Natasha Wirth

International Experience Country:
Cohort Year:
Home Institution:

Arcadia University

Heinz Programming Area:
Children, Youth, and Families
International Experience Summary:

Natasha Wirth spent 6 weeks volunteering at the Hogar de María Madre Teresa de Calcuta in center city Córdoba, Argentina. During her Monday-Friday work, Tasha would perform various tasks given to her by the encargadas, or, women in charge, at the Hogar. Basically, whatever was needed to make the Hogar run smoother, such as helping to complete the inventory by going room-to-room and checking to see that everything was in its place and afterwards typing it up for organization's sake; she also aided in creating a safe space for the young girls to feel secure via sewing with them, teaching them phrases in English, and simply chatting with them about life in general;  and, the most important aspect of her work was to make the children happy by playing with them and allowing them to draw while their mothers were at catechism classes or any of the other classes the girls had. Some of the mothers needed specific attention and Natasha was able to develop a deeper relationship with two in particular. Elizabeth, a young mother of twins, suffers from schizophrenia, which Tasha found out later, and instantly found a friend in this new volunteer. They went on walks to the park, the plaza, and the mall, Eliza just wanted an escape from the close confines of the Hogar and having to reflect on the awful reality that she doesn't have her little girls with her. Another girl, Paola, was required to learn English in order to pass an exam to get her bachelor's degree at University. So, for about two weeks, Tasha would write up syllabi with elementary-level English lessons and by the first Friday, Paola was catching on. Outside of the Hogar, Natasha was able to interact with local artisans and immerse herself in the cultural capital of Cordoba through art, food, and practicing her Spanish.

Community Engagement Experience Summary:

CEE Title: Not In MY Backyard- Human Trafficking and Social Justice Forum