We work in partnership with families through holistic programmes focusing on the educational, economic, emotional and social development of each child and parent.
Public schools in El Porvenir and Alto Trujillo
The systems of poverty confronting families in El Porvenir inhibit children’s early academic growth and cognitive stimulation. This disadvantage is compounded by the education children receive in the under-resourced and over-crowded public schools of the area.
Children spend the majority of the school day copying information from the black board into their notebooks. Little emphasis is placed on understanding, analysis of concepts or building academic skills and problem solving strategies. When SKIP issued standardised tests to evaluate the student's academic performance the results showed that the vast majority of students were performing several years below grade level.
SKIP aims to increase the number of children completing primary education.
For each child we:
- Fully finance school education (fees, uniforms, materials).
- Provide extra curricular lessons in English, Maths and Literacy/Communications twice per week for 40 minutes each
- Provide help with homework every day (Mon – Fri afternoons and Sat mornings)
- Provide daily access to a reading library which includes stimulative games such as jigsaw puzzles (Mon - Sat)
- Provide complimentary teaching in art and sports once per week for an hour each session
- Providing monthly class teaching to develop emotional intelligence (e.g. morals – why don't we hit other people?).
- Support the development of emotional intelligence and impulse control through use of a structured behaviour management system, using positive reinforcement and a clear set of consequences for inappropriate behaviour.
- Provide therapeutic treatment to children via individual therapy and group sessions as required.
- Provide a 6 week Holiday Club during the summer break
SKIP promotes a kinesthetic and dynamic teaching style, using practical examples so children are able to relate the concepts they are learning to their daily lives. We have developed our own teaching curriculum, complimenting the children's learning in school. This helps to provide guidance and structure to the teaching sessions but there is flexibility for volunteers to be creative and incorporate their own ideas.
We have identified the need to provide students with a social and emotional learning programme to help foster their ability to solve problems without anger or aggression, and treat others with compassion. In the past we have used the Second Step programme - a violence reduction curriculum which uses role-play and discussions to help children generate the skills, language and confidence to peacefully and productively solve their own problems.
We also have a clear and structured behaviour management system where we use traffic lights or star charts to promote positive reinforcement and give children a series of warnings and consequences for disruptive or challenging behaviour. We hold regular training sessions and weekly supervision team meetings so that teachers are able to talk about difficulties and work on professional development.
- 95 children registered in the Programme
- Average attendance was 79%
- 65% of children were regular attenders and present for over 80% of their classes
- 5 students completing Secondary Education
- 3 of the graduates are currently processing applications for University
The aim of this programme is to foster the individual and collective growth of SKIP students by creating a suitable atmosphere which helps them navigate the difficult transition from child to adult and make positive choices for their future lives. Group sessions focus on values of solidarity and co-operation, respecting both themselves and others, and developing self esteem and confidence. Further aims involve motivating the teenagers in their school programmes, using study as a means of integration and self achievement, and helping the students in their future job searches.
All young people attend Secondary schools in the local area and have additional classes at SKIP twice per week. Academic classes focus on the core subjects of English, Communications and Maths. Students attend a one hour long lesson, intended to support and enhance their learning at school, in each subject. Additionally, they participate in a Youth club with two extracurricular sessions for an hour and a half. There they choose two options from dance, sport, art, video discussion, English conversation, photography and drama. Young people also have twice weekly access to the library and help with homework programme.
As such, each enrolled student receives 6 hours of additional education at SKIP per week, in 5 subject areas, split between two days. We also run occasional workshops offering career advice with opportunities to speak to local workers in order to start thinking about practical ways to enter the workplace. We also have a youth volunteering programme where 12 young people who have graduated from secondary school are trained to volunteer as teaching assistants with the younger children at SKIP once per week.
Why the secondary programme is so important!
Being a teenager is a difficult time in most people’s lives. It's a time when people begin to take decisions about their future, develop skills and personal identities. That is why adolescence is the time when people need to be supported, helped, heard and encouraged towards their personal achievements.
Often, the youth from El Porvenir grow up with responsibilities which prevent them from completing activities such as their homework - and also prevents them from having time to think about their future. Some of them have no choice but to drop studies because of their family's economic situation, and others have no free time to spend in recreational activities.
The students we work with mainly come from migrant families - from the jungle or mountain regions - who have set up home in El Porvenir. As such they often have limited wider family support. The community is also newly developed, lacking roots and cohesion - there is no mutual conscience or confidence in others, great competitiveness, dissension and little local solidarity. Within this context SKIP is providing extra curricular activities that give the secondary school students academic support and constructive games and sports activities - to help them make the most of their skills, learn strategies to help them in later life and boost their confidence and self esteem.
- 1380 students received English classes
- 1447 hours of English lessons were taught by SKIP volunteers
- Lessons were taught at 3 public schools in El Porvenir and Alto Trujillo
- Leeds RAG University students joined us to volunteer for another year and taught approximately 240 classes
SKIP's English teaching programme provides lessons not only to the 300 children enrolled in our programme but also to over 700 other children who attend public schools in the local area. Teaching in the public schools enables us to not only provide a head start to children who will study English in Secondary school as a required subject, but also provide solid support for SKIP within the local community.
Thanks to a partnership with the American Embassy, we have also been able to provide scholarships to learn English for our most motivated children and teenagers at the El Cultural Language Institute, a private and prestigious language school located in the centre of Trujillo.
The English teaching programme aligns with the overall SKIP philosophy and shares the common objectives of promoting multiculturalism and also developing a global dimension within the children’s education. This is facilitated by our English teachers, a dedicated team of international volunteers, many of whom are native English speakers. SKIP English classes are designed to foster the self-esteem and creativity of students, offering a safe space for self-expression through participative and dynamic activities.
Our English programme also aims to give the children and teenagers of El Porvenir the ability to communicate in another language. This not only opens doors to other cultures but also increases job opportunities in many careers where understanding a foreign language is a real asset.
Our English teaching programme is supervised by an experienced and qualified EFL teacher, providing support and skills training in lesson planning and teaching techniques to our volunteers.
Read more about being an English teaching volunteer.
Want to study Spanish at the same time as teaching English?
Check out our Volunteer and Learn Spanish Programme
Programme Success (2014)
- 100% Attendance
- Monthly training workshops have included:
- Organisation and methodology at SKIP.
- The role and duties of being a teaching assistant.
- Appropriate behavioural management inside and outside of the classroom.
- Caring for children who have special educational needs.
- The importance of rules and boundaries inside and outside of the classroom.
- Team work and working independently.
- In parent/carer feedback, the participants said that they felt valued, grateful, useful, capable, more empowered even in their personal life and that they were more enthusiastic than ever to continue working and learning inside the classroom.
The Carers as Teaching Assistants Programme trains and supports parents and carers who are participants in the main SKIP programme to volunteer once per fortnight within the Primary Education Programme.
Following regular monthly training sessions and individual support form the Primary Education Coordinator, parents and carers are helped to recognise their ability to grow through observing educational role models in situ. Working in the classroom and collaborating and coordinating with teachers in the class, parents and carers are able to apply their personal knowlede and the knowledge they have acquired through the social work training programmes. In this way, we have constructed a joint learning process and a continuum between all parties involved: the parent or carer working as a teaching assistants, the volunteer teachers and the SKIP’s students.
- Increased parent and carer involvement and awareness of their child’s educational needs
- Increased family involvement in the implementation and success of SKIP’s education programme
- Acquisition of behaviour management techniques, impacting family dynamics
- Individualized attention for each student during their classes at SKIP
- The range of skills they have learnt since becoming a member of the organisation
- Their attendance, interest and active participation in Social Work workshops
- Improvements and progress in their social, personal and family life
- Their level of academic knowledge
Once selected, individuals can decide if they want to start training as a teaching assistant. Participation is not obligatory.
Our Library functions as a not only a library but also a drop-in centre, a homework club and a short-term child-care facility. What makes it so special is that it is voluntary. Kids can turn up as and when they please. It can be the difference between being at home alone looking after even younger siblings or having a safe fun place to do homework, read and engage in educational play. It is a place where our working parents know their children will be safe and supported every afternoon. It offers child-care support for mothers who attend our educational or skills workshops at SKIP. The library is open to the 300+ primary and secondary children who access SKIP. We develop more targeted support for a number of children who attend the library regularly. We see kids build their confidence in reading, writing and maths every day, making the effort incredibly rewarding.
The library is open afternoons Tuesday through Friday and Saturday all day and is staffed by a minimum of two SKIP volunteers. Volunteers provide homework support and engage children in fun and thoughtful learning activities to reinforce children’s Maths and Literacy skills. Additionally, other children and young people simply use the space to independently read and complete their homework. We are proud that we can provide this peaceful space for them.
Our library sessions are broken into three parts: Reading and Homework, Educational Engagement, and Recreation. Recreation allows children to engage in free and structured play with other children of varying ages. Volunteers support children to support imaginative and creative play with an emphasis on respect and sharing. We believe that the multi-functional, flexible Library program is key to supporting all other areas of the SKIP program.
Programme Success (2014)
- 86% attendance
- Classes were provided for 6 hours per week for 8 months of the year
- Exam results also showed impressive progress as test scores increased on average by 32% in Communications scores and 22% in Maths.
In June 2013, after several months of working on the selection process, SKIP began working with 9 new families and 11 children in our first satellite project located at the Solaris school in Alto Trujillo. Using the school facilities, which are unused in the afternoons, SKIP provides lessons and homework help to the children twice per week for three hours in addition to biweekly training workshops for parents. This is the most cost effective way for SKIP to provide services and facilitate working partnerships with local schools, who are able to refer families that most need support, helping us with the selection process.
For 2014, we increased the number of children in the project to 43 and we are now working with 23 families.
- In total we work with around 150 families each year.
- 98% of families registered for health care.
The social work team seeks to support people in becoming the protagonists of their own change. We focus on helping people expand their skills and abilities.
In addition to providing daily drop in sessions at the office where parents can access advice, the social work team also runs biweekly training workshops on a breadth of different subjects, ranging from breast cancer awareness to parenting techniques.
Home visits are carried out a minimum of twice yearly to inform assessments of the family situation and ensure that we are able to provide tailor-made support to each individual family. These sessions are also used to complete monitoring assessments such as the Progress out of Poverty Index (PPI), which we use to track poverty levels within the SKIP community.
Finally, the social work team establishes and maintains alliances with other organisations in Trujillo to be able to provide as much support as possible to the families in areas such as health difficulties where specialist support is required.
One of the important tasks carried out by the Social Work team each year is the Family selection process. With 200,000 people on our doorstep, SKIP has to make sure that the limited help we can offer is prioritised for families most in need.
In order to move forward with applications, the following criteria must be met:
- Families must demonstrate that they will engage in support offered
- Families must live within a 20 minute walk of the SKIP Community Centre
- Families must have a child enrolled in Primary school
- Children must be enrolled in one of the four local Schools we partner with
We then use an assessment tool, designed by the SKIP social work team, which gives us a measurement score of the family's current situation. This includes how many children they have, whether or not they are in school, family income, type of housing, access to utilities, and societal and familial support networks. Using these scores families are banded into groups and those with the highest level of need are selected to progress to the next round. This will usually include 30 to 40 families depending on the number of places we have available the following year.
We then complete a home visit to gain a more detailed perspective of the overall family situation and we also complete the PPI (Progress out of Poverty Index) which gives us an indication of familial poverty level.
Once we make a selection, successful families pass to the 'Pre-programme' phase where they attend a series of six workshops that teach them about SKIP and the way we work. Attendance is obligatory and anyone who misses more than two sessions will not be selected. The final stage is the children's attendance of the Holiday Club, with an attendance of more than 70 percent.
Programme Success (2015)
- 54 adults and children seen for individual therapy in the course of the year
- 13 training workshops for volunteers
- 6 group sessions for all children in the Primary Education programme with a focus on reducing violent behaviours and enabling children to better understand their emotions
- 6 full psycho-educational evaluations completed with students identified as having significant learning needs and possible intellectual disabilities
The SKIP psychology programme follows a public health model, which increases the number of individuals who are able to access mental health resources. Through this model interventions are provided at three different levels:
- Primary/ universal interventions are intended to prevent problems before they arise and increase the social and emotional well-being of all families
- Secondary interventions are targeted at families with identified problems to alleviate distress and prevent the escalation of the problem
- Tertiary interventions are for individuals and families in crisis and are conducted to treat psychological issues that have already developed
At the primary intervention level we create and carry out workshops for all mothers enrolled in the program on child development and behaviour management. These workshops review basic cognitive, social and moral development milestones for children aged three to 18 years, and provide discipline strategies to use at different developmental time points. Follow-up workshops are provided to work more closely with parents to help them develop discipline plans for their own families and practice behaviour management skills with their children in real-time, so that they can receive feedback on their use of these skills.
At the secondary intervention level we carry out support groups for primary school children identified by their parents and/or teachers as having behavioural or emotional problems. The purpose of these groups is to provide the children with a safe place to explore these concerns while also receiving tips on how to control their behaviour and manage their emotions. These groups also allow the psychologists to assess multiple children at once and identify those who require more intensive interventions.
At the tertiary intervention level the primary psychologist carries out individual, couples and family therapy with those families most in need - specifically those individuals who have psychological disorders or are suffering from severe emotional distress. Children, adolescents and adults suffering from a variety of disorders including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, conduct disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and personality disorders are provided with therapy tailored to their specific diagnoses. In addition, couples whose relational problems are affecting the mental health of their children are provided with therapy to improve their interpersonal communication and parenting techniques.
The area of psychology also works to better the internal processes of the organisation and is involved in volunteer training.
- Microcredits: a total of 10,780 Soles disbursed to families via 38 different loans.
- 18 women enrolled in the handicraft workshops.
- 10,121 Soles was made from the sale of 674 products throughout the year.
EcoDev helps the families of SKIP achieve a higher level of wellbeing through independent business initiatives. We help SKIP families create sustainable sources of income and we provide them with opportunities to develop their artisan and business skills to pursue their goals.
SKIP’s current EcoDev project portfolio includes a micro-credit programme which supplies small loans and business consulting to current or potential business owners. We also have a savings programme, run business education workshops, artisan workshops including jewellery making, sewing, and weaving and have a health related loan programmes.
The business loans we offer start at 50 to 100 Soles (approximately $18 to $30 USD) and, depending on an internally developed credit rating, can reach 500 Soles (approx. $180 USD). In order to comply with our non profit status in Peru, we are not allowed to charge interest on loans, but we do run a training programme in order to increase understanding for formal banking systems.
EcoDev emphasises the importance of saving to financially protect the business and health of our families. Without preparing and planning for the future the families of El Porvenir remain vulnerable. For all loans we require that the weekly payment includes obligatory savings to introduce important habits. At the closure of the loan we encourage the savings portion to be deposited into an interest-bearing bank account with an accredited Peruvian bank, or reinvested in their business. Borrowers are frequently impressed with the savings they accumulated over the term of the loan! The EcoDev team facilitates the relationship with local banks to provide the families with secure savings options.
The EcoDev team regularly organises business workshops aimed at SKIP members who would like to develop or start a business. The workshops are tailored to the needs of the businesses in El Porvenir and include bookkeeping, savings and inventory management.
Production workshops - Talleres
In these workshops knowledgeable mothers of SKIP train other mothers to develop skills in jewellery making, sewing, crochet and macramé. The raw materials for these workshops are purchased directly from the local market by the mothers participating in the program. The EcoDev team aids in the co-ordination of local and international sales for the mothers, while also instilling practical business skills to empower the mothers to work towards functioning more independently.
Through collaborations with local partners, we run a dental campaign every year where children's teeth are checked and fillings are made where necessary. We also work on preventative care and children are taught how to brush their teeth and told why this is so important. We have also been able to provide sight tests for children with noted difficulties and glasses have been provided where required.
Through our work with UK based NGO Two Weeks, we have begun annual check ups on children as medical Doctors come to volunteer with us for two week campaigns on an annual basis. This has provided an opportunity to provide basic health assessments and reviews, at the same time as give out information and advice to parents.
Our hopes for the future are that we will be able to secure funding or support which will enable us to provide a regular and permanent weekly clinic at the project including donations of medicines.
Read more about programme outcomes in our annual reports
In partnership with a French NGO called Pour Les Bebes, it was identified in 2014 that there was a gap in our service provision as we had no nursery for the youngest children in our families. We addressed this in 2015, by setting up a nursery that ran from April to December, 5 days a week, for 4 hours in the morning. As well as the nursery care for the children, parents and carers also attended monthly training sessions in child development, with topics including how to stimulate cognitive development in toddlers and strategies to recognise and manage maternal stress and depression.
Initially we had a full enrollment of 8 children aged between 1 and 2 years old. There was some turnover in participation, either because their parents or carers did not feel they were ready to be left or because it was too difficult to bring them into the Community Centre due to other commitments, but we always had a willing replacement and finished the year at capacity. This will increase to 12 children for 2016.
The impact of this additional programme has been seen in the fact that the parents have reported increased warmth towards their children. Not having to care for children whilst working has economic benefits to the family too; as one mother commented “I work at home sewing shoes. Before, I got nothing done, but now I work hard until 12pm. In the afternoon my son is still with me.” They feel that their children are learning better in the nursery than they would in other settings too: “I work from 9am to 9pm every weekday, so I don’t see my son during the day after I bring him here [to nursery]. Before, he stayed with my mother but since coming here he has started to talk and plays better with other young children.” Other parents see it as good preparation for being away from them when they go to pre-school, which is compulsory and starts at 3 years old in Peru: “For me, the best thing is that he cries less and less here, and that means he won’t cry when he starts pre- school.” Every parent commented on the high level of professionalism amongst the staff running the nursery and that they have lots of confidence leaving their children here every day. This programme allows the children to grow up as an integral part of their family, in a supported environment, giving them the best possible start to life.