Today was our last day volunteering. We’re sad it’s over, but really enjoyed meeting the kids. There is an organization in La Paz called Fundación Ayuda Niños La Paz, or FANLAP, which helps support students from the neediest families so they can succeed in school.
Teachers were reporting that kids were having trouble concentrating — and even fainting — in class because their families didn’t have any food. (In case you think this would never happen in the U.S., think again.) FANLAP and others serve hot breakfasts and lunches for 180+ students daily, with many people in the neighborhood volunteering to help cook.
In addition, they provide scholarships to students to help them pay for the bus to school, get their required school uniforms and buy school supplies. Lastly, they provide counseling services, a library just for the kids that’s close to home and English classes — which is where we came in. All so the kids can complete their education and have a chance in life.
All the kids we met were funny, hopeful and eager to learn. And even if they only remember half of what we taught them — hey, teaching English is harder than you think! — our hope is that, by meeting us and the other volunteers, they see that people care about them and there are lots of possibilities out there in life.