Ethical and Responsible Organization and Volunteer Program

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In the past decade, a plethora of agencies, companies and organizations have entered into the market of volunteering abroad. Unfortunately, many (though not all!) of these businesses/organizations do not put the community first. High demand for valuable volunteering experiences has made making money the first priority, not community development. At LLI, we choose to do things differently.

The community and our education programs remain the main focus and as such, volunteers play a very crucial role in their success. It’s important to realize we are first a non-profit offering education programs and we are a volunteer program second. We all, as volunteers and staff, want to have a great impact on the community we are serving. LLI is careful to ensure our volunteer program is not harming the community, but impacting it positively. Thus, our volunteer placements do not remove job opportunities from Peruvians (in fact, we employ minimum four locals at one time), but instead provide supplemental educational opportunities for people in the community. The placements received by volunteers are valuable to the success of the programs and to the community—they are not created simply because the volunteer “needs work.” 

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How do we keep an ear to the community, you ask? Good question. The following are ways we ensure community voices are heard and very often times, are the acting decision bodies:

  • Weekly Parent Hours: an hour for parents of LLI students to join us in the Kids’ Center to ask any questions, give feedback, express concerns. This also serves as a time for community members interested in our programs to come and learn more about us and maybe, sign up!
  • Parent meetings held three to four times year: these meetings allow a time for parents and community members to receive feedback from LLI on the participation of their child(ren) in our programs, but also a time that LLI proposes changes in schedule and allows parents a time to give feedback
  • Community Forums: Held 1-2 times a year, LLI invites any community member interested in learning about LLI, providing feedback, ideas or general suggestions to join us in a community forum.
  • Yearly (completed each November/December) satisfaction surveys given to parents and participants of our programs. This provides participants a written opportunity to voice their opinion and give feedback. This feedback has a direct impact on LLI programs.
  • Not to mention our volunteers, interns and staff members whom are present five days a week, interacting and working alongside community members and students.

Additionally, financial transparency is important to us. Please see the “Financials” section here.