One of our volunteers in Peru, William T. Mautz, took time away from his busy life to participate in the AMAUTA volunteer Program in Cusco. Mautz has a Ph.D. in Child Clinical Psychology and founded a center of neuropsychological evaluations for children from the Boston area. He went to Peru with his daughter Grace, 15 years old, to volunteer for a week in a clinic for disabled children in Cusco.
For Grace this is a great opportunity to build on her Spanish skills and to volunteer on a short time basis, which is the only option for a high school student. Also, Williams motivation as a dad was for his daughter to get more knowledge on goodness. AMAUTA Spanish School in Peru was the only place where it was possible to take part on a volunteering program for just one week.
Thanks to this experience she will hopefully be able to make her peers more sensitive to social actions such as volunteering and fundraising. In William’s opinion any organization should feel comfortable offering very short term volunteer projects as AMAUTA does, because it gives a great learning experience to young people. The exposure to helping others teaches young people forever and influences their behavior and actions as adults.
For Grace it was a big first experience: a first time in a developing country and a first time working in contact with disabled children. According to her, Perú was consistent with her expectations and she loved it. But she has been surprised within the project, especially by the range of different needs of the kids at the clinic: some can walk, others cannot, some can talk, and others cannot. After a few days at her volunteer work in Cusco, she already felt connected with them, and on the third day she was telling William that she would miss them so much back home. Grace said that she learned something from them, even though it is hard for her to explain what.
Seeing how little resources the clinic had, William decided to buy some materials and games. He donated to the project resources, such as, puzzles and building blocks, which are good to stimulate fine motor skills. Moreover, having these resources to play with helps the volunteers to engage with the kids. In total William and Grace have donated to the children some great materials to play with and a lot of help and attention!