(Rebecca Ahern is a Rayo de Sol volunteer, from New Hampshire)
I wasn’t sure what to expect coming to volunteer with Rayo de Sol, but I have learned so much in just a short week.
I first noticed that the office doubles as a safe space for children in the community. Kids are constantly stopping by to say hello and offer help however they can. It became obvious they love it here.
I also learned how Rayo de Sol is involved with the community’s education.
About 300 children receive scholarships, with funds raised through the organization and donations. These scholarships include transportation money, school supplies uniforms and shoes for students at seventeen different schools.
The staff visits the schools every week, providing workshops for teachers, programs for the children during and after school, and they keep up with community development. I have been able to go to several of these schools so far.
The first school I visited was a preschool, where we played outside games with the kids and spent time with the teachers in their classrooms. It’s obvious the children loved the Rayo de Sol staff and it confirmed their dedicated work here; every time Rayo de Sol is around, the kids light up with smiles that radiate through the room. I must admit, it’s quite contagious.
I also went to a school for young people who are training to become teachers. Rayo de Sol was conducting a workshop for the students to learn a method of teaching called Montessori. Here, I observed how the students were so eager to learn, invested in the workshop and thankful that Rayo de Sol was there for them
Although I walked through the community and witnessed harsh conditions, saw the completed water projects and got involved with community development, the education aspect of Rayo de Sol is undeniably important.
Overall, I’m walking away from my first week with this: Rayo de Sol makes a difference in the lives of hundreds of children and their families.