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Nov

716:23

What I learned in Peru

 
A student from Copenhagen International School travelled to Peru to work with an NGO. He says the trip made him realise how privileged he really was

Every other year students from Copenhagen International School (CIS) take a trip to Peru to work with a British NGO called Kiya Survivors, which works with disabled children. In the local Quechua language, Kiya is the word for moon, which is the symbol of new beginning.

Luckily, I was able to go on the trip last year and experience it first hand. In the first week we went to Mancora to work at the Mama Cocha school. We repainted the walls, took care of the nursery kids, gave the nearby neighbours English lessons and we also dug holes to add fences and water pipes.

The second week we flew to a town near Cusco called Urubamba to work with the kids at The Rainbow House and The Rainbow centre, which is mainly for children born with Down Syndrome. At the centre we made a farm area so the children could have farm animals to look after. We also had a small parade through the town for International Down Syndrome Day. Throughout the week we participated in a range of outreach projects where we would go to people’s houses and work =. We would put up walls, fix balconies and make doors for them. We also got a day off to visit Machu Picchu which was quite mesmerising.

The experience left quite an impact on me and my classmates.

“I think that we all impacted the kids by coming to their country from another country that is so far away, and paying attention to them by playing or talking to them or even acknowledging them with a smile, and overall sharing kindness with the kids,” said Pauline, who is in the 10th grade.

Antoine, in the 11th grade, said: “I think I brought something unusual into the kids lives, something out of the ordinary that they will probably remember like an unusual experience. Also they don’t get to see white people everyday.”

I had similar feelings to my classmates. The whole point of the trip was to change the lives of the disabled children and influence them positively and I think that’s exactly what we did. When we first arrived at the Rainbow House there there was one girl who was extremely happy to see us. That made us really happy, so it’s a win-win situation.It also helped me, and the other students, learn new ways to communicate. None of the children spoke English, so we had to find ways to overcome the language barrier.

The trip made me realise how privileged I am and it showed me the hardships that a big percentage of the world’s population has to go through daily. 

Max Condé is a former student from Copenhagen International School who spent a week with The Murmur last year for work experience.

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By Max Condé

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