Put Them First Testimonials
TIME AT THE LIBRARY
by Melanie Roig
I did volunteer two months at the nursery. I really enjoyed working there. Kids are happy to come there, want to learn and willing to learn a lot. They are two and three years old kids, that s the age they discover everything and are really curious. That’s why it s important to care about them. They want to learn a lot and are always happy for any activities or game you do with them.They are really cute and need so much love!
WORKING WITH PUT THEM FIRST
by Andy Brogan
I’ve spent the last year working for Put Them First in an unpaid Project Manager role.
At the end of August 2011 I had the good fortune to meet Emma Doherty and Ben Reiter, the founders of PTF. Over a few coffees we started talking about their work here, and how I may be able to help, and before I knew it I was on board.
People often describe experiences as life changing, so often in fact, that I think the term has lost some of it’s meaning, but it is by far and the best way to describe my time working for PTF. I’ve been through every emotion you could possibly imagine.
There have been times when I’ve cried and been totally overwhelmed by the conditions that the children and families we assist live in, and when I’ve thought about their chances for the future. There have been days when it really has been too much, and I’ve had to just stop and step away for a moment.
But in beautiful contrast to this, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve laughed. The children are phenomenal; never-ending smiles and hugs great you the moment you step foot in the community. Even when my work meant that I couldn’t visit the project for a few days, or a week, the moment I returned it was as if I had never left. The children running to greet me, taking me by the hand to the library, begging to be carried, or to be sat with and listened to as they read. The love and affection shown by the children is boundless and I’m convinced that they’ve given me a lot more than I have them in the last year. I don’t know what I’m going to do without them.
And alongside all of this, I’ve been lucky enough to meet a huge amount of amazing people. Emma and Ben’s passion and love is incredible – this is their life’s work and that comes across in every moment you spend with them. Sandeep and Mariela, the two other staff members that I’ve had the pleasure of working with for the last 9 months, go above and beyond in their work for PTF.
HELPING AT OUR LIBRARY
by Tom Fitz-Hugh
Put Them First is everything a charity should be. It is life-changing for the people it supports and the people who support it. It is inspiring, passionate and incredibly well-organised, because the people who run it are too. Every single penny is put to the best possible use, because the people who run it are on the ground, personally getting stuck into the projects they have set up. This organisation finds people in need and transforms their lives, giving them opportunities they could never otherwise have. In short, Put Them First does fantastically what every charity should do: it helps those who need it most. You will not find a better cause.
PTF – A WONDERFUL ORGANISATION
by Theresa From
PTF is a wonderful organization that truly is dedicated to helping the children. I’ve seen such improvement and changes in the community in such a short amount of time and the feeling is so rewarding. Every volunteer brings something different to the organisation, and it really does feel like a family. Knowing that you’ve helped a child in need by giving them your love and support makes you go to bed every night with a smile on your face.
WORKING WITH PUT THEM FIRST
by Solveig Holman
On me and my friends travel through South America, we decided we wanted to make a stop and work as volunteers somewhere. By pure coincidence, we found Put Them First online, and decided quickly that this was we wanted to do. We got in contact with one of the founders, Emma, and after a quick chat, and her explaining the projects, we were already really excited to volunteer with PTF. We could only stay six weeks, but those six weeks did an impact. Of the three projects PTF has got, I spent 4 weeks in the school and the library, and then the two last weeks at the nursery. I absolutely loved the experience I got from working there. First of all, the staff is great, helping you with whatever you would need, and support you a lot through the whole experience. The school is located in a very poor area, and it’s an experience just seeing how much the kids appreciate us being there, and how much they appreciate the attention and the small things in a way that, at least I, haven’t seen before. When you are there, you can also see the difference you’re making, even through the little time I was there. The last couple of weeks I also stayed at the nursery with the smaller kids, who are just absolutely adorable. The two ladies who work there full time are just great with the kids, but they do need help, and it was a great experience getting to help out and make a difference. In the time you stay, no matter how long time it is, you only make a donation in the beginning of the stay, and what is great, is that you can easily see just where the money goes. This money is so important to the economy of the organization, to help feed the kids and get material for the school and library. I would absolutely recommend anyone thinking about volunteering to do it with Put Them First, it’s just a fantastic organization, with the most passionate people in it.
WORKING AT THE NURSERY
by Mari Arflot
After working with the kids at the nursery every day for 6 weeks I now realize how attached the kids get to all of the volunteers. Already on my first day, the kids were sitting on my lap and giving me hugs and kisses. Seeing how happy they are and how much they have changed in just a few weeks is incredible.
Put Them First is doing a great job supporting the nursery and have made big changes in lives of these kids. I will never forget my weeks volunteering for Put Them First, it really is a great organization !
WORKING AT THE NURSERY
by Sophie Morris
I volunteered at Manantiales refuge centre for just over 3 months. It has been fantastic to see what a positive impact the charity has on the children’s lives by ensuring they are well fed and nourished and providing a safe, caring and fun environment for them during the day, and to see how happy they are there. Put Them First demonstrates great professionalism and the directors are so passionate about the work that they do. I am really proud to have been a part of the organization and have loved my time with the children and the 2 lovely Peruvian ladies who work there full time. I am sad to say goodbye!
LIFE AT PUT THEM FIRST
by Olga Formalnova
I am a languages student at Queen Mary, University of London, studying Hispanic studies with linguistics. As part of my course it is mandatory to spend a year abroad putting to practice the target language, hence in my case it was a Spanish-speaking country.
I had first heard about the organization from a friend, who was travelling around South America and had met Ben Reiter, one of the founders of Put Them First. The fact that she had already recommended this organization was a huge reassurance for me. That sense of security was ever reinforced once I had spoken to Ben and Emma and gone over myself: from providing all the relevant information beforehand, to being met at the airport upon arrival, to being guided through lessons at the school. It has been truly wonderful volunteering for an organisation so genuine and passionate about what they do. Every day I was further amazed by the level of dedication to the children at the school of Chiguata and could see the progress they were making day in, day out.
As a student, one main concern I had was also the financial aspect. I was relieved to find there was a way to supplement good-will and lack of finances, as the donation required to join PTF is minute by comparison to other organizations and I could see first-hand what the money went towards. As the children live in extreme poverty, Put Them First also took on the task of ensuring the children received at least one wholesome meal a day, 5 days a week and that is were the majority of the donation goes towards- after all, food for body the helps accommodate food for the brain!
I have to be honest and admit that the decision to go over had a selfish aspect to it- I was beginning to question my world and the life I was leading, so had embarked on searching for something to fill that void. Somewhere along the way I had forgotten this motive. Despite that working at the school was a challenge everyday, I always woke up motivated and felt so innately happy. I knew that my contribution was one small part of a very huge puzzle and that in itself made the whole experience worthwhile. Some of my happiest moments were hearing the kids’ laughter and seeing that they are enjoying their childhood (because every kid deserves at least that one right). Knowing that I had somehow helped towards that one moment of happiness in time meant the world to me.
All of this only chips the tip of the iceberg, as to how it has been a truly life-changing experience for me and the memories will be with me forever!
PUT THEM FIRST = AWESOME
by Jeten Parboo
Looking for a challenge with awesome people to volunteer with? a place where you can make a real difference ? Crazy kids who just wont stop having fun? then Put Them First Aeruipa, Peru is the place to be! I spent a month here and i would say it has been one of the most challenging and rewarding experience I could ever ask for. One of the best things about volunteering here is that you are actively involved in the education of these children who can really use your help! Ben and Emma, the 2 directors of the school are the most down to earth people I know, and go the extra mile to make sure you will settle in well into this crazy environtment. Not to mention Aerquipa is also a great place to live . So pick up your spanish and salsa and come to Aeruipa for a really worthwhile volunteering experience!
WORKING WITH PUT THEM FIRST
by Christie Sessler
I had initially traveled to Peru to teach English. After a couple months, I had the urge to expand my experiences abroad and I started thinking about volunteering at a non-profit organization or NGO. I met Emma of Put Them First while I was working at an English language institute in Arequipa. She described her organization to me and it was exactly what I had in mind. I am a teacher in the States and I was looking forward to working with elementary/secondary students. Emma and Ben (founders) are incredibly dedicated to the mission of Put Them First, which includes helping “underprivileged children, [and] promoting the Educational Advancement and well-being of children living in impoverished areas of the world”. I felt my presense and efforts at the school matched the mission of Put Them First. This experience was rewarding, challenging, and eye-opening. I enjoyed working with the children very much – they come to school so excited. The Peruvian teachers and volunteers at PTF make school such a positive environment for the children. It really is an escape from the harshness of their daily lives. Also, Emma and Ben are very receptive to volunteer feedback, which I have found to be crucial. If you aren’t comfortable in a situation or need help in any way, they are right there supporting volunteers through the adjustments of becoming a volunteer. I would recommend Put Them First to anyone interested in volunteering with children at a school setting in Peru!
WORKING WITH GROBERTH
by Heidi Nicholson
Volunteering with PTF has definitely been a very rewarding experience. Because it´s a small (albeit growing) organisation you can really get involved with the kids, even the ones you don´t teach. Through working one on one with Groberth, I’ve definitely learnt as much as I taught. Understanding how his mind works, what he can manage, what he likes, where his difficulties lie and through which working methods they could be overcome was a fascinating task, and me seeing the light in his eyes when he did understand, or succeed in something, was the most heartwarming part of my placement.
WORKING IN INICIAL (KINDERGARTEN)
by Gerrit Jan te Velde
I used to work with the Iniciales, kids between 3 and 6 years old, and the only thing I can say is that it was an amazing experience! Although they were shy in the beginning, after a couple of days they give you an ‘abrazo’, which really gives you a good feeling. Furthermore, to see the kids being happy with so few things made me feel even better. You realize that really every little thing adds something to their lives, even if it is as small as a football or some colours to paint, but also just helping them making a puzzle or playing soccer with them. I had a great time in the school and I am sure I am going to miss those little kids.
WORKING WITH ROXANA
by Katy Ashcroft
Teaching is one of the most rewarding jobs you can do, even more so when you teach one on one. I was lucky enough and privileged enough to be given this chance with an amazing and wonderful little girl named Roxana in Chiguata, Peru. It was the most challenging job i have done to date, but one that made me extremely happy and one in which the results are seen each and every day. I watched Roxana grow academically as well as socially and her confidence just rocketed the more comfortable she became with me and my teaching style. Roxana went from a scared, vulnerable, young and immature 14 year old to a mature, confident and happy girl in the space of 3 months. A typical day with Roxana included three very basic but important lessons of Maths, Language and Science. I used to change up the order, but primarily start with Maths as she was most focused in the mornings and hated this subject so i used to get it out of the way! We would go through her homework at the start of each lesson and end by giving her more. Throughout the lesson we would work through workbooks set out by the curriculum and mix it up with games and exercises. I would follow this format for the other two lessons as well, to make sure Roxana had consistency and knew what to expect each day. Sometimes i would throw in something completely different and fun just to mix it up though! Do not be intimidated to try new things or change the way you work with a child, its keeps everybody on their toes and different methods work for different volunteers and different children! The presence of all the volunteers and the hard work, care and love that they bring to the school every day have and had an amazing impact on the children, their confidence and continuing academic improvement throughout each and every year. These children deserve the chance at an education and they deserve to feel safe and loved in school, seeing the same faces every day for at least 2 -3 months. I was lucky enough to have the chance to see Roxana again 4 months after i left and it was the single most touching moment in my life to date. When she saw me again, she turned and ran towards me throwing her arms around me in one of the hugs that she would give me every day. What she didn’t know, is that these hugs made my day in the same way that me being in school and teaching her everyday made hers. I would not swap the experience with Roxana for the world nor will i ever forget watching her face light up every time she grasped a new concept or learnt something new. It is not an easy job, but nothing worth doing is ever easy but you will not only enjoy this job, it will steal your heart and change you for the better. If you think you can do it, you can do it and if you love children and have a passion for teaching then this is the job for you!
TRABAJANDO CON ROXANNA
Enseñar es una de los trabajos mas recompensados que puedes hacer, aun mas cuando tu enseñas personalizada mente. He sido lo suficientemente afortunado y privilegiado de tener esta oportunidad con una niña increíble llamada Roxana en Chiguata, Perú. Es el trabajo más desafiante que he tenido que hacer hasta ahora. Pero algo que me hizo sentir muy feliz es que los resultados se ven cada día. He visto crecer a Roxana académicamente tanto como socialmente y su confianza se disparo ella llego a tener más confianza conmigo y mi forma de enseñar. Roxana paso del miedo, la vulnerabilidad, inmadurez de los 14 a ser madura, confiar en ella misma y ser feliz en tres meses. un día normal con Roxana incluye tres lecciones básicas de matemática, lenguaje y ciencia. Yo solía cambiar el orden, pero empezaba con matemáticas porque ella estaba más concentrada en la mañana y odiaba este curso yo solia cambiarlo! Nosotros avanzaríamos su tarea al principio de cada lección y terminaríamos dando le más conocimiento del tema. En la lección trabajaríamos con los libros de trabajo de acuerdo a su currículo y también incluiríamos juegos y ejercicios. Seguiríamos esta estructura para las próximas lecciones, para asegurarse que Roxana ha prendido lo que se supone tiene que aprender cada día. Algunas veces yo haría algo completamente diferente y combinarlo con diversión! no te intimides al intentar nuevas cosas o cambiar la manera en que le enseñas al niño, depende de cada uno las técnicas varían ¡métodos diferentes con voluntarios diferentes y niños diferentes! la presencia de todos los voluntarios y el trabajo duro, el cuidado y el amor que ellos traen a la escuela cada día ha tenido un impacto asombroso en los niños, su confianza y su crecimiento académico mejora cada año. Estos niños merecen la oportunidad de estudiar y merecen sentirse seguros y amados en la escuela, viendo las mismas caritas cada día por al menos 2-3 meses. He tenido mucha suerte de haber tenido la oportunidad de ver a Roxana de nuevo 4 meses después de que me fui el momento más conmovedor en mi vida hasta ahora. Cuando ella me vio de nuevo, voltio y corrió hacia mi poniendo sus brazos a mi alrededor uno de los abrazos que ella solía darme cada día. Lo que ella no sabía, es que estos abrazos alegraban mi día de la misma manera, al estar en la escuela y enseñarle cada día.
no cambiaria esta experiencia con Roxana por nada del mundo ni nunca olvidaré su carita iluminada cada vez que ella comprendía un nuevo concepto o aprendía algo nuevo. No es un trabajo fácil, pero nada es fácil sin embrago no solo te divertirás en este trabajo, te cambiara para mejor. Si tu piensas que puedes hacerlo, tu puedes hacerlo y su tú amas a los niños y tienes una pasión por enseñar entonces este es el trabajo ideal para ti.
WORKING WITH KATY
Working with Katy was just incredible. She is a wonderfully accepting little girl. Although she has limitations, physically and cognitively, she is so hard working. She tries so hard every day and she is never without a smile. I taught Katy at her school and I was immediately touched by her motivation to learn. She was relentless in her enthusiasm and tried so hard every day. Endless repetition was key to her learning and her frustrations never surfaced. She is one of the sweetest little girls imaginable and deserves so much more than she could ever know. Knowing Katy has enriched our lives and meeting her could only compel you to love her as we do!!
TRABAJANDO CON KATY
Trabajar con Katy fue increíble. Ella es una pequeña niña maravillosa. A pesar de que ella tiene limitaciones tanto físicas como congénitas, ella trabaja mucho para superarlas. Cada día ella siempre tiene una sonrisa. Enseñe a Katy en su escuela e inmediatamente estuve conmovido por su motivación para aprender. Ella tiene un entusiasmó implacable e intenta superarse cada día. Las repeticiones finales eran la clave para su aprendizaje y su frustración nunca la dejaba salir. Ella es una de las niñas más dulces y merece mucho más de lo que piensa.conocer a Katy ha enriquecido nuestras vidas y encontrarla solo puede hacer que la ames completamente.
Thank you so much for your interest in supporting this cause!
Muchas gracias por todo su interes en nuestra causa!