The Shock and Awe of Volunteer Life at NPH Peru

Elodie, a yearlong international volunteer from France, shares an intimate reflection on her first few months at NPH Peru.
March 13, 2019 - Peru

Elodie with NPH caregivers during a holiday celebration.

Coming to Peru meant leaving behind all that I have known and launching myself into something new. Today living with 100 children, plus the people who take care of them, is a big change. I have never experienced this before and I really have no regrets.

What I will say is surely cliché, but this is what I experience every day. Daily I burst out laughing at least once; I have a moment when I feel I could cry because I feel so much happiness and love in me that I wonder how I can keep it inside. And when I feel that, usually a kid is nearby, and we hug each other as I share that feeling of love with them.

Being here helps me grow. Every day I come up with new projects. I want to share more and more time with the kids. Just playing football or volleyball outside is a source of joy.

There are times when they just need a shoulder to lean on. There are moments of silence, of tears. This is part of growing for them, too. For me, it is important that they know they can count on me and that I will be there. If they have a problem, I will do all that is possible to find help from others to make sure the child feels safe and loved.

Understanding the rules of NPH and getting used to the new rhythm of life was also a challenge. When you think you cannot be more flexible, you face a situation where you will have to be. There is always a new challenge coming up, which is what makes life here so exciting.

I feel really lucky to share in the kids’ lives and to see them grow up. Every day I am thankful for being here and I try to do my best to support the kids in every way I can.

Elodie Chapotot
Visitor Coordinator/Assistant Sponsorship Coordinator




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