rudgley worked with the boys to build a new box for compost with the aim of using Azul Wasi’s biodegradable waste on the flowers and plants they grow. Christopher Harris, our Monitoring and Evaluations Officer, ran an arts and crafts workshop, using recycled plastic bottles to create an awesome Pacha Mama 3D spiral.
We held an awesome careers fair in which 9 guests from a range of professions spoke to our beneficiaries about what qualities it takes to be successful and how to get into their desired career. There was also a fantastic session from the professional child psychologist, Eliana, who helped the young people to think about the intersection between careers and identity, in order to start thinking about a career plan. We struggled to get the kids away from the professionals by the end! A massive thank you to Pukllasunchis Biblioteca for providing an amazing space, to Panadería Qosqo Maki for providing food, and to all our career advisers for taking the time to talk with our beneficiaries.
We teamed up with local Cusco organization Red Semilla Nueva to bring a fantastic sporting event to almost 100 boys and girls from organizations across Cusco. Our beneficiaries played in a football tournament with 8 other organizations. 21 teams, 6 aside, 10 minutes each way with the chance of winning a grand prize. Our very own Azul Wasi won the under 17’s division in a very tense game that was only won in extra time. The girls from Casa Mantay lost by a hair on penalties but congratulations to the eventual winners of the Girls category, Qosqo Maki. Jesus Mi Luz won the under 12’s boys category. The most important prize went to the team who had the greatest Fair Play points during the tournament: the sub 12 boys team of Amantaní – Casas de acogida para la niñez! They won an official Peru world cup football!! Hurray for everyone! We learned the importance of Fair Play in sports, and in life!
LAFF is always trying to use new techniques in pursuit of a better education for all. Firstly we are trialling SOLE (Self Organized Learning Environments) at Azul Wasi, the method was devised by Sugata Mitra, a pedagogical innovator from India. Find out more in his TED Talk. We have been asking the boys leftfield questions and letting them research independently and present their findings. It is always a struggle to keep the attention of the cheekier chaps in Tipon but when certain questions catch their imagination the workshop leader learns as much from the boys as the boys teach themselves! Past questions include about favourite inventions, volcanoes, extinct peruvian animals, space and how your mobile phone works.
“Research is formalised curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose” ~Zora Neale Hurston
We teamed up with local Cusco organization Jovenes con Proposito,who have been visiting AZul Wasi weekly to deliver a fascinating curriculum of workshops centered around self development and personal career development. Recently they have focused on identity and in the following weeks they will be talking about social skills. These sorts of workshops are vital to the extra-curricular development of our beneficiaries and also let them ask the advice of the workshop leader, Isod, a successful Cusquenan math teacher turned community organizer.
Comings and Goings
Over the past quarter there has been a changing of the guard amongst LAFF team members, some of our most experienced staff have passed the baton onto fresh faces, ready to continue LAFF’s work.
We said goodbye to Emily, Kerry and Rose!
Farewell and a huge thank you to all three. Much love for all the work they put in as Communications, International Fundraising and Programme Coordinators. Emily & Kerry will continue with LAFF as remote volunteers.
We also said goodbye to Miles!
Miles Rudgley left us in May after 9 months as Social Enterprise Coordinator. Thank you Miles for your wonderful work and good luck with the future!
We welcomed Miles’ successor soon after, Daniel Baume previously lived and worked in London, but has taken a year off work to travel to new places and gain some field experience in international development, with a special interest in entrepreneurship as a tool to create sustainable income within marginalised and rural communities. In his free time he is looking forward to learning about Incan culture and how to make the perfect Ceviche. Welcome Daniel, exciting to have you on the team!
We will soon say goodbye to Chris & Laura, our Monitoring & Evaluation and Programme Coordinators.
But we have plenty plenty of new additions to the team!
Our new Fundraising Coordinator Emily Burgman comes from near Brighton UK and is currently studying social sciences at the university of Bath. After visiting Cusco last year she fell in love with the vibe of the city and the festivals and she is looking forward to learning about NGO work, especially within fundraising and events. Francesca Zambelli our other new volunteer comes from Mantova in Italy. She studied economics and finance at Bocconi University in Milan and is excited to learn about Peruvian culture and to improve her Spanish. We are very excited to have them both as part of the team!
We also welcome 5 new remote volunteers at LAFF!
As well as LAFF alumni Kerry & Emily returning as remote volunteers, Louise Ball is helping us with Communications, Lilian Mabonga with research and Human Resources and Henriette Brun with Marketing. Welcome to the family!
WE ARE RECRUITING!
If you know any keen, curious and interested experts in their field that would like to join the LAFF family in any of the following roles:
Send them the link to read about the role requirements and responsibilities, then apply here! If they’re looking for reasons to join LAFF, our ex-volunteer Emily wrote a blog post on 5 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD VOLUNTEER WITH LAFF
LAFF’s Inner Workings
The LAFF team had an astounding day visiting the Amaru community on Monday. Amaru is a community 40 kilometers above Pisac, in an anti-GMO region known as Parque de la Papa . Amaru has successfully established a community-based turismo vivencial (experiential tourism) system that we got to experience, thanks to our partner organisation, Mosqoy. Mosqoy works with Amaru through their textile programme, Qente, a community-based textile revitalization initiative that supports Indigenous Quechua weaving cooperatives in the Cusco region of Peru. For more information, please check mosqoy.org.
You can support local weavers and communities through Mosqoy by supporting sustainable tourism in communities like Amaru, buying textiles through Mosqoy’s online shop, and sponsoring a student through T’kary, Mosqoy’s youth programme. Check out Mosqoy and Amaru to learn more about their incredible work!
The team went to Salkantay over the weekend for a Laff retreat! We used the time together to discuss our personal thoughts on volunteering, living in Cusco, and had important discussions about LAFF’s strategic plan! We are currently in the process of designing the successor for the current strategic plan, which will come into force in 2019. We did all this after a full day hiking through mountains, snow and rainforest over the course of the 4 day trek which ended with a visit to Machu Picchu!
In other LAFF team news, we have partnered up with Connecting Business to implement new efficiency-increasing technology. Find out more by reading our blog post all about it.