Children - Special Needs - Development
General Volunteer Facts
Programs: Professional Exchange (PE) and
Long-term Volunteer (LV)
Spanish Level: PE: None, LV: Moderate
Minimum: PE: 1-3 week, LV: 1-6 months
Costs: PE: $300/week, LV: $600 1st month
--> $450 per each additional month
-3 meals a day
Special Education, Physical Therapy, Psychology, Music/Arts
Manos Unidas founded the first private school for special education in Cuzco in 2008. They provide education and training programs for children and young adults with developmental disabilities, down syndrome, autism and cerebral palsy. It is their mission to provide inclusive education and work opportunities for persons with special needs in the Andean region, regardless of their financial resources.
The organization works closely with children from its school and families in the Cuzco area. The school serves approximately 50 children, ages 3-24 who are directly affected by a physical, intellectual or learning disability. The classes are divided into: Early Education (3-7 years), Autism Education, Elementary Education (7-12 years), and Youth and Young Adult Education (13-24 years). Classes include personalized education in small groups, emphasis on language and social skill development, mathematics, reading and writing, life skills, job preparation, artistic workshops, and more.
Manos Unidas' school is located in the city of Cuzco. The organization also works closely with nearby communities.
Manos Unidas offers two distinct volunteer programs: a Professional Exchange Program and a Long-Term Volunteer Program. Both give volunteers the opportunity to work closely with children, community members, and the staff of Manos Unidas.
Young Adults with Disabilities
Other Related Fields
Professional Exchange Program:
This program is designed to give professionals an opportunity to share their knowledge and experience in a teacher-training format. Their time is spent holding workshops for groups of local teachers and professional, observing and consulting classrooms and collaborating one-on-one with teachers. Professionals may participate in specific campaigns that will be held throughout the year. The goal of this program is to provide a cultural exchange opportunity within their profession.
Professional Exchange Program Focus 2011
July 1-15: Autism Education
July 18-31: Physical/Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy
August 1-15: Moderate to Severe Special Education
August 15-31: Inclusive Education
*This program is only for professionals who would like to collaborate and share their professional skills. Spanish is helpful but NOT a requirement.
Long-Term Volunteer Program
This program is designed for recent graduates or people with experience in the above mentioned volunteer opportunities. Volunteers work at the special education school and are placed based on their skills and experience. Placements are in the early childhood program, elementary, school inclusion, or you ng adult vocational training program. Additional opportunities to work in orphanages, rural communities, home visits, family workshops, teacher training, and specialized therapies.
*This program requires experience in Special Education AND moderate level of Spanish.
Professional Exchange Program
Local host family in an upper-middle class neighborhood in Cusco.
Long-term Volunteer Program:
Option 1: Manos Unidas Volunteer House. This is a communal living arrangement in a fully furnished house in Cusco. The house is complete with bedrooms, living room, dining room, kitchen and small patio area. Volunteers are responsible for their own food preparation.
Option 2: Homestay with local family. The homestay includes 3 meals a day.
"My time in Peru was amazing! I felt honored to be able to contribute. I left inspired to implement new perspectives in my personal life and career. And most of all, excited to continue my partnership with Manos Unidas."
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