The story of Elena and Ilaria, volunteers at the Beira and Matola Escolinha in Mozambique
Elena and Ilaria, volunteers of the Community of Sant’Egidio of Ostia, spent last August the whole month in Mozambique helping the DREAM staff in the activities of the kindergartens of Beira and Matola.
Below is the account of their experience.
“In Mozambique there is the reality of the escolinha, small classrooms where children aged between 3 and 5 years begin to go to school.
It was born as a result of the need for a place that could accommodate the youngest children in the family, so that older brothers and sisters could go to school and not take care of them during the day while their parents go out to work.
Since March 2020, as a result of the pandemic, the visits of youth for peace to these cities have been drastically reduced, affecting support for the educational and recreational activities that are carried out by the activists of the DREAM Programme.
This brought us a warm welcome from our activist friends: Josefa, Fatima and Luarinda from Beira who, at the end of the school day, called our attention to prepare new and fun activities together.
Susanna, Sonia and Isaura, educators at the Matola nutritional centre, admired with surprise the proposals for manual activities and enthusiastically reproduced them in their turn, testifying to the affection and care that these women have for our little friends every day.
With pleasure we proposed activities for oral hygiene care, body care, and developing creativity and logic. Important was the time to teach them to respect each other by lining up during games without prevaricating others. There was also plenty of time for play and celebration, we all sang and danced in a big circle.
We lingered with the activists, loving reference figures for our friends, on the importance of recycling for creative activities, such as collage.
Using coloured cardboard, plastic bottles and fabric cuttings, the children indulged their imagination and exercised their manual skills.
During our time at the Escolinha di Beira e Matola, we organised, together with the teachers, manual activities for our little friends. In particular, we dedicated ourselves to salt dough and collage activities using different recycled materials.
We opted for these activities because they can be found in many circumstances, they facilitate manual skills, they open up creativity and imagination, and they are a catalyst for emotions.
The children put their skills to good use, were attentive and precise, collaborated and shared materials with each other, and proved to be selfless and good friends. They discovered colours and the value of recycling.
During these weeks together, we have touched with our own hands the care that the teachers Josefa, Fatima and Luarinda from Beira and, Susanna, Sonia and Isaura from Matola have for our little friends, which manifests itself in the attention paid to the life of each child within a small family that we call Community”.
Elena and Ilaria