It’s another scorching December afternoon in Santiago, Chile and the air is thick with laughter and the thump thump of reggaeton music. A team of 20 kids plays a lively game of fútbol while 15 more stand on the sideline, cheering and swaying to the beat.
No bystander would ever know that these children have been removed from their own homes by the Chilean family court system due to abuse and neglect. Thanks to a non-profit organization called Voluntarios de la Esperanza (VE) Global, these kids have a million opportunities to play and a million more reasons to smile.
VE Global fosters the development of children at social risk in Chile by training and empowering volunteers to serve as positive role models, educators and advocates of social justice. VE has successfully integrated 450 full-time volunteers from 35 countries into a network of partner organizations. With an average on-the-ground presence of 15 full-time volunteers, VE provides more than 40,000 hours of volunteer support each year and serves over 200 children daily via after-school activities, homework help, and emotional guidance.
In addition to developing leadership and mentoring skills in their volunteers, VE also contributes programming and support to 14 local partner organizations that include children’s shelters, community centers, and schools in the most vulnerable neighborhoods of Santiago. VE touches the lives of children aged two to 12, adolescents aged 13-20, as well as pregnant and adolescent mothers and their babies.
Not only does VE host a health and wellness league (including regular fútbol matches!), they also offer a literacy program, art festival, and English lessons. These programs empower, educate, and motivate the children of Santiago so that they may become future role models and leaders.
With the support of companies like Corporate Giving Partnerships, VE works to build a global community that ensures equality of opportunity and social justice for all children.
Volunteering with VE is an opportunity to put your beliefs into action, create positive social change, and use your skills to help the children of Santiago sustainably. VE is always looking for qualified volunteers to join their January, May and September volunteer classes.
A special thanks to Isabella Trouw, from VE Global for this post. To learn how you may volunteer or donate to this nonprofit organization, please visit their website or Facebook page. To learn more about Corporate Giving Partnerships, please contact us.