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UOC volunteers on the PEE 6.16 academic reinforcement programme in Tortosa

19   June   2017

The manager in charge of the volunteers on the programme PEE and some of the UOC volunteers tell us about the initiative

The manager in charge of the volunteers on the programme PEE and some of the UOC volunteers tell us about the initiative

This year has seen a number of UOC students taking part in the PEE (Environment Education Plan) 6.16 programme through academic reinforcement for children and young people from families with few resources in Tortosa. The manager in charge of the volunteers on the programme and some of the students who took part tell us about their experience.

By Miguel Angel Sánchez Hernández

In 2012, a municipal socio-educational programme was begun in Tortosa aimed at children and young people aged between 6 and 16 and their families, especially those at risk of social exclusion or in a precarious socio-economic situation. The programme involved a number of social agents (schools, associations, organizations and government) and was developed through a specific initiative: the PEE 6.16 programme.

With the aim of helping children and young people aged between 6 and 16 from families with few resources, the programme needed volunteers who would be responsible for applying and providing continuity to the activities designed by local organizations. This year, a number of UOC students have taken part providing academic reinforcement to very young children.

The manager in charge of the volunteers on the programme and some of the UOC volunteers tell us about the initiative and their own personal experience.

 

Núria de la Vega Royo
Manager in charge of the volunteers

We work to link the activities on the programme with the volunteers’ studies

“There are two calls for volunteers with the UOC; one for the academic year and another for the summer, with completely different activities. Basically, academic reinforcement takes place during the academic year, and during the summer, as well as reinforcement, we focus on leisure activities and the children’s canteen. Once the UOC has completed the internal call for volunteers, any students who are interested contact me. This is when I explain the characteristics of each activity (times, student profile, tasks to be carried out, etc.) and, if they are interested, we arrange an initial meeting so that the volunteer and the organization can get to know each other.
    
To date, the students have carried out the tasks that the organization has asked them to do, but they have also made some proposals. From now on, depending on the course that they are studying, we want students to apply their knowledge when they carry out the activity that they are participating in, letting them practice and enabling children and young people to benefit from the proposals of future professionals.”

 

Salomé Fortuño Acero
Bachelor's Degree in Law student

The children have taught me how to improve my communication skills

“What most attracted me to the programme is that it offers free academic reinforcement to primary school children with few economic resources. I've always wanted to be a volunteer and, in addition, the UOC validated the hours completed. I also wanted to do something unrelated to the branch of studies that I'm currently studying; not because I don’t like it, but to get out of my comfort zone. So this was the perfect opportunity.

It has been really fulfilling. I was able to help and teach the children and they also taught me how to improve my communication skills; mostly, how to correctly express and communication notions that might not be quite so easy or commonplace. Although volunteering is not closely related to my degree, I'm positive that it will help me in my future work.”

 

Jordi Hernández Benet
Bachelor's Degree in Tourism student

This has been a wonderful experience, both professionally and personally

“When the UOC told me about the proposals and objectives of this programme, I didn't hesitate for a moment. I knew it was a great opportunity to help people with socio-economic problems. I've always considered myself to be someone pretty committed to helping palliate existing differences.

The fact is that it was an incredible experience, both professionally and personally. Right from the beginning, I felt comfortable with the people taking part in the programme and the organizations. All the children I had contact with made me see, in the very small details, that the effort was worth it. It has been an unforgettable experience.”

 

Lídia Torrado Castelló
Bachelor's Degree in Catalan Language and Literature student

People of different nationalities have a common objective: learning for survival

“During my time as a volunteer, I realized that foreigners learn very quickly, mainly out of necessity. It’s curious because you become the viewer of a spectacular metamorphosis. They arrive in quite a complicated state, because many of them cannot read or write and because initially students are not consistent at the start of their learning.

Also, there are often new students joining, which means that we sometimes have to start the subject again. It’s tough for volunteers because we don’t want to discourage or bore students who are a bit more advanced, so we organize groups and try to get them to do activities so they don’t lose the thread. It’s really heart-warming to see how people of different nationalities and different ways of thinking have a common objective: learning for survival.”

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