My name is Jessie and I am currently working on the communications team for Voluntario Global. A big perk of my position is that i get to visit all of the current projects. On Tuesday 24th August I accompanied Kristin and two new Voluntario Global volunteers to their Project in Pablo Nogues which is an English school for children and young adults. The classes are held before or after their normal school or work. Here is what I thought of it...
It was already clear from the train journey up that we were entering a 'different world'. I think this was the first time that I have seen what I would describe as a poor area within Argentina. When we finally arrived at Pablo Nogues station, I was struck by how peaceful the area felt compared to the inner city. The sun was shining, birds were signing, it all felt rather lovely. After the short walk to the gate of the English school I found myself being warmly greeted by Silvia the owner of the school and coordinator of the activities held there. A woman with a big beaming smile who makes you feel important and like everything you say is worth her full attention, I could not imagine a better person for the job.
During the afternoon, Silvia greeted each child with “hola mi amor” and a kiss. This place could not possibly be further from an English equivalent, something I am extremely glad about.
Each child arrived at Pablo Nogues at different times depending on their individual circumstances and proceeded to sit down and join in the volunteer led exercise in progress without any need for coercion. The two new volunteers fitted in right away and I got the impression that the children were enjoying the sounds of the Irish and Mancunian accents which are of course something they are unlikely to hear in any other capacity at any other time.
I was impressed with how well structured the classes were and yet how relaxed the atmosphere felt in the classroom. It is clear to me that not only are the children increasing their knowledge of the English language but they are also learning about the different accents and cultures associated with the various English speaking volunteers who come to Pablo Nogues. In the poorer districts of Buenos Aires the need for variety is much greater; this is why international volunteers from Voluntario Global are so valuable to this project.