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Formation of active social attitudes through the implementation of preventive and educational program among children and youth from Datem del Marañón province in Peru

The Loreto Region of Peru, including the Datem del Marañón Province, has been contending with such internal problems as debt, corruption, unemployment, gender discrimination, poverty and lack of access to education. The remote location of the isolated town of San Lorenzo has not been conducive to its development.

The undertaken project constituted a continuation and expansion of the activities carried out by the sending organisation since 2014, with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland within the framework of the Polish Aid Volunteering Programme.

Formation of active social attitudes through the implementation of preventive and educational program among children and youth from Datem del Marañón province in Peru

The project was implemented by the Salesian Missionary Voluntary Service – Youth for the World, the sending organisation, and the Salesian Parish of San Lorenzo, the host organisation, between 15 June 2016 and 31 December 2016. One woman volunteer was active in San Lorenzo between 29 June 2016 and 31 December 2016, while a second woman volunteer was active there between 29 June 2016 and 12 November 2016. The beneficiaries of the project included 100 girls and boys aged 5-18 and ten local animators aged 12-18, all inhabitants of the Datem del Marañón Province of Peru.

The project responded to the problems of poverty and troublesome access to education that young people living in the Datem del Marañón Province face. The main objective of the project was to improve their situation by providing the means for comprehensive and integrated development. The volunteers conducted remedial education and comprehensive skill development classes, as well as art therapy and environmental protection workshops.

Project activities focused on addressing the problem of inequalities in access to education and the neglect of comprehensive education and care for children and adolescents. The activities involved volunteers providing a broad range of activities that supported the integrated development of their charges. The assumption was made that educational activities and the fostering of a positive educational environment would have a positive impact both on the students and the entire local community.

The volunteers also educated local animators (12- to 18-year-olds), placing special emphasis on active listening, learning and leadership, and direct engagement of that group in working with children. Their newly acquired skills were brought together and tested as the animators organised two events devoted to preventive healthcare and teaching through play, which contributed to the integration of peers and the development of role models among the young people.

Project activities have contributed to raising the level of education and building a socially aware community that operates on the principles of cooperation, equity and responsibility for itself at the local level, and to the promotion of the relevant Sustainable Development Goal.

The project subscribes to the idea of international development cooperation, promoting gender equality among the beneficiaries, working for the cause of healthcare, and motivating people to take action for the benefit of their local communities.

The project has contributed to the attainment of several Sustainable Development Goals: Goal 1, of ending poverty in all its forms everywhere; Goal 3, of ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages; Goal 4, of ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all; and Goal 5, of achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls.

Formation of active social attitudes through the implementation of preventive and educational program among children and youth from Datem del Marañón province in Peru

Beneficiaries of the activities included over 100 children and young people aged 5-18 who participated in developmental activities: art therapy, environmental protection, and compensatory and general comprehensive development classes. In the course of the art therapy and environmental protection classes (80 hours), the beneficiaries developed their interests and abilities; music, art and dance talents; and gained environmental knowledge: they learned about environmental responsibility and the sustainable use of the natural resources available in the Datem del Marañon Province. The educational programme (40 hours) strengthened the young people's sense of responsibility and accountability for their own lives and taught them appropriate social attitudes. During the compensatory classes (162 hours), children with special educational needs acquired habits for systematic work and self-reliance.

Through training and workshops (40 hours), the ten local animators aged 12-18 acquired practical skills in mindful leadership; teaching through play, including conducting general educational activities for children and adolescents; time management; campaign planning; and preventive healthcare. All this contributed to continued positive project outcomes also after the completion of the project.