[Some now operated by local community of by Ministry of Education]

Lima, Trujillo, Cusco, Chiclayo, Chimbote, Piura, Arequipa, Cajamarca, Huaraz, Tarapoto.




President, Administration,

Ana Teresa Rosell
Max Berenson

Vice President

Iain Gaw

Project Director


Director of Education

Rosa Ascoy


Evhi (a.m.) and Gisela (p.m.)

Volunteer Coordinator (VC) - When there are more than 5 volunteers in residence we often appoint one to be volunteer coordinator. We also appoint qualified volunteers to br "Project Directors".

Changes regularly

(always a volunteer)

Medical assistance

Dr. Tito Cabrejos/Janet Medina



Spanish Instructors

Carine Ayala/Jose Alberto

[Above listed is a full complement, when all classes are full and we have at least 10 vols in Trujillo.] 


We subscribe to & strive to apply Convention on the Rights of the Child 

We subscribe to & strive to apply "The Volunteer Bill of Rights"

We subscribe to & strive to apply UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 26 applied here)
•(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
•(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
•(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.


When you arrive, Charo or one of us will give you sheets, a blanket, a pillow, and keys to the centre and the apartment (including a key for your own bedroom - leave it locked when you go out during the day as workmen often come to the apartment). Please note that if your keys go missing, you will have to pay for the locks to be changed and new keys for everyone currently affected.


You will also be given a Bruce Peru tunic (“chaleco” in Spanish). This must be worn while you are travelling to and from the schools and while you are working there. It will protect your clothes from dirt, protect you from unwelcome attention by permit people in the barrios to see that you are there to help their community and are working with Bruce Peru, and raise the profile of the Bruce organisation around town, which helps us in many ways. Make sure you have it on before leaving the centre in the morning.


Your keys, bedding and tunic/chaleco mustl be returned to Charo on your last day - please have your bedding and tunic laundered before you return them if time permits.





8.00 - 8.30 a.m.

Breakfast available at the apartment or nearby (your choice)

8.30 a.m.

Volunteers leave for schools

12.30 - 1 p.m.

Volunteers return to the apartment (school ends at 12.00) and eat lunch at one of 2 catering establishments nearby (your choice) +/- 5$ per menu

1.30 - 2.30 p.m.
1.30 - 4.30 p.m.

Free Spanish lessons for volunteers (2 x 1-hour lessons per week: days variable)
Optional: Return to the barrio centre to help in the Library/Literacy/tutorial project, the mothers co-operative project or the pregnant teen project.

5.30 - 8 p.m.

Dinner available at one of the catering establishments nearby. (your choice) +/- 5$ per menu

A weekly meeting for volunteers and teachers is held at the centre on Fridays from 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.

A notice board will inform you of any news you need to know - please check it regularly. If you have any problems or worries while you are here, please talk to the Volunteer Coordinator.


Volunteers share an apartment close to the centre or in Ana Tere´s home (also close to centre) and are responsible for keeping their space clean and tidy. Tied bags of rubbish should be left out on the street after 9 p.m. Without permission from central staff, no person who is not a currently serving international volunteer is permitted to enter the volunteer quarters of any of our centres. Please triple-lock the front door if you are the last person to leave the flat in the morning or the last person in at night.



We will provide sheets, a blanket and a pillow but if you are not coming in summertime (December - February) please bring a sleeping bag to keep you warm at night. You will share a bedroom with up to 3 others (same sex). Volunteers are responsible for cleaning their own rooms and washing their own bed sheets, which must be returned clean at the end of your stay. Please respect other people’s sleep after 10.00pm. Bedrooms should be left locked during the day.



Volunteers must supply their own toilet paper, soap and towel. Volunteers often chip in to purchase loo roll and washing up liquid. Please put used toilet paper, tampons etc in the bin and not down the toilet, which will cause a blockage.



Free Spanish classes are given twice a week by a Peruvian language teacher who comes to the apartment. Ask the secretary or volunteer co-ordinator to give you the latest time and location of the lessons.



Internet is available at the apartment however the connection is not always brilliant.There are numerous cheap internet cafés in Trujillo - we recommend Interweb at Pizarro 721 (near corner of Junin, opposite Metro supermarket). They have a good Skype connection.

If you have a telephone card you can use the centre’s telephone or the one in the apartment. On arrval we will give youy a current telephone number which you may want to give to family and friends so they can call you, but please remind them of the time difference and be considerate - others may also be waiting for calls from home!



On your first day at Bruce Peru, ask the co-ordinator or secretary for a Volunteer Contact Details form so that we can take emergency contact details for you.


Some advice to reduce the risk of tummy upsets (a frequent problem for volunteers!):

·        Make sure you eat clean fruit and vegetables. Wash it with purified water or peel it.

·        Avoid ceviche sold in public places.

·        Avoid cheap food stalls especially those in the open.

·        Avoid tap water and ice unless previously boiled. Purified water for you to drink is available in the centre’s kitchen and in the volunteer’s apartment. However, you may wish to buy bottled water to supplement this.


If you do get diarrhoea we can make suggestions for treatment. Bruce Peru also have a doctor who can be called if necessary.



There will be a Christmas party for all of the children on 14 December and the Bruce Peru school term finishes on 19 December. For the following week volunteers are welcome to join teachers as they talk to prospective children and parents about joining a Bruce Peru school in January. Our usual activities will restart on Monday 5 January. After 19 December, no food will be prepared for volunteers until 5 January.


Please tell the Volunteer Coordinator and the Director of your departure date at least one week before leaving. They can help make travel plans or arrangements in Lima.

On your last day, please bring your blanket, (freshly laundered) sheets and Bruce Peru tunic to the centre and return them to José, together with your keys.



Some volunteers carry out fund-raising activities before their arrival and arrive with money or gifts for the children. Others become attached to “their” school and “their” children and want to give presents when they leave. However, this has to be controlled, or the children will see all international volunteers as potential sources of donations and will alter their behaviour and motive for attending school accordingly. Therefore, gifts to children must be relatively small and must reflect our educational focus: e.g. a pencil case or a school bag or a story book or a colouring book and crayons for each child. Non-educational gifts e.g. dolls and toy cars are not allowed.


If you have a larger amount of money to donate, please talk to Ana Tere, who can advise you on the most useful ways to help. You could sponsor an individual child who has touched your heart, and we always need funds for essential items like school uniforms for the children on the day of their graduation and equipment for schools. New ideas are always welcome but must go through Ana Tere; school equipment should never be given directly to teachers.

Remember, we want to lift our children out of a culture of dependence and show them that education is its own reward. There is no limit to how much love you can give them!



All schools around Trujillo have permanent Peruvian teachers in place; volunteers work as classroom assistants, helping to keep the children under control and working with children who need extra help. Please check with the teacher which children she wants you to work with and how she likes to arrange things, as consistency is comforting to these children. Much of their lives might be chaotic but routine in school can give them the stability they need in order to learn. Ask the teacher if you want to teach the children songs, arrange art activities etc - educational activities come first but they usually welcome your involvement!

In the past we have also taught English language and grammar (beginner to intermediate level), but this is currently on hold due due to the difficulty of offering consistent and skilled teaching. The following information is included just in case these classes start up again:


Workbooks for teachers and students are available to help the volunteer plan and determine classwork and homework. The material to be covered is printed in the front cover of each book. Each volunteer needs to be thorough in class preparation and to keep records of what is taught. We generally use the Headway books, and you will find lots of useful information on their website:

When new students register, they take an entrance exam which allows the teacher to work out the appropriate level for them. Each session lasts one month followed by an exam on the penultimate day, which each volunteer teacher has to prepare and mark. Old exams and other materials are available to make this easier. The final lesson of the month should include time for giving back the marked tests and going through any wrong answers. The test results must be given to the secretary the day after the exam. Volunteers need to inform their students of the test date at the beginning of the course. Often, students remain in the same level for the next session in order to improve their skills.


In addition to our educational projects with poor children, Bruce Peru sponsors a Pregnant Girls’ Project at its centre in Alto Salaverry. The project works with girls (11- 20 years old) who are expecting their first baby. Some are victims of rape though most have simply been left by their partners, and all suffer from poverty. To help these girls adjust to their situations, the Pregnant Girls’ Project provides access to activities and personnel which increase the possibility of successful adjustment to their situation. We hope to help these young mothers gain the skills needed to care for their child.

On Tuesday and Thursday afternoons we meet with a group of pregnant girls in one of the barrios. The girls receive a light meal and pre-natal vitamins. When a girl first enters the project, she meets with the social worker to discuss her situation. A psychologist is available to speak with each young woman and to assess her situation. Work with the psychologist continues throughout the pregnancy. A nurse teaches health practices important for pregnant women, including instruction on proper exercises. The nurse provides a great deal of information, both formally and informally. An obstetrician, Dr Malú, checks the future mothers and when the time comes for delivery, Dr Malú serves as their physician.

This project covers a range of activities providing parenting skills, technical skills (which might help earn money for the mother and child), information about physical health and help with emotional problems. One of the main goals is to raise the self-esteem of each young woman. Various teachers give instructions in different practical skills, with the materials provided by the project. Knitting is one of the first courses taught. A girl can make baby clothes, blankets, booties and hats. Macrame is also taught. As other instructors become available for crafts like jewellery making and painting, we hope to teach these skills too (please let us know if you have a skill to share!). Girls can use the items they make for their babies and sell any surplus to make a little money. The girls also have occasional educational outings. They visit health centres and the hospital in order to prepare them for childbirth. Cultural outings include visits to local museums or sights around Trujillo, even the beach. In the weeks before a girl’s due date, a baby shower is given by the centre for the mother and her future baby. All the girls in the project take part and the future mother receives gifts for her baby.


The Pregnant Girls’ Project hopes to help the girls to find a place in their families or a safe place where they can live as loving and caring mothers. These young women face a bleak future, but we hope to offer as much support as possible and to do all we can to ease a difficult situation.


Arriba Ya is Bruce Peru’s “Micro Venture Capital” project, started in 2007 after 4 years of planning. The objective of this project is to lift Peru’s poorest women out of poverty by supporting them in running their own businesses. Arriba Ya is modelled on the successful Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, set up by Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus in 1976.


We seek pre-existing groups of women (social groups, mothers’ groups) in deprived areas. A feeling of community, trust and shared/mutual responsibility is crucial: this feeling motivates women to work together and repay their debts. When we find a suitable group of “partners”, we work with them to decide what type of business is best for them (retail, manufacturing etc). The women then attend bi-weekly training meetings for 3 months. We teach them the importance of integrity, cleanliness, reliability, honesty, a strong work ethic, teamwork, good home management etc. Before receiving any funds, they must demonstrate the above values and commit to maintaining them. They must also sign contracts, individually and collectively, committing to repay our investment. At this point, they become our partners, but we own 100% of their business. Each repayment buys them back some shares, until they have repaid in full and own the business outright. We can then offer them further funding, allowing them to invest more money in the growth of their business.


There is an opprtunity for volunteers to accompany Pedro on Tuesday and Thursdays in the mornings, assisting him as he collects repayments. If you are interested please ask him if you can help him out.



Our mission is to get school age children into the national state schools. To ensure that the children we locate are destitute and unlikely to attend school without our help, we have Peruvian social workers who talk to the children before they join our schools.


We look for the poorest children from the poorest neighbourhoods and try to open teaching centres or schools in their barrios. We do this with the co-operation and support of local officials and community members. When opening our schools or learning centres, new projects may seem disorganised at first. We try to find out what works best for each community and the children; sometimes it takes experimentation to find the solution.


We believe it is our job to teach only what our children need to get into the national state schools. In order to do this they need to reach the level required of their own age group, or they simply can´t go to school. We strive to bridge the gap that many children fall through. Furthermore, in many instances, more important than academic work, is teaching group discipline, community behaviour and basic classroom skills. The national schools have a two part system which means that students with proper school behaviour will get the education they need. Those without group discipline or proper community behaviour will be placed in classrooms where they will have little chance of getting any real education. We give our children unconditional love, but we must discipline them for their own good.

Although most of us fall in love with a group of students or an individual, we need to keep in mind that our mission is to help poor children get an education. Therefore, at times we must leave one school for another because the Director has made a decision which he or she believes will benefit the most children.




In the summer months from January to March, the organisation runs a summer school for children aged 6. The objective of this schooling is to help these children achieve 1st grade level by March, particularly if they have not had access to any form of shooling in the past.
Not only do we teach them basic reading, writing and mathematical skills, but most importantly we hope to teach them class values so that they have the discipline to achieve a good education once they enter school in March.


There is no exam as such in order for them to enter 1st grade in their local school, however they are expected to know the alphabet, key syllables and basic addition and subtraction skills. Please see below for more detail.


The children who enter the summer school in January may at times be too young, or fail to achieve the level necessary for them to join 1st grade in March. In this case they are often offered a place in the winter school until they have another chance the next year. Rosa will keep an eye on them and continue to monitor their progress throughout this ´gap year´, as she does with all the children we teach.


FINANCIAL SUPPORT (for both winter and summer school)


We try to encourage the families to be financially independent, and believe that they should be responsible for and encourage their own children´s education. Therefore, if possible, they should provide their children´s uniform and the kit they will need for school e.g. rubber, pencils, books etc. They are also expected to pay for their children´s matriculation fee which can be between 30 and 70 soles.


However, often families cannot afford these expenses and it is for this reason that many children end up in our schools. Our social worker Rosa meets with all the children´s families to see if they can afford these expenses, and if she deems it necessary we are happy to offer them a degree of financial support as well as offering uniforms to the children in most need at the end of the year.


Furthermore, in order to register for school parents must provide a birth certificate for their child, which many don´t have for financial reasons. Therefore Rosa also further assists families in obtaining the appropriate documentation.




Before you start work in one of our schools, you should understand something about the local environment and the needs of the children. While each school varies somewhat, in general the issues are the same or very similar.


No matter where you work, the children come from a slum or extreme poverty. Most of the problems arise because the children live in such poverty. In their home or barrios they see and live with a lack of sanitary conditions, food, clothes and often responsible parents. Each day they see adult unemployment, gangs, alcohol abuse, drug consumation and theft. Because most of the children live in poverty-stricken regions, violence exists in their neighbourhoods and most of their homes. The children have seen or experienced domestic violence or neglect. While some come from homes with loving adults doing the best they can, poverty makes family life difficult.


The children are likely to have experienced many stresses that make them vulnerable to emotional problems, psychiatric disorders and learning difficulties. Such stresses might be family conflicts such as domestic violence in the form of physical abuse, mental abuse and/or neglect due to lack of appropriate parenting skills and knowledge. Most of them have low self-esteem and are likely to be undernourished, or are simply exhausted from a night´s work with/for their parents. They face situations most middle class people have never faced and have little understanding about. All of this may lead to the following problems when working with the children:


  • Rebellious behaviour
  • Lack of interest in learning
  • Very low attention spans
  • Violent behaviour towards you and the other children


Their most common needs are likely to be affection, tenderness, protection, food, medical care, recreation and forgiveness for misbehaving.


We hope to help them to recover from the abuses they have suffered through the fulfilment of their needs. If we are successful, the children will be admitted to school and will have gained the confidence and skills needed to adjust to the school environment and succeed in their education. Whilst giving them a start to their academic training is important, for most, the best we can do is to teach them the behaviour and values they need to stay in school. If behaviour problems continue once they are in school, they will be unable to get an education. Many are very bright but if they cannot follow directions, stay in their seats waiting for instructions from their teacher or other skills needed to do well in a regular classroom, they will fail in school and we will have failed in our mission.


When starting new projects we have to be flexible and accept our children’s reality in our classroom. Love and praise are the best motivators. Do not expect changes and improvements right away. They’ll learn new values and attitudes gradually and you must have patience.




It is important to remember that your role is to assist the teacher, and if you are unsure of anything please voice your concerns as there is an effective learning structure which must be followed.  However, briefly the children need to know the following:



Reading: They need to be able to read the following sound groups:

a, e, i, o, u

Sa, so, si, se, su

Ra, ro, ri, re, ru

Ma, mo, mi, me, mu

Da, do, di, de, du

Ña, ño, ñi, ñe, ñu

Pa, po, pi, pe, pu

Ta, to, ti, te, tu

Ba, bo, bi, be, bu

Na, no, ni, ne, nu

Ca, co, ci, ce, cu

Va, vo, vi, ve, vu

La, lo, li, le, lu

Que, qui

Ga, gue, go, gu


Maths: They need to be able to count and to recognise numbers from 1-10. They need to be able to add and subtract using these numbers.




Reading: They need to be able to read the sound groups above and also to use nouns and adjectives.

Maths: They need to be able to count and to recognise numbers from 1 - 50. They need to be able to add, subtract and multiply using these numbers.




Reading: They need to be able to read and to write, using nouns, verbs and adjectives.

Maths: They need to be able to count and to recognise numbers from 1 - 100. They need to be able to add, subtract, multiply and divide using these numbers.



There is a School Teaching Resources Folder with resources for Maths and Literacy. Please feel free to copy these resources but make sure you leave at least one copy in the folder so that other volunteers can use them too. If you make copies for the chidren’s lessons you will need to pay for them yourself but photocopying is very cheap in Peru.


Example copies of the Literacy and Maths tests given to children for entry to each national school grade can be found in the School Teaching Resources Folder. There is also a sheet showing the way in which children write their letters; do look at this as it may be different to your own handwriting! If so, please try to use the “official” script when writing out letters, words or sentences for the children to copy. They need to be able to write in this script in order to enter school. You should also check with your teacher the way in which children add, subtract, multiply and divide as it may be different to the way you have been taught to do it.








Marker pen




Pencil sharpener






Whiteboard eraser






Bench or seat




The toilet

El baño


Tarea para su casa



















Sit down



Stand up






Raise your hand

Alsa tu mano

Alsen tus manos







Las sumas

Take away

La resta

To add


To multiply


To divide






Times/Multiply by


Divided by

Dividido por

Count from 1 to 10

Cuenta del uno a diez

How many are there?

¿Cuantos hay?




May I borrow...

Me puedes prestar...

You can borrow...

Te puedes prestar...

Do you want to borrow this...

Quieres prestarte este...

Do you know?


To tell the time

Decir la hora



Well done

Bien hecho

Very good

Muy bien

Write your names

Escriben sus nombres

We are going to practise

Vamos a practicar

Have you finished?

¿Has terminado?

Where is your pencil?

¿Dondé estas tu làpiz?

Share the books

Compartan los libros

Do you want this one?

¿Quiere este?

Be quiet


Wait a moment


Don’t shout

No grite

Get your notebooks

Coge tus cuadernos

Wash your hands

Lavate tus manos

Raise your hand

Levante la mano

Pick up (the rubbish)

Recoges (la basura)

Don’t fight

No se peleen

Don’t run

No corres

Don’t throw

No bote

Get in line

Formen filas







Colour in


Write (the word/sentence)

Escribes (la palabra/oración)