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Ciudad Oculta education projects:

The hidden city is one of the largest and most overpopulated shantytowns of Buenos Aires. It is about a 45 minutes car drive from the center of the city and is one of the most forgotten and unsafe settlements in the suburban area.

Drug dealers have taken over the place and the crime rate there is very high. Most of the impoverished families living there are marginalized and trapped in a vicious cycle of alliteration and unemployment, which very often leaves them with no better choice than that of falling prey to the criminal organizations that exploit the to death.

This project is aimed to provide about 750 underprivileged children living in Ciudad Oculta with some of the educational opportunities that they so desperately need, as well as giving them some contention and instilling them with renewed hope for a brighter future. It is focused on children aged from three to twelve and offers them school materials and volunteer Maths, Spanish and English teachers. Although the teaching activities are important, the main goal of this project is to keep these vulnerable children out from the streets and to teach them values that will protect them from the many bad influences that surround them every day.

The project has also carried out very successful HIV prevention campaigns and painting workshops for children.

This is a very challenging project and volunteers will need to be highly sympathetic, proactive, creative and patient. But there are few so greatly rewarding experiences than that of changing a child’s life for the better and to help him or her to escape from the vicious cycle of poverty and criminality.

Happy birthday! Project:

This is the foundational stone project of this program and a most original and popular one.

For an alienated society that is too overwhelmed with problems, pressure and haste, those less fortunate and in most urgent need often become invisible. And this social indifference is probably the most damaging and painful of the many consequences carried by poverty and marginalization.

The Happy birthday project started back in 2001 with a caring group of local volunteers who spontaneously started to organize birthday parties for the children living in the poorest slums in Buenos Aires, and four years later they were one of the leading self funded child welfare organizations in the country, run exclusively by volunteers.

The main goals of this wonderful project is to reinforce the marginalized children’s  self esteem and sense of worthiness, as well as to help them establish and strengthen emotional bonds and be able to adapt in a healthy and positive way to their social environment.

Our volunteers to this project will help provide a monthly birthday celebration party for each community center, and one or two additional  weekly ones. Tasks involved are helping with the decoration (balloon, garlands, banners, etc), organizing entertainment activities and games (clowns, dancing, contests, etc), providing snacks, birthday cakes with candles, drinks, birthday presents and a photograph souvenir for the birthday girl or boy.

Volunteers for this project need just beginners Spanish language skills, a proactive, creative and fun attitude, and big hearts.

This is a wonderful and deeply fulfilling project as well as a great fun one!

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