This orphanage for girls in Granada houses approximately 24 girls with ages between 4 - 17 years old. When turning 18 they need to leave the orphanage.
As with many orphanages in Nicaragua, the children are not real orphans, but they are abandoned by their parents and have nowhere else to go. Often the parents are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol, in jail, or sometimes they have left their children for a new partner who does not want the children, or they live and work in Costa Rica or the United States, etc.
The orphanage is founded, managed and funded by a church. Religion has an important role in the management and education of the girls, but as an intern you do not have to be religious to have your internship here. There are 3 nuns and 5 employees working here.
The house rules are strict but loving. The girls get up at 5am, wash their clothes and have breakfast at 6:30am. After breakfast they go to a short mass, clean the house and then go to school.
5.00am - 7.00am Wake up, breakfast, washing/cleaning, preparing for school
7.00am - 12:00pm School time for the young girls that go to a primary school, the girls go to a public school nearby.
12:30pm - 5:45pm School time for the older girls who attend secondary education, these girls also go to a regular public school nearby.
6:00pm Dinner, after dinner time off
7.00pm - 8:00pm Mass
8.00pm Time off and/or bedtime
Half of the girls attends school in the mornings and the other half in the afternoons. The girls who are not at school, but at the orphanage spend their time with the following activities: making homework, counseling (visiting the psychologist or social worker), free time (games and sports) or participate in creative classes, such as music and painting.
Activities for interns
The activities for the students can take place outside school time. Each year certain values are highlighted thematically in their activities, for example respect, brotherhood, loyalty, etc. As an intern you can relate your activities to these themes and provide information or give a training about this in cooperation with the social worker or psychologist. Themes that are always relevant and that you can work on during workshops are: Self esteem, self defense, drugs & addiction prevention, respect, discipline, etc.
Besides these workshops you are expected to help with homework assistance and to be available for a social talk. During the free time of the girls you can organize all kind of activities, it is also possible to organize activities outside the orphanage. If you have special (creative) skills, you are welcome to give classes or courses to the girls.
You can also work on further professionalizing the orphanage by e.g. (improving) personal files/plans per child, creating relevant rules and workshops, identifying problems and work on durable solutions. Of course this can only happen with the approval of the head nun.
Guidance: One of the employees is a licensed psychologist, she has her Bachelor Degree in Psychology and will be your internship guide.
No one in this orphanage speaks English, it is required that you speak intermediate level of Spanish or very good basic Spanish when starting your internship. If you do not speak Spanish yet you can get the required Spanish level while studying hard during a 4 of 3 week Spanish course in Granada. Although the required minimum time is 8 weeks, the orphanage prefers interns who stay a minimum of 3 months. While working at the orphanage, it is obligatory to wear an ‘uniform’ during work, which consists of: jeans/trousers or skirts from knee length or longer, polo shirt of the girls home and closed shoes or sandals (no flip flops). The girls home will provide you 5 polo shirts for which you need to pay.
Just to be clear:
On-Stage Latin America provides many internships for all kinds of study programs. Besides the available vacancies on the website, we also offer a wide range of other internships. If you have a specific request, send us an e-mail and we will do our best to help you.
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