Weʼre raising £500 to volunteer in Peru for a month.
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My name is Niamh Allen. I am currently 14 years old and will be 16 when I travel to Peru in the summer of 2020. I feel strongly about volunteering because I believe that self satisfaction comes from helping others less fortunate than myself. I am lucky, like most teens my age growing up in western society; I have a laptop, a mobile phone, I get to go out with my friends on social events and get Christmas and birthday presents. All the things we come to expect automatically...
Did you know that if you have food in your fridge, clothes on your back, shoes on your feet and a roof over your head you are richer than 75% of the worlds population?
And that if you have a bank account and money in your wallet, you are richer than 92% of the worlds population?
A quarter of the Peruvian population live on the equivalent of just £1.50 a day!
Although Peru has one of the world's fastest-growing economies, the disparity between the rich and poor is still a very evident problem. For instance in Lima, there is a wall of shame. Literally a wall dividing the rich areas and the poor areas. It was initially put up over fears that the inhabitants from the poor neighbourhood would steal from wealthy fellow citizens living nearby. The structure, also nicknamed 'Peru's Berlin Wall' is made out of wire and cement and splits the neighbourhoods of San Juan de Miraflores and Surco.
Peru, is affected by many natural disasters due to being located in a seismic zone. Earthquakes, landslides, flooding and droughts impact the people of Peru, which means that a lot of money is spent on repairs and regeneration. Peruvian women make 30% less than their male counterparts and have partaken in marches and demonstrations to protest for their rights.
There has been a steady increase since 2005 in the number of children enrolled in Peruvian schools, with 72% of 3-5 year olds, 97% of 6-11 year olds and 91% of 12-16 year olds enrolling. However with 34% of children aged between 5-17 years of age working in the labour force, enrolment rates do not equal attendance rates and many of the children in rural and poverty stricken areas are forced to work having enrolled for school but never make it to the classroom.
Whilst in Peru I will be part of a large team, making mud bricks to build schools and elderly homes, as well as greenhouses for families so they can grow their own vegetables, providing a sustainable source of food and income. I will also be working with the community to do things like planting trees, to counter the (approximately) 2262 hectares that they lose each year.
I will work on projects in many different locations, such as where the indigenous tribes of lake Titicaca reside, who build their houses on floating islands made from reeds. Near the end of the trip I will also trek to Machu Picchu which should take about 5 days.
Over 60% of the funds raised for this trip go directly to the pockets of the people of Peru.
I aim to raise the majority of funds myself and hope that this will lead to obtaining a good set of financial and planning skills and I will be combining the trek with my Duke of Edinburgh Gold award and the ASDANS CoPE Level 3 award which accredits personal and social education with skills and enrichment activities. As well as completing my GCSE’s, attending theatre school for 7 hours a week and getting fit for the trip- I will be very busy!
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Niamh Allen started crowdfunding