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A space to dream playing

A eventThursday, 22 February 2024

For some children the future is measured in days, weeks or years and I believe that dreaming is learned with the desire for a tomorrow that prolongs the taste of the good of the present. When we meet at the Center, today seems to be a small bubble, where each one's ideas, concerns and proposals take first place and then, everything seems to be possible, if we use creativity: a trip into space to learn about the system solar, transported with galactic backpacks using plastic bottles, a parakeet of rolls of paper told us about goodness, and the possibility of being an artist is accessible with crayons and watercolors, cap carts, boxes that jump and teach us about potential energy, everything in our hands is a possibility to discover something else and that is where dreams arise; Eymi, 10, asks if in the future she can be the director of the place to teach the children, but Jeffry, 7, is excited to know if we will open next week, because he does not want to miss it.

For 10 months, we have been meeting at the Assumption Creative Integration Center for two hours every day with the children and teenagers of The Palmera Neighbordhood, in Nicaragua, to play, do crafts, talk, clean... but together, that makes it special.  We started believing in offering an alternative learning place, without knowing that it would first become a space of truce, where family conflicts, in which children are inevitably involved, would be overcome, and playing is now the perfect excuse for making peace.

Playing seems to be a child's thing, but playing, we reflect on our life, there, in an informal space, we face our frustrations, fears, passions, values and deep desires. So playing, painting, creating we have been able to think over together on the values we need to make this space an atmosphere of trust, friendship, respect and security, sharing faith regardless of religion, fostering a unity of brothers and sisters with everything that we surrounds.

It has not been easy, each one exposes the world in which they live with their attitudes and language: family disintegration, material deprivation, addictions, violence, and many come looking for a refuge of love, attention, listening or the hug with which they are received. But beyond what is lived, each one finds their place, their light, the gaze clears to discover in the other a gift that remained hidden: Marcelo makes the best cardboard cars and spends the afternoon with us so as not to waiting wandering in the street for her mother to return from work, Andrea uses the ruler well when it is time to measure and gives us her patience explaining to others, Masiel advances in crocheting and every day she has more confidence in herself, everyone want to go with Andy when playing soccer and he learns to be a leader to summon the others.

The examples of professionals who have accompanied us as volunteers also make them dream: Dr. Jirón teaches them first aid and we learn the importance of taking care of ourselves and how they themselves can save a life, Professor Carlos makes us more disciplined through football and helps us leave the "I can't" to try and overcome fears.

Little by little we are a new family that strengthens bonds of communion and integrates each one with their potential in the here and now, in the small and big things that we are and do, to fly from today to the future.