Connecting local responses around the world
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
I reached the centre for my “Card making workshop with kids” and the centre was closed. The keeper forgot to open the centre and he was unreachable. I stood outside with the five young girls and informed them that we shall wait thirty minutes and if the keeper does not revert back we shall re schedule the workshop for next week. Indeed, it was the blessing in our situation as i said to myself why not get SALTy with them. I asked them what made them proud. They said they did not know. I asked them to reflect a few minutes and one of them answered, “I am proud of my style. I know how to dress up” and the answers flowed,
“I am proud that i am beautiful”
“I am proud to have been the top of my section in Mathematics”. I asked them if they had any dreams. They said they did not know. They were surprised by the question and i realised how the whole question was an ordeal for them. I asked them about their dream job and the answers flowed, “I want to be a policewoman”, one wanted to become a cook, two others wanted to become air hostesses and the one who was proud to have topped her section in mathematics wanted to become a mathematics teacher.
I looked at them closely, the youngest being twelve and the eldest being fifteen years of age and all wearing revealing clothes, hair in a bun and nails unkept. Throughout the conversation they did not leave their phones. How do i get their attention? How do i get these young girls who have all the latest smartphones with 24/7 unlimited access to the internet? The later for sure being more interesting than our conversation as it was their portal to some other world, more funny, more enticing…
My lecturer told me yesterday in class “ In community service you are the student, the community you work with is your teacher” What am i learning from them? What are they showing me?
And i popped the question, “What about nail polish? What is your favourite color? “
They instantly looked at me. I added, “How about leaving aside your phone a while and show me your nails. I have a bunch of nail polish at home” I saw that the two who wanted to be air hostesses were into nail biting. I told them, “How about stopping gnawing at your nails? You know to be air hostesses you have to be well groomed. This is something that will give you credit during your interview” and instantly someone said “To be a policeman you need to know how to swim” and the girl who wanted to be a policewoman reacted and said that she has to learn how to swim.
I asked them if they wanted to pursue this conversation next week after our card making session as i will be bringing some nail polish so as they can manicure their hands. They were thrilled about the idea.
Furthermore, I proposed to drop them home as they were all neighbours to each other. As i drove i asked, “Who want to drive and have your own car?” They were unanimous, all of them wanted to learn driving and own a car. And i asked, “Is that not a dream?”
Someone from the back seat replied, “Madame noune blié personne zamé demandé” meaning
“Madam we forgot because nobody ever ask”.
I realised that contrary to the under ten years old children i have worked with the above ten years of age have already started forgetting about their dreams. They have to reflect more and their answers are not prompt and direct. They have settled in some lethargy and as if their minds have shifted from dream and hope mode to sleep mode. It takes to tap into their areas of interest which are boys, fashion, music whatever is trending on the web or in the society and then bring their attention into the now and build on that slowly but surely.
To be continued…