CASCA-AES Meetings, May 13-16, 2009

Panel: Children’s NGOs: Constructing Childhood and Assistance

Paper: Possibilities of Childhood: Visions and Practices in a Peruvian After-School Project

After-school projects for “poor” children in Cusco, Peru are spaces of socialization, safety, and collaboration. This paper will explore one such project, discussing how frameworks of assistance and agency are imagined and implemented. In examining how project goals and policies correspond or clash with the everyday practices involved in running the center, I will probe the kinds of messages about childhood and poverty that circulate, and how program participants (children, directors, staff, and volunteers) rework them. Children are both involved in the successful realization of the project as participants and become the embodiment of the possibilities for childhood in Peru.

Aviva Sinervo