Friday, April 24, 2015

Sean Campbell Hynes Volunteer for Volunteering and participating for inclusion project wrights about his experience.

Sean Campbell Hynes Volunteer for Volunteering and participating for inclusion project  

Unbelievably we are already in week four and approaching the halfway mark of this cohort. During this time I can safely say that the majority of volunteers have experienced what La Paz has got to offer either through illness or just simply being unprepared for its sporadic weather. However the positives have outweighed the negatives and during this time the group has been able to travel around Bolivia on the weekends having already visited the tropics in Coroico and the sacred Lake Titicaca. Rest assured, besides the sightseeing we do actually work during the week and the two recently new projects I am involved with, Best Buddies and Volunteering Association Against Child Cancer are now getting into full swing. For our third session with the Best Buddies, Mateo managed to secure a location away from the office at a nearby university at the bottom of the road which we can use to run the weekly workshops from now on. With the added space we can now use the time productively with the buddies. This week the buddies were calculating a weekly shopping budget and how much transportation costs around the city. The workshop also involved the volunteers accompanying the buddies to the shop, buying items and calculating whether they had enough money to purchase them. Later this week some members of the group went off to the hospital for another workshop. Following a successful nutrition workshop led by Lizzie, Natalie and Cerian last week, the hospital have been very keen to accommodate further sessions which at the beginning of the project was an uncertainty. On Wednesday Zeehan and I were holding the emotional workshop titled "Emotions Surrounding Cancer". Zeehan's presentation had a positive reaction with both the parents and nurses who clearly appreciated his efforts. We welcomed a new addition to the volunteers, Mila, from Costa Rica, who has had previous experience with children in orphanages and will be a great addition to the team. This weekend the group will be attending the Opening Ceremony of Best Buddies Bolivia at Universidad Catholica, Obrajes with the director of the organisation flying in from the United States to attend. We anticipate that the day will be very busy which will include the Best Buddies and their families participating in activities at guided learning stations on themes surrounding disability. The event will be located in the gardens of the university which when we visited last time to inspect was accompanied with thunder, lightning and heavy rain. We hope for the opposite this Saturday but all we can do at the moment is watch this space…

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