Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Humanitarian organizations: Cielo Azul

Currently we are volunteering with an organisation called Cielo Azul. They work with about 15 rural communities around San Pablo Lake in Otavalo, Ecuador. The volunteers usually live with families in the communities during the time they work at the schools, and teach English or art for a school year. Most of the time, they end up doing other activities as well, like building projects or organizing activities such as a theatre groups or day trips with the kids. Cielo Azul also collaborates economically with the schools in renovation or building projects and buying or donating material. With the last big donation, two schools received computers, so that children who have never seen a computer before could start learning how to use them.

You may think that Cielo Azul is a big organization, but the truth could not be more different. The founder does most of the work in Switzerland in her spare time ("It´s my hobbie", she says), finding volunteers and raising donations (although she does have a group of collaborators there). There are also two people managing the volunteers in Otavalo. The founder, Monika, created the organization after volunteering in the area for three months. With a lot of effort and energy, over the years she has created a network of local help in the area. This shows that you don’t always need a lot of money or people to start “saving he world”.

You can find more information about Cielo Azul on their website: www.cieloazul.ch

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