Education for Life – A Critical International Volunteer Experience

Documentary about the experience of Jose Maria Barroso and Javier Collado on a project of International Cooperation on “Improving basic health conditions and educational quality of rural Peruvian-Ecuadorian border, district Lancones, Piura, Peru.” The project was conducted in the village of “Chilacos Pelados”. The documentary shows our educational philosophy based on internationalism and Freirean theory of awareness of the population. In the documentary you can see the different educational strategies used, as different levels of awareness of the population, from the micro level in the Educational Institution of Chilacos Pelados, as macro level through the radio program “Education for Life” issued by Radio Cutivalú, which we came to all rural areas in all the region of Piura.

Globalize… our hearts!

Why leave your country, your family and your friends to go to a developing country, full of so many tropical diseases? – Dear Parents, at this point in my life I’m full of love, and I feel metaphorically as a solar panel, that is, I feel like a alternative energy of change, clean and necessary for the environment and society in the XXI century, and therefore I feel the need to help others, to my sisters and brothers in Latin America. In fact, I see the opportunity to be volunteer as the warm sun that greets you in the morning and full of maturity and energy with its rays. An eager energy to be transformed into electricity to serve usefully in every home and therefore an energy that feeds back to all those around me and need it, through my love, my knowledge and my actions…

Four months after that conversation with our beloved family and our arrival in Peru, we are working as volunteers educators from the University of Seville, under the agreement with the Regional Government of Piura, in the project “Improvement of the conditions of basic health and educational quality of rural Peruvian-Ecuadorian border district of Lancones, Piura – Peru “, funded by the Basque Government and Engineering Association for Cooperation (IC- LI ) .

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And how volunteers have accomplished all that energy translate promoted by the love of life and neighbor?

First, with a psycho-social-pedagogy training to rural teachers of Primary and Secondary levels in Chilaco Pelados, so that they can provide a quality education for future citizens of Peru.

Second, accompanying and assisting in orientation meetings are organized with CONEI, APAFA and JAAS (local organizations ), where we advise them to achieve better organize their activities.

Third, developing awareness activities with teachers and students, conducting workshops teaching innovation, preventive health, water care, health and gender equality.

And fourthly, through the coordination of a radio program with a holistic vision of the education: EDUCATION FOR LIFE, which emit live every Monday from 5-6 pm (Peruvian time) on Radio Cutivalú. There, with the help of professional guests and practitioners, disclose various topics concerning education in rural areas regarding their various stakeholders: students, families, teachers, institutions and the media.

Consequently, we can summarize that the goal of our work as volunteers is to denote the transformative and even transgressive scope of development education we want to promote in this social context. Education is not only a basic human right, but also an essential component of economic and social development. In fact, when properly planned actions and investments in education, you get a good dividend, and especially in the least developed countries, which will reduce poverty. And for that, our work is based on a new ethical approach based on the Freirean values ​​of consciousness to promote democratic and accountable education in schools, where teachers attitude plays a very important role as actors in development cooperation and thus are agents of awareness and training of the educational community and especially children and youth.

Therefore, teachers have to deploy the pedagogy of love as the theoretical principle on which sustain us in this way, we achieve active and participatory education, including all educational stakeholders, representing a necessary task to promote a dynamic and critical thinking, generating new ideas that promote economic and social development, aimed at creating a better future for Peru.

And indeed, all these activities and ethical principles have a common denominator, a driving force that caused it: love. What is love?

Love is the universal language able to add the feelings, ideas and actions of people, addressed in the same direction.

In this case, towards development and cognitive growth of our students, we will be closed to achieve a peaceful context where eradicate poverty. Also, love is a positive energy that is in all our hearts, and knows no races or cultures, because their intrinsic properties are above all this. And this energy is between you, from all of us, with the creative potentiality of all that surrounds us, so we can help our neighbor and we can improve their lives.

So, we believe that love is the best tool to achieve a global education: integrating cultural and anthropology values against ethnocentrism which still invade us. In other words, the education required for development, both in Peru and other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, to be consolidated, inexorably, will be a pedagogy grounded in love with spirit of participation, solidarity and cooperative.

Thus, we think that voluntiarism is a unique opportunity to oxygenate change actions to improve quality of life in host countries and is, therefore, the discursive shift that seek to establish with global education development. And for this reason, in December after finishing our work as a volunteer in Peru, we will travel through Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico and Brazil, carrying our spirit of pedagogical love as volunteer and revolutionary wind as liberty, defending human rights: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Why do all this? because we have reached the following reflection: in a globalized world where your coffee is Colombian, your Brazilian music, your Ecuadorian beer, your Japanese car, your Chinese clothes, American movies, and your Peruvian chifles… Why call foreign to your neighbor? Globalize therefore our hearts, without interest… only LOVE!

We wish the pedagogy of love fill your hearts! 😛