A Kenilworth student has “fallen in love” with the Peruvian children she has chosen to spend Christmas with as a volunteer.
Melanie Price, who is studying a degree in business management, is enjoying her volunteer placement at an orphanage in Arequipa so much that she will be foregoing the usual get-together with her own family in Kenilworth in favour of supporting the orphans.
The 20-year-old, who must rely on her Spanish language skills to communicate with the children, said: “I’ve fallen in love with the kids. It’s so amazing every time I go in and they say, ‘hola tia Melanie.’ It’s been absolutely amazing to bond with them and help them.”
Having already been in Peru for five months, Melanie has progressed from being a volunteer liaison officer to becoming an all-round volunteer, dealing with donations, marketing and managing other volunteers, as well as washing, cleaning and taking the children out on trips.
She said: “The rewards are completely worth all the hard work.
“Volunteers are very important here as there is a lack of Government support.”
Melanie, who chose Peru to volunteer in because of its high rates of poverty and orphaned children, will stay there for a year in total, before resuming her studies in the UK.