Getting to know Dejando Huella: Externadistas volunteering to teach and learn

More than 20 students signed up this second semester to volunteer in the "Homework Support", "A Pleasant Company" and "Biblio near you" programs, the three flagship projects in which University students share their time with the community in the Egypt neighborhood and in the area of the extended center surrounding our House of Studies

The students who are part of the volunteer program belong to the following programs: Finance, Government and International Relations, Administration, Law, Economics, Social Communication, Philosophy, Psychology, Social Work, Anthropology, and Archaeology.

The Conocer Dejando Huella team structured a training agenda for volunteers, so that they would have the necessary tools to share their skills in the project they decided to join, according to their own expectations and knowledge.

The premise of the volunteers is that even in the midst of the pandemic, it is possible to help and share. Empathy and solidarity are two of the values that we want to exalt from the human team that accompanies the surrounding community of our Alma Mater. To this end, the University Welfare Department provided a working session for professors, students and other administrative staff who support volunteer activities to be trained on the biosafety standards that must be taken into account in the face of the risks of Covid-19.

Since some of the volunteers decided to support the “Homework Support” project, Professor Martha Liliana Jiménez, from the Faculty of Education, provided special training on “How do I learn, how do I teach? And, throughout the semester, she has been guiding the team of volunteers who support the boys and girls of the National School of Commerce (Esnalco).

For the development of “La biblio cerca de ti”, Elizabeth Pineda, the librarian of the Library’s headquarters in the Egypt neighborhood, conducted a workshop on emotions. These lessons were used by volunteers in the second semester of 2021.

From the Faculty of Finance, Government and International Relations, professors Erli Margarita Marín Aranguren and Beatriz Arbeláez have been accompanying the volunteer activities of the three projects. Professor Arbeláez gave two workshops: “In the other’s shoes”, to emphasize the importance of empathy, and “Story Telling”, to develop skills in volunteers who are involved with “A pleasant company”, which is developed with the grandmothers of the senior citizens’ home ‘La Divina Providencia’, located in the Egypt neighborhood. The Mathematics Department has joined the trainings, with teacher Margui Romero with her workshop to help with the numbers and operations that the community needs to reinforce.

This semester, Gina Beltrán joined Conocer dejando Huella, who supports the University’s social outreach project through the Egipto Vivo project. In this way, the core group has been expanded and has been led by Carol Contreras, Martha Liliana Jiménez and Erli Margarita Marín-Aranguren, who are convinced that solidarity begins at home and therefore donate part of their time to strengthen the knowledge of students and to be able to propose a project with measurable results. It has already been implemented for 5 years and has become the social reference of the University’s work with its surrounding environment.

Volunteers from Conocer Dejando Huella have worked with 26 children from the community as well as the 19 women who live in the senior citizens’ home.

See some of the photos of the Children’s Day celebration.

Similar activities will be held soon to end the year and celebrate the Christmas holidays. Volunteers are already getting ready for the event, where the Welfare Department and the Faculty of Finance, Government and International Relations are involved because they will take pedagogical fun to Las Cruces, the Belen neighborhood and the Fatima neighborhood. It is expected to serve at least 25 children in each of these places where the “la biblio cera de ti” team will be present.