Your $1500 in donations got me here and let me do amazing things volunteering at this I'm trying to raise $575 to come home after 15 months! Make a donation (every dollar helps!) and read all about this unexpected adventure I've had. Thank you for your endless support!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

It's Finally Here!!

HOOP HOOP Hooray!! The website is finally live. Please visit our website at! We will be adding more content over the next few months, including a version in Spanish, but for now, it will give you a good idea of what we are up to and how to contact us.

We have been very busy, but having to wait to do a lot until the website was launched. Now that it is launched, we are hoping to get a lot more volunteers. We are extremely low on volunteers at the moment, but the school is still up and running. HOOP is thriving and the school is very much open, and we welcome any volunteers that want to come work with us. I have been loving my job as Volunteer Coordinator/Human Resources director, communicating with volunteers and designing things like risk assessments, interviews, and contracts. It's actually really interesting (not kidding). I'm hoping that when I go home I can continue working in Human Resources.

Over the weekend, we went to the leadership workshop, led by Carmen and Marielena (the social worker who has been doing the diagnostic for us). It was very cool!! The girls that attended were part of the Flora Tristan community and want to change things for their community. Some will be helping us out at school, and some are free to help us if we ever have things on Saturdays, and all want to work on community projects to improve Flora Tristan. Carmen and Mari are so great at leading these workshops, they really shine! Mari is in the green sweater and Carmen is in the black jacket. In this video, Carmen is explaining leadership styles (and for some reason I am making a very sad face, if you see me in it).

Last week, Jose (the psychology student who volunteers with us) led a workshop for students about manners and behavior. We are excited to use his behavior chart system to reward students for good behavior and determine who will go on excursions. For our teenage students, we are going to start some sort of leadership class or club (similar to the student government idea I wrote about months ago) so that they can have a stake in the school, gain some responsibility and skills, and hopefully help out the older leaders that we have in our Saturday leadership workshops with the execution of community projects.
These videos are in Spanish.....but hopefully if you can't speak Spanish you can still grasp how attentive the students are. Behavior is an issue that we continuously need to come up with new strategies to tackle, and Jose is really helping us. The students went over polite phrases and later on in the workshop practiced them. He also ran through some quiet techniques, like having the students hold their breath for part of a song and then exhale, in order to calm the class down and get silence. Magda and Yajayda were the two social workers who ran our workshops before, but they are not able to run them any more since they are back in school. The students loved Magda and Yajayda, and are also really respecting Jose, and they enjoy his workshops.

That's a little update from HOOP, please check out the website! Also thank you for your donations, I am now only $550 away from buying my ticket home. My plan is to be home the last week of September, so if you can, please donate $15 today to help get me to my goal so I can buy a ticket ASAP. Just click on the donate button on the side and make a donation through paypal (you don't even need a paypal account to do it). Helping me come home would be a great early birthday present!! And please share my blog with anyone who would be interested in helping me or HOOP.