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For as long as I can remember, I have been wanting to make a change in the world. I am Marja Wildschut, 23 years old and born in the Netherlands.
I will tell a little about myself first before talking about the institution I am going to volunteer in. After finishing high school, I started studying International Business Administration, but figured out after one year that it was not the study for me, instead, I changed to International Relations. This study has given me not only knowledge about the world out there, but also gave me the opportunity to study in South Africa for a semester. After completing this study, I started a master in Peace and Development Work in Sweden.
The reason for choosing this study has a lot to do with the development project I have done in Ghana, together with 29 people from my community. Our goal was to build three classrooms, but that was not the only aspect that changed. The way of living of the local people and the interaction between us, Dutch people, and the local community has been very valuable to all of us. This definitely opened my eyes and made me realize that there is so much more outside the Netherlands. After this, I helped with a summer camp for children living in the townships in Port Alfred, South Africa. And also when studying in South Africa, I have visited the local orphanage a few times. All these experiences showed me that living conditions and cultures are different everywhere in the world, which makes that everyone is different and that you should respect everyone as they are.
The children I met in Africa had already stolen my heart and I was more than ready to let this happen again, but this time in another continent. This brings me to the volunteering work that is about to start; the Santa Martha Foundation in Lima, Peru. This is an institution that permanently houses 72 minors that have been neglected, abandoned or at physical or emotional risk. I have specifically chosen this institution, as they help children from 10 months to 18 years old, which makes it more diverse. Another reason for choosing this, is that it is led by locals. The tasks I will be doing here, are also very diverse; getting the children ready for school, take them to school, providing workshops for the teenagers, tutoring, and all other things that are part of the everyday life of the children. I will be volunteering here for five weeks, starting this Saturday, the 14th of October and ending on the 25th of November.
When growing up, I came to see that the change I can make in the world should be found in the small things in life. If I can make a change in the life of one child in the house in Peru, the mission has already been accomplished. Nevertheless, I would like to make a bigger change in the world and hope that my Master’s is a good stepping stone to help more people worldwide.
On this website, I will keep you updated on the life in the institution for the next five weeks with pictures and stories, so that you can be part of this experience. And maybe even experience it yourself in the future. I am very excited for this journey to start and I hope you are too.
The non-profit initiative Volunteers' Help sponsors volunteers who help other people in need and reimburse travel and accommodation costs. We do the crowdfunding for people like Marja, who paid her flight of 801€ to Lima her selves. The donations will land in Marja's pocket directly. In case we collect more as planned, we will sponsor other volunteers, who also want to help others abroad. Please help Marja and donate. Every drop in the ocean counts.
If you want to know more about our initiative or you are interested in volunteering as well and want to make use the service of Volunteer's Help, please check: