Newsletter archive for 2012, 2011, 2010, and 2009.

February 2016: 150 youth, 9 workshops, and 1 unforgettable summer

posted Mar 28, 2016, 4:07 PM by Henrik Mitsch

Summer Programming is in Full Swing

Sick of winter already? Warm up with our summer updates from Lima!

Although our students are on summer vacation, it's a busy time for us at Building Dignity. Between both communities, La Encantada and Oasis, we have 150 students participating in one or more of our 9 free summer workshops! By the end of the summer, a total of just 7 weeks, we will have provided 280 hours of educational and recreational workshops in the communities of La Encantada and Oasis. This means our staff and local volunteers are working tirelessly to coordinate and execute exciting, engaging, and educational activities for our youth. The hard work of our volunteers and staff contributes to the numerous benefits our students receive by attending our summer workshops. They are learning new skills, exercising their minds and bodies, gaining confidence, and making friends.

Our Summer 2016 Workshops

For the first time we have invited 4 and 5 year olds to participate in one of our programs in both La Encantada and Oasis. Our goal is for them to get a head start on developing important cognitive abilities that will prepare them for Kindergarten through hands-on activities and games.

Math & Communications

Our students will not miss a beat this summer in math and communications! Students from both Oasis and La Encantada between 1st and 6th grade are invited to participate in interactive and dynamic lessons and learn in a more encouraging and exciting environment. 


In La Encantada, students are engaging in a variety of exciting experiments that allow them to explore different types of science. They are learning how to follow directions closely and work in teams. So far this summer, making bottle rockets has been the highlight of this workshop! (pictured on the left)

Traveling the World

Students in both communities are singing, dancing, and eating their way around the world! They are hopping from continent to continent, focusing on the cultures of countries such as Mexico, Brazil, England, and China. They have learned that cultures are made up of many aspects such as language, clothing, music, food, etc.


Our “Reposteria” workshop which normally takes place in Oasis during the school year, makes its way to La Encantada for the summer! Students learn to follow recipes to create delicious and traditional Peruvian baked goods!


What better way to release that summer energy than by getting outside and playing sports with friends! Of course soccer is always a favorite, but the kids also run through obstacle courses, play capture the flag, and learn new team games.

Chocolate Making

La Encantada hosts lessons for kids to learn how to make chocolate treats! After students enjoy their tasty treats, all remaining chocolates from the workshops are sold to help raise funds for our programs!


Kids in Oasis receive the opportunity to express themselves through dance! All levels are welcomed as kids are taught different dancing styles and have the opportunity to choreograph their own dance routines using the techniques and dance moves they've learned! 

Voices of Youth

Our leadership training program continues this summer in both communities. This summer’s module focuses on goal setting and planning for both immediate and long-term goals. Our participants also visited another NGO in Lima, The Light and Leadership Institute, who is looking to create a program like Voices of Youth within their “Teens Without Limits” program! Our ambassadors (participants ages 18+) lead the workshop and our younger members participated alongside their students (pictured on the right).

We're Now on Instagram!

Follow us: @buildingdignityperu
Thank you!
Without the continuous support of our donors, our free summer workshops would not be possible! We are incredibly pleased by the participation of both students and local volunteers this summer, and we look forward to kicking off the new school year in March!

Thank you for your generosity and support of Building Dignity! 

December 2015: Transitioning and Growing

posted Mar 28, 2016, 4:04 PM by Henrik Mitsch

Growth Through Transition: A Reflection on 2015

It is hard to believe we are approaching the end of 2015! Building Dignity is proud of all we have accomplished this year: we have embraced new leadership, expanded our mission in the community of Oasis, increased participation in our programs, and much more. Co-Founder and Executive Director, Emily Hedin returned to the U.S., and Diana Andrade Talavera stepped in (and stepped up!) to the position. Building Dignity continues to demonstrate the power of our mission, the success of our model, and the ability of this community to achieve its goals. Take a look at our accomplishments this year among our three pillars: leadership, education, and development
  • We provided young people with 300+ hours of leadership training through Voices of Youth.
  • Leaders ages 15+ participated in our Annual Vocational Retreat, where we focused on setting goals for higher education. 
  • Participants of all ages joined our Leadership Retreat, where we emphasized self-esteem, teamwork, and models of leadership.
  • Our Ambassadors (ages 18+) attended a youth congress and led environmental workshops at local schools. 


  • In our 2nd year of Academic Reinforcement, we provided 160+ hours of individualized, holistic tutoring. 
  • Academic Reinforcement had a 28% increase in participation.
  • We also provided 100 hours of homework help.  


(Photo courtesy of Nicholas Ciorogan)
  • We continued to support the community kitchen, a project we started in 2014 that provides healthy, affordable food.
  • Working with community leader Emilio Mendoza, we undertook our 2nd road paving project. 
  • We completed a public space revitalization project that provides lighting to a local soccer field. 

Stepping up to the Challenge 

Changing leadership can be difficult, but when you find a leader as dynamic and passionate as Diana Andrade Talavera, success is always within reach.

Diana has worked tirelessly this year on several key projects such expanding our Academic Reinforcement program and leading Voices of Youth.

With Diana's leadership and the hard work of volunteers and community members, we have continued to advance during this time of transition. We can't wait to see where Diana's innovation and talent takes us in 2016!
Thank you!
We are incredibly grateful for the support of our donors. We have accomplished so much this year and it would not have been possible without you. Thank you for believing in the mission of Building Dignity. We are looking forward to another successful year! 

For those who have not yet donated in 2015, we would welcome your support to keep our programs strong in the new year.  You can contribute at Thank you for your generosity! 

November 2015: Exciting Changes and a Memorable Trip

posted Mar 28, 2016, 3:59 PM by Henrik Mitsch   [ updated Mar 28, 2016, 4:02 PM ]

Welcome Alexis!

Program Director and Princeton in Latin America Fellow

  • Alexis Alvarez Franco graduated from UC Berkeley where he studied international development in Latin America.
  • Alexis grew up in Mexicali, Mexico and San Diego, along the US-Mexico border. 
  • He previously worked with community groups to develop means of economic opportunity for low-income and immigrant households. 
  • He hopes to learn from Villa el Salvador and assist in fostering a strong community with dignity.

Voices of Youth Ambassadors Visit Ayacucho!

Our ambassadors (members of Voices of Youth ages 18+) traveled to Ayacucho this month to attend El Congreso de Jovenes (Youth Congress), lead a two day leadership workshop at a local school, and learn about the history and culture of Ayacucho. Below is a short video of highlights! 

Local Volunteers Take on

Lesson Planning

Several local volunteers are learning how to create effective lesson plans and activities for our holistic tutoring program (reforzamiento escolar) that engage, challenge, and excite students. Above, Brayan explains "Mathematical Jenga" where students must solve the problems written on each block while keeping the tower standing!

July 2015: Catching Up With Voices of Youth

posted Mar 28, 2016, 3:56 PM by Henrik Mitsch

Vocation Retreat 
In April, we hosted our 2nd annual vocation retreat with 21 young leaders, ages 15 years and older. 48% of participants joined us on the retreat for the second time! This year, we focused specifically on opportunities for higher education. 

We learned about...
  • Available scholarships
  • Different institutions of higher education in Lima
  • Steps towards admissions
  • Various types of careers
Our volunteer, David, helped us learn more about the medical field & even taught us how to do CPR!

 Leadership Retreat 
In May, we held our 3rd annual leadership retreat with a special focus on self-esteem and teamwork! This retreat joined together 39 young leaders from our Voices of Youth program in the communities of Oasis and La Encantada, with 46% of them returning from last year.


Self esteem & team building activities...
  • We created silhouettes and filled them with positive things about each other 
  • We made origami cranes with our own inspirational messages written on them!
In their own words...

"My favorite part about the vocational retreat was the games we played about different vocations. They were a fun way to learn about the unique opportunities & paths we can take. "

"I enjoyed the leadership retreat  because it gave me the opportunity to experience something new. The activities were  fun, and I got to become closer with my peers."


April 2015: Building Dignity's 2014 Annual Report

posted May 1, 2015, 2:30 PM by Henrik Mitsch

Please read our April newsletter in the mailing list archive.

Additionally, please find the report in our Annual Report section.

February 2015: Summer at Building Dignity

posted May 1, 2015, 2:28 PM by Henrik Mitsch

Please read our February newsletter in the mailing list archive.

November 2014: Building Dignity Launches New Tutoring Program

posted Dec 30, 2014, 5:44 AM by Henrik Mitsch

Please read our November newsletter in the mailing list archive.

August 2014: Opening Doors for Young Leaders

posted Sep 24, 2014, 4:21 PM by Henrik Mitsch

Please read our August newsletter in the mailing list archive.

March 2014: Annual Report 2013

posted Jun 9, 2014, 12:19 PM by Henrik Mitsch

Please read our March newsletter in the mailing list archive.

Additionally, please find the report in our Annual Report section.

February 2014: Building Dignity Summer Programming

posted Mar 4, 2014, 2:42 PM by Henrik Mitsch

Please read our February newsletter in the mailing list archive.

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