Women's Empowerment: Volunteer Internships in Lima, Peru

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About

Since the debut of our Women's Empowerment Program in 2009, we have believed that the key to empowerment is education. This program focuses on empowering women to start and improve their own businesses, improve self esteem, and gain computer skills. We offer Mujeres Emprendedoras (Women’s Entrepreneurs), a 3 month entrepreneurship program for low-income women who want to start or improve their own small businesses. Women learn how to develop a business plan, how to track their own finances, and how to create an excel document. They can also learn strategies for improving self-confidence, how to develop a captivating business elevator pitch, and the importance of customer service skills.
We are looking for volunteers with advanced Spanish who can commit to 12 weeks teaching self-esteem or financial empowerment courses and assist the program manager. We're a close-knit grassroots non-profit that believes in high impact programs, largely thanks to volunteer support!

Highlights
  • Assist Women's Program Manager with research, evaluation and special projects (advanced Spanish and previous experience preferred!)
  • Assist with Program Promotion, Registration, and front desk duties
  • During class cycles, we offer financial planning and empowerment workshops on weekend evenings focused on Business and Self-Esteem
  • Childcare program for women who need a place to leave children during the program - help always appreciated!
  • Organize team building activities such as hiking, museum visits

Impact

LLI has participants from every one of Huaycán’s twenty four zonas. In one year, LLI had 58 teens join in 33 Leadership Project meetings that generate service projects such as an animal vaccination, disaster relief and conservation programs all organized by the teens.

LLI provides free after-school classes to any resident between 7 and 17 years to aid their learning, expand their resources, and organize special events. Participants reported they are more excited to read given their access to our library, that they feel more empowered to start local businesses, and that they have a safe, productive, fun & social space to hang out in after school. Our Women’s Empowerment Program held 140 educational workshops for 127 women last year.

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Reviews

9.5 Rating
based on 4 reviews
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  • Growth 9
  • Support 9
  • Fun 8
  • Housing 8.7
  • Safety 8.3
  • Impact 8
  • Support 10
  • Fun 10
  • Value 10
  • Safety 9
Showing 1 - 4 of 4
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Mary
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An incredible 4 months as the 'Mujeres Emprendedoras' Assistant Manager

I spent 4 months as the Assistant Manager of the Women's Program. With multiple classes a week and many other events going on, I was always busy and was always given work that was relevant to my skill set. The atmosphere at LLI is incredible. Everyone is so supportive, energetic and encouraging and I met some amazing people who I will be very sad to leave behind. The impact of the NGO is positive with measures in place to make sure goals are being met. Also a big thing at LLI is ethical volunteering. They take a lot of time to train people regarding cultural sensitivity and awareness and you can rest assured that your volunteer fees are going towards your room & board and paying local Peruvian staff. I could not recommend LLI highly enough.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Take every opportunity given to you and push yourself out of your comfort zone. You won't regret it and it will stretch you more than you think.
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Jillian
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An Impactful Experience in a Wonderful Community

During my time working for Huaywasi and the Women's Empowerment Program at LLI, I had the opportunity to meet so many inspiring and intelligent women, whether they were international volunteers, local volunteers, program participants, or artisans. This community inspired me to care deeply about the work I was given and go the extra mile even if it was not asked of me. Management in LLI allowed me to lead, grow, and expand on ideas in a way that made me feel like I was bringing true value to the program. I learned so many new skills that I am lucky enough to carry with me throughout my career just through feeling I was in a safe and supported environment to ask questions and to learn. If you would like to feel like your work matters and see real impact working with a small and welcoming community, LLI is the perfect program for you!

What would you improve about this program?
I think workload management should be reevaluated at least on a bimonthly basis. During my time here I saw many volunteers who were extremely overworked while others were standing idle because they were not given responsibilities. Obviously, this is more difficult than it sounds because some volunteers stay 6 months and others only stay 6 weeks, but maybe even discussing workload as a group every other week could help others feel comfortable to ask for help or to speak up about not having enough work.
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Caroline
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Women's Empowerment Program Manager Review

I have worked as the Women's Empowerment Program Manager for the past 10 months in Huaycan, Lima, Peru. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in this position and in this area. I have learned more than I thought possible about myself, my passions and abilities, my struggles and limitations, as well as Peruvian life, customs, and cultural dynamics. I was so grateful for this opportunity to get to know Huaycan and this country on a more intimate level, and will be forever thankful for LLI. Being a motivated, self-starter with flexibility and a real desire to incite positive change will take you so far in this position!

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Naomi
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Wonderful experience

I worked for six months as the Women's Program Manager for the Light and Leadership Initiative from January through June of 2014. LLI is an organization where the focus is the work that the volunteers do as opposed to the money they spend to come volunteer. LLI truly relies on the initiative and enthusiasm of volunteers, which makes it a great experience for those who want to learn what it's like to work at a grassroots non-profit.

As the Women's Program Manager, I organized workshops on financial education, nutrition, and artisan skills, given by Peruvian organizations and students, to groups of women in Huaycán. I also managed LLI's artisan program, taught basic computer and literacy classes, and helped with the community gardening project. I loved the women I worked with and left wishing I could have stayed longer.

Huaycán is a developing community, meaning there are some challenges to living there, but LLI does a lot to make volunteers feel safe and is very responsive to volunteer concerns. Living in Huaycán is an important part of the experience, allowing people to be a part of the community they hope to serve. The volunteer coordinator does a great job making sure volunteers feel at home and providing organized opportunities to explore other parts of Lima.

I would highly recommend LLI to anyone who wants to have a real impact, meet amazing, dedicated people, and learn about life in an urban developing community in Peru. I will never forget my time there!

What would you improve about this program?
As a young grassroots organization, LLI often lacks the resources that larger organizations have at their disposal, which can be frustrating. This means, however, that volunteers have the opportunity to have a greater individual impact on LLI programs.
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