Friday, May 8, 2015

Childhood and Youth Empowerment Week 5

Hey guys, and welcome to the fifth instalment of this (should be) award winning blog!

This week started off with a visit to the local police station for a ceremony that saw a plaque given from International Service to the officers of the station for their services rendered to the organization; in terms of providing safety seminars for each of the 11 cohorts that came before us, and our own. The ceremony was composed of mainly listening to the national anthem, the police anthem and the anthem of the sea, speeches from the police commander, the in-country director of International Service and the deputy ambassador of the British embassy to Bolivia. We then all had breakfast in the station cantina which included Api, which is a cinnamon-based hot drink and a kind of pancake which were rather tasty combined! All in all, it was an enjoyable morning had by all. 

While working with the Childhood and Youth Empowerment project, I, as well as my project partner Fiona have 3 centres of the Niñas San Gabriel group. These centres consist mostly of girls between the ages of 8-16 depending on the centre, and our job is to talk about a concept called the culture of peace. Within this directive, we decided to focus on how knowledge of the environment, and how to help keep it clean can contribute to the creation of a peaceful society. Our sessions have focused on learning about the environment, how humans are harming it, and what we can do to reduce/eliminate the impact of human activity. This week, which was our third week of sessions at our centres, we decided to work with the issue of recycling and how, just because we can throw something away, does not mean we should. The rest of the Monday involved me and Fiona continuing our planning for this weeks’ sessions. Our session for our three centres had us get the children rubbish, as well as having the children bring in their own. Things like paper, plastic bottles, bottle tops and plastic bags etc.  

We then had the children do essentially whatever they wanted! We let their creativity run wild and create all sorts of wonderful things from what would otherwise go straight to the landfill. Their creations were all amazing, and they all seemed so proud of what they did! By the end, all of the children seemed to realise a little more about what can be achieved simply using the waste products of society, and hopefully that it is not limited to simply creating art. 

Alongside this, one of mine and Fiona’s centres is where our Action Friday activity group is painting the mural. The centre is called Pampahasi Alto and when we returned the Thursday after the action Friday, the response from the children, parents and teacher was uniformly positive! The children love what we’re doing with the place, and love having a football pitch to play on!
Other teams from Childhood and Youth Empowerment are doing things such as making films about human trafficking and doing activities based on the state of the world today, and how they feel about it in order to increase their social awareness.

The Friday however, was a national holiday, and so we were unable to complete the mural this week, everyone here at UNAIS decided to take advantage of the long weekend and go to a variety of places, most went to the Salar de Uyuni, but some went to Potosí and some even went to a place in the amazon called Rurrenabaque! All in all, this has been a very good week for the Childhood and Youth Empowerment project, and next week promises to only get better! 

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