A community of Religious of the Assumption settled in the neighbourhood of Contrueces, Gijón, in 1996. Its dual mission was catechesis and the promotion of women with the project "Saber más" (Know more) linked to the parish of the Holy Family.
The Sisters soon felt the need to work with children. They contacted the social workers of the area and counsellors of the nearby schools and decided, in 2000, to start a project that would respond to the needs they had detected: school failure, lack of hobbies and lack of leisure alternatives, dysfunctional family nucleus, generalized poverty. In 2003 the project was ready. When the time came to give it a name, while exchanging ideas at a Community meeting, a Sister said, "What do children always do, mess around! The project became known as "Enredando". And it began in a rented ground floor. Since 2008 it has its own premises.
And how have they "messed up", and how do the children "mess around" here? In three fundamental areas, to achieve their integral development and grow in values: education, with support classes and homework reinforcement; culture, with outings to interesting centers in the city and the Principality: Atlantic Botanical Garden, Aquarium, Jurassic Museum, farms, “Sidra El Gaitero” road signs...; and leisure: guided games, ice rink, surfing, storytelling, carnivals... Without forgetting the snack, so necessary for these ages: from 6 to 12 years old.
Who are these children? Most of them are migrants: Latin Americans, Moroccans, sub-Saharans, gypsies and Chinese. "Enredando" is a crossroads of cultures, situations and people. The contingent of volunteers is large. They are former students from Roces, members of Assumption Together, parishioners from the neighboring parish of St. Vincent, students from the Jesuits, from Opus schools. Our own students in the 2nd year of the baccalaureate at El Bibio School, in the subject of Learning and Service. Parents of teachers from the school. Adults who, in some way, have known about the Project and have felt identified with it.
The work of "Enredando" is not limited to children. A very important work is done with parents, especially with mothers, not only through personal contacts, but also with a formation group, attended by psychologists, doctors, psychiatrists related to the school, who contribute effectively to the "empowerment" of women. Some of them have asked for literacy classes.
How can it work in this way? There is a laywoman who works closely with the three Sisters who come regularly to the Center, a steering group that meets regularly and helps in the planning of activities and the formation of volunteers. It is supported by grants from Gijón City Council, the Principality and help from the Alumni Association.
We are proud of this project, part of our mission in Gijón. The links that unite the two realities are becoming stronger and stronger. So different, but so necessary.
"In the almost seven and a half years that I have been with Enredando, every day is a gift. There is always something new and interesting to learn from this multicultural body of knowledge that nuns, families, volunteers and children generously share.
We will continue "giving ‘like’" and working together with the faith, enthusiasm, joy and commitment of the first day, inspired by the teachings of St. Marie Eugenie, and bringing the values she transmitted to our children of "Enredando".
Marta E. Iglesias Cueto, T.S. Project Enredando