2018 Summer Internship Series: Ben Boltz at the Hogar San Fransisco de Asis

by: Ben Boltz ’19

This past summer I interned at the Hogar San Fransisco de Asis in Chaclacayo, Peru.  The Hogar was founded in 1995 by Dr. Anthony Lazzara who felt a strong calling to help the impoverished wherever he could.  Dr. Lazzara, a trained pediatrician, found his calling in Peru where he has worked for the past 23 years to facilitate the treatment of the poor and needy in Peru.  The children at the Hogar have conditions that range from cleft lips to cancer and from spina bifida to brittle bone disease.  Everyone is welcome so long as they are under 18 years of age, when according to Peruvian law they can’t stay at the organization, and are poor, needy, and sick.  Dr. Lazzara has helped around 1,000 children since he arrived in Peru and his organization addresses a need that the Peruvian government does not address.

Dr. Lazzarra with the children in Hogar San Francisco de Asis

My role at the Hogar centered around monitoring and evaluation.  Dr. Lazzara, while as passionate as ever, has recently turned 76 and has been considering retirement for several years now.  However, he has not created any plans for succession and sustainability for the Hogar.  As such, I observed and helped volunteer at the Hogar while creating a needs based assessment that would help Dr. Lazzara plan for the future.  The assessment followed the SWOT format and pointed out the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats of and to the organization.  Additionally, the assessment primarily focused on the sustainability of the organization and possibilities for improvement for the future.

The report served two purposes.  Firstly, it gave Dr. Lazzara a new perspective and outlined areas for improvement such as a streamlined website, a more informative and descriptive newsletter, and changes to the current volunteer system.  Secondly, the same report compiled Dr. Lazzara’s thoughts on his retirement and the future of his organization into a plan for the future.  This report would then serve as a reference tool for both Dr. Lazzara and his staff when his retirement becomes more of a reality.

Volunteers of Hogar San Fransisco de Asis

As someone who is interested in sustainable development and understanding how non profit organizations work this internship was very valuable in a professional sense.  Prior to this internship I had no experience and very little knowledge concerning how non profits function in both a financial and legal sense.  Thanks to this internship I can better tailor my career goals to include possibly working for a similar organization.

For anyone interested in volunteering at the Hogar San Fransisco de Asis please visit https://www.villalapazfoundation.org/ or email Dr. Lazzara at info@villalapazfoundation.org