We are so lucky here at Seeds to have a wealth of wonderful volunteers coming to work with us. We accept volunteers from all places and backgrounds with a range of experience to come and share their talents with us.
Of course, on some occasions volunteers with specific training and skills bring ideas to the school that can benefit the kids learning in unique and explorative ways.
One of those people who joined us for a whole month recently was trained psychologist, Geddes Wyatt. Geddes has worked with children and adolescents from various backgrounds exploring the cause and effect of behavioural issues, amongst other things. He has just completed his PhD at King’s College in London and came out to Peru to work with us on our ongoing project, ‘Paso a Paso’ (Step by Step).
Paso a Paso was originally started by a past volunteer in order to work with individual students who may be having certain issues either in the classroom or at home. Problems with learning, behaviour, concentration, for example. The goals of the project are:
- To help students identify short and long term goals and the difference between them.
- To recognise personal strengths and abilities.
- To celebrate accomplishments and identify areas in their lives where they have control.
- To improve problem solving skills and break down goals into manageable steps.
- Help them identify people in their lives that will support the to empower students and improve their self-esteem in order to increase motivation by setting and reaching certain targets by focusing on accomplishments.
Geddes came up with some fantastic games on Friday’s for the children to participate in. These games were implemented over a period of three weeks and involved role plays, meditation and tasks using trust and intuition.
During the first Friday Geddes and our volunteers participated in role plays to show the children examples of how they can often be disruptive in class. After doing so they gave the children the opportunity to put their hands up and point out what the problem was before allowing them to take to the stage and show everyone the correct way to behave. It was a lot of fun and it certainly gave everyone a good laugh! Have a look at our videos and photos below:
The next week Geddes tried out a form of meditation on the children and other volunteers. He started by asking the children to close their eyes and sit silently before giving everyone a chocolate each. He told them to look at it, smell it, touch it and concentrate hard on all how it smelt, looked, and felt. They then put it in their mouths, but were told not to chew, just to leave the chocolate on their tongues and then push to the roof of their mouths. They were not allowed to chew at all but to concentrate on how it felt until it had dissolved in their mouths. The children then talked about it afterwards and whether they thought the taste was better this way or if they preferred to eat it the normal way. The purpose of the experiment was to focus the children’s minds and to shut out everything else around them while working out if everyday tasks can have a different affect if we savour them differently.
On his final week, Geddes arranged a few different tasks for the children that were not only fun, but that also had the kids working on both trust and intuition. He began by giving all the children sheets of paper and coloured pens and told them to sit in silence and concentrate. He played various different types of music for the children to listen to, beginning with classical and ending with some pop songs that the children recognised. He asked them to sketch free-hand how the music made them feel and how they thought the rhythm would look like visually. This took the kids minds to all kind of interesting places and the results were excellent!
He then ended the day by creating an obstacle course in the school (sadly, it was raining that day so we couldn’t get to the park). Geddes then asked two children at a time to go up to the front of the class, one to be blind folded and the other to be the guide. It was then a matter of relying on trust as the person blindfolded was guided through the maze. Have a look at our pictures to see how it went!
Not only were we lucky enough to have Geddes with us, but he was also able to raise £550 through a sponsored run and bike ride. Thank you, Geddes!
We’re always looking for skilled individuals to volunteer with us. Our Paso a Paso project is ongoing, so if you are interested in continuing this, or have an idea for another project, then please get in touch and let us know your ideas!