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Make a Difference Have you 'made a difference' while travelling, by fundraising or donating time and energy to a worthwhile cause such as wildlife conservation or tsunami reconstruction efforts? Tell us how you did it, what the experience was like, and how others can help. Are you a non-profit organisation or individual who knows of an opportunity for travellers to help out in a less developed country? Tell us about it and provide contact details here.
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Old 20 Feb 2009
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Thumbs up Volunteer Work In Cusco Peru

Hey Folks,

My name is Richard Humphreys. Before I planned my motorcycle trip here to South America I decided that after all my years of travelling I thought it would be good to spend some time to make a difference.

I have spent the last couple of months running the Cusco centre of an organisation called Bruce Peru. It is unique in many ways.

I thought I would send you a quick e mail outlining Bruce Peru Cusco what we do here and how people can help us.

Right now we have two schools and 45 kids; we hope to have three schools in March. We have two local teachers and a local social worker. To recruit our kids we simply walk around the poor areas of our schools knock on doors and take kids off the streets, or away from work. These are children who have simply never attended school or have dropped out for financial (it costs around 150 soles a year to send a kid to school) or social reasons. The parents sign a contract with us that the kids will attend everyday clean, tidy and washed. This can take some work with our social worker making several visits to some individuals. Remember though that many live in a single mud floored room with several brothers and sisters, dogs, cats, and cuy.

We feed them breakfast in the mornings and provide fruit for lunch. We give them toothbrushes and teach them to brush their teeth and wash their hands. We assist with clothing, shoes and other financial burdens, educate them and give them attention and love that many have never had before.

Even though we are just a small organisation we are recognized by the Peruvian Ministry of Education and have a great success rate for placing these kids into the main stream education system after a few months with us. We also try to work with them for up to 2 years afterwards to help them stay in school.

For the first time I have now also managed to start an ongoing medical programme (using volunteer doctors from the UK and USA) for our kids with 3 monthly check ups and free medicine. This is being extended to their parents at the end of the month.

How can you help? Many ways....... Of course cash this place is completely run by the money we fund raise here in Cusco. Everybody who works here works for nothing.

But people giving there time and enthusiasm are most important you would be amazed what you could do for these kids and how amazing they are. The gifts they give you for helping them are purely emotional they will love you after one day!!

I am not a wordy kind of person so I cannot exspress truely how much I have gained working here but there is the real oppertunity for our motorbike community to really make a hands on difference.

My email is richrtw@hotmail.com but I am very happy to answer open questions on this forum. You can also have a look at Los Caminos Locos - The Crazy Roads Tour which is my mates (I'm not good at that sort of thing) blog he is helping here too.

Keep safe and don't worry about that back tire there is always another one round the corner!

Cheers

Rich




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