Today I’m featuring an outstanding photography of volcano taken by Tammy Lowe from Tammy & Chris On The Move Blog, during her volunteering work for Helping Overcome Obstacles Peru NGO while travelling in South America.
Tammy is an aid worker and has worked in 4 different continents and 6 different countries over the past few years.
She loves travelling off the beaten track and any kind of adventure activities. She believes in giving back and volunteering and working for an NGO is always a big part of her travels. Go follow this amazing Girl on Facebook and Instagram.
Picture Story: Helping Overcome Obstacles Peru (HOOP)
This photo was taken in a shanty town outside of Arequipa, Peru. The building is a school that the NGO Helping Overcome Obstacles Peru (HOOP), for whom I worked at the time, is running to provide free education to disadvantaged children living there.
People who live in this shanty town live below the poverty line which means that entire families often have to survive on only US$2 per day.
I am from Germany and you couldn’t even get a Starbucks coffee for that amount of money there. To imagine feeding a whole family with that little money is difficult to comprehend.
On top of financial issues, the families also had to deal with sanitation issues (no toilets), no running water in their houses (they had to walk to the nearest water pump and carry water back to their homes), domestic violence, and no money to pay for the simplest health procedures.
Yet despite their lack of money, social services and health facilities the community we worked with were always in high spirits, never complaining, and full of joy and laughter.
In most European towns or cities people would even complain about a small pothole in the street, so imagine if their local authorities would just ignore them, and even want to get rid of them, as is the case in this community.
I volunteered for Helping Overcome Obstacles Peru – HOOP during my one-year South America stint. Volunteering is a big part of my life and I have volunteered back in the UK, where I used to live, for Amnesty International, UNICEF, and a small charity that worked with asylum seekers.
When I travel I don’t just want to tick off things on my bucket list and prefer getting to know different cultures up close.
I find that volunteering is the perfect way to do that. As a communications and fundraising consultant my skills are usually very useful for NGOs and in the case of Helping Overcome Obstacles Peru – HOOP I actually got offered a paid job after only a few weeks.
As I am not a big fan of short-term volunteering this was perfect for me, as it also enabled me to learn Spanish, and make some local friends. I am a serial expat and have lived in six different countries on four different continents.
There are many expats who don’t fully immerse themselves into the culture of the new country they live in and often only hang out with other expats, let alone learn the local language.
While it is inevitable to get to know other expats, I always make an effort to make some local friends too. I think it is a wonderful way to learn more about local culture, the country and local life in general and working in Helping Overcome Obstacles Peru gave me all that.
The beautiful 5,000m high volcano in the background of this photo is called Misti. It is ironic that the poorest people often have the million Dollar views.
It is the same in the favelas in Rio – a sad reality that brings a lot of things into perspective. Spending 10 months with the community was truly humbling and I have learned more from them than they could have ever learned from me.