This is a community center and kindergarten conjunction. It is home to more than 160 children, supported by 22 adults —including teachers, kitchen staffs, and administrators—. Most families are from different parts of the city, and they travel a long distance seeking help.
The idea behind this project is to provide the best care for each family. The kitchen works from 7:40 a.m. to 7:45 p.m., and they provide breakfast, lunch, and snacks for the kids. Volunteers help the kindergarten teachers plan the activities for the children and keep an eye on the well-being of the children; whether they are sick or are having all the necessary nutrition. It is open from Monday to Friday, and everyone works together to complement each other’s tasks in case of any absence. If they find any concerns with any of the children, they work with educational psychologists to solve the problem together, and it works with children aged from 45 days to 3 years old.
Why is this project important for the community?
The main goal of the Community Center is to offer the children's families a place of education and integral support. Moreover, the kitchen and center help to compensate these families’ economic situation. It is a place of exchange between teachers, social workers, parents, volunteers from the area, and from Voluntario Global that work together for the safe upbringing of the children. It is also a place where the unemployed women from the area can have training sessions that take place periodically with the professionals.
Role of the Volunteer
From 7:00 am to 12:00 pm, the kitchen prepares breakfast and lunch for the kids in the kindergarten and it also prepares food for the community members. The volunteer will be able to help in many tasks such as assist the women in the kitchen by washing and cutting vegetables, preparing the dessert for the children, and help in the cleaning process after everything is served.
What can you learn as a volunteer?
When helping at the Soup Kitchen, you learn to appreciate the value of the small things, how to truly connect with people, and the power that these relationships can have on your life and the lives of others, on the communities and the future. It doesn’t matter where you’re from, what language you speak, what kind of house you live in, or what kind of job you have. In the end, we are all human and we get so mixed up in focusing on other unimportant aspects that we forget that deep down we’re all the same. You will realize that even the smallest thing you do, can make someone else's day.
Soft skills you can develop while volunteering in a Community Center
Long term volunteers can apply for a soft skills certificate from GLORE, a Project from the EU. You can choose up to 5 skills to certificate according to your experience and will.
- Stress Management
- Organization and Time Management
- Comm and Active Listening
- Critical Thinking
- Decision Making
- Ethics and Work Commitment
- Multicultural Awareness
- Self Awareness
- Team Work
How does your work impact the community?
Your help is invaluable for the workers and for the community members because this center is an integral part of their everyday life. Furthermore, the ladies and workers would not be able to participate in this cultural exchange if there aren’t any volunteers willing to help. The women also love helping the volunteers learn a bit of Spanish because they are like family to them. Here, the volunteer can learn so much about the Argentinian culture and see how many traditional dishes are prepared. It’s a place where you can completely feel the support of a community and you never leave the kitchen without a smile on your face.
The Soup Kitchen is open Monday through Friday, 7:30 am to 7:30 pm. It is available all year round, except during the last week of December and the first week of January.
The kindergarten is open from 7:30 am to 12 pm.
Parque Chacabuco is a neighborhood located in the Centre-South of Buenos Aires. About 45 minutes from Downtown and easily accessible by train and bus.
1. Valid Passport & Visa: Most travelers do not need a visa to enter Argentina. Volunteers enter the country as tourists and can stay for up to 90 days. Extensions on visas are possible; our coordinators will advise you on this process.
2. Medical Insurance: Voluntario Global requires the volunteer to have adequate medical insurance for the duration of the program and must be provided with details of such insurance coverage at the time of confirming their placement.
3. Spanish Level Required: Basic
4. Minimum Stay: 4 weeks