Monday, 23 May 2011


I have the morning off as it's raining here - meaning no kids have turned up for the teaching session - so I thought I'd finally do a little blog about volunteering.

I've mainly been working at two centres, Koe Pyahu, where I teach English and Centre Abrazo (Washington St) where we do craft activities and play with the children.

I found the afternoon teaching at Koe Pyahu really hard at first. The children didn't seem to want to be there, and they were shouting, climbing on tables, running around etc... not the kind of behaviour I'm used to in the classroom. With a bit of positive reinforcement, however, the behaviour has improved massively in the past few weeks, and we seem to get a lot more done. I'm really pleased about this as, before, I felt like I was forcing them to do something they didn't want to do, and having to tell them off; not the reason I came to Paraguay. Amazingly, even the main trouble maker has behaved like and angel for the past two sessions! The children can generally only deal with about an hour in the classroom before completely losing any focus they had, so we normally head up to the park for the last 15-30 minutes.

We've taught a couple of different topics so far. Last week we focused on 'Animals' which was made lots of fun with the finger puppets kindly donated by The Puppet Company/Puppets by Post. All the children wanted to play with the puppets...and quickly learnt that they had to behave in order to do so!

I'm really pleased with how things have changed at Koe Pyahu as I used to dread going there, and felt really negative afterwards. It's good to be having fun with the kids, I just hope our 'Sport' topic goes as well this week...

Washington (Abrazo) is a very different kettle of fish. First of all, we're not teaching here, so we can do whatever activities we like. We always take a football, skipping ropes, Polydron and colouring things with us, but we also like taking card and glitter and have made masks and crowns so far. The children really love this, although there is generally a bit of squabbling over the art stuff! In spite of this, the children at this centre are really calm (in comparison to Koe Pyahu) and I always have a really good day there, and feel like the children, and teachers, appreciate us coming.

All the children come from very poor families, and would potentially be out selling or begging if they weren't at the centre, so it's great to go and have fun with them. When we went on Thursday, there were loads of people sat outside the centre. We weren't sure what was going on at first but were told that, about once a month, the centre (which is government run) gives out food supplies to the families of children that attend the centre. Unsurprisingly, a lot more children attended that day!

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic blog and brill photos Beth. What a wonderful experience!