Over the past two years, three IBM Peru employees – Alicia Huby, Brenda Cavero, and Giancarlo Vial Del Pozo - have been dedicating entire weekends to help children affected by family and social violence, malnutrition, and other adverse circumstances. They are part of project Minka Perú, developed by the not-for-profit organization, Minkando, whose mission is to complement the standard education frameworks offered by school and family. The volunteers travel to communities where the children live, outside the capital city of Lima, and teach them about self-esteem, values and teamwork through workshops and games, opening up new ways of life to them.
Project Minka Perú operates in two locations – Ica and Ayachucho. Collectively, the IBM team has participated in 18 weekend trips, helping over 100 children learn how to channel aggression, build confidence to establish and strengthen relationships, identify personal skills and develop leadership skills. The weekend sessions have led to a decreased school dropout rate and greater involvement of youth in working to help solve the problems of their community.
"The kids we work with are so desperate for care, education and a space to have fun that it makes you give your best with them just to be able to see a child’s sad expression change to an amazing smile after a few hours of games and laughing together. After each visit you can really witness a change in them. It is very rewarding to see that we are making a difference," said Alicia Huby, one of the Team Peru volunteers.