On Saturday morning we said goodbye to four volunteers that spent the last week with us here at Project Somos. We welcomed Frances and her 13 year old daughter Shenoa & Vivian and her 17 year old son Roderick. While here, the volunteer team painted, worked in the garden, installed signage and prepared the library for plastering.As well as the physical component of their work, the volunteers spent much of their time with our seven children. They played games, did puzzles and read to the children. They cuddled them, helped at meal times, put the babies to sleep and pretended to be horses for hours at a time (with a child riding on their back of course!)
One of the things we have observed with our mamas is that survival has been the focus in their lives up until they came here. Playing with and interacting with their children has been low on the list of things to “do” during the day. We see how this has affected the normal development of the children. Having volunteers model this type of interaction is invaluable. The mamas see that their children are loveable, have lots of potential and that they too are “permitted” to give them affection, attention and lots of love too.
As the volunteers left there were tears shed. The mamas cried saying goodbye to these wonderful people that talked to them, respected them and loved their children. The volunteers cried saying goodbye to these beautiful families who had shared deeply with them.
Volunteering at Somos is a whole new thing now. Friendships are made, new worlds are opened and views are expanded.