Rikke Olsen, volunteer in a kindergarten: "I will never forget those hugs..."

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By Federica Pisi  

Name: Rikke Olsen

Nationality: Danish                                                                             

Occupation: Student

Volunteering period: 8 weeks (7 weeks)

email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

What made you want to apply to volunteer and in particular for the kindergarten? I wanted to have a holiday where I could dedicate my time to doing something for others, and to understand how everything works in jobs in Argentina. I choose the kindergarten because I have little knowledge of Spanish and I know the children of kindergarten have support from their families, and so I wouldn’t be too heart broken when I left.  

How would you describe the project and your job and tasks? The project works like a normal kindergarten. The idea is to help the parents during the day, so they can go to work while their kids are being looked after. I had to help the teachers/señoras to do their daily tasks: giving food to the children, making sure that they share the toys they are given, cleaning up after a full day of playing and learning.

What are some of the best moments around the project and what have you learnt? Some of the best moments are definitely when the kids show you affection, when they run in to your arms and give you the biggest hug – I will never forget those hugs. But also when they just look at you and smile, even though you did not say anything to them, but you know that they are happy. I have learned many things about the Argentinian culture for sure! I learned how “easy” it is to make things happen, if you just believe it and have the courage to fulfil your dreams. Travesuras has grown so fast in the two years it went from having only one room, to having 4 rooms and a beautiful yard outside with toys for the children.  

Do you have any suggestions or recommendations to look forward to for any volunteers that will be taking part in the same project? What matters is not how well organized or structured the projects are. You have to realize that volunteering in the kindergarten is very different from European life. You are there to help the teachers and have fun with the kids. Your time here is in my opinion, not enough to completely transform the lives of the children, but rather you can make a difference by simply being there and helping out. So go in to the project with the least expectations and you will be amazed! Travesuras is a lovely place for children, with a lovely group people :)

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