La Comunidad que Construimos is a small non-profit organization based out of Trujillo, Peru. We work closely with the community members to run an afterschool program that helps children build self-esteem by putting them in positions of power as teachers of their own culture.
Our volunteer philosophy is different than most Western non-profits. While we operate with the help of international volunteers, we seek to create a space in which our Young Leaders, the Peruvian youth, and our volunteers are equal. Both groups participate in a cultural intercambio, or exchange, by learning from one another. Our volunteers teach workshops with our Young Leaders, helping them to master new skills and abilities. In turn, our Young Leaders teach our volunteers all about the cultural richness that Peru has to offer – after all, they are the experts! It is our belief that by focusing on self-esteem building and empowerment with youth, we can help equip our Young Leaders with the confidence and positive self-image needed to take control of their own futures, and to be the next generation of change-makers in their own communities.
Studies show that people with low self-esteem are often paralyzed by the fear of failure. Because they do not believe in their own self-worth, they withdraw from educational environments and resist opportunities to better themselves. These effects are troubling enough on an individual level, but on a large scale they mean high rates of unemployment, social problems and dangers, and deepening poverty. By instilling confidence and self-esteem into the Young Leaders of the community, we hope to diminish and end the cycle of poverty that currently resides in Trujillo.