Sylvain & our new project: a neighborhood library (September 2015- March 2016)
“Student in graphic design, I have decided to leave in the framework of the civic service far from my studies, far from my comfort zone, to live a unique experience … and I was not disappointed! Volunteer at the library as well as the school from time to time, I have had the chance, that I say, the privilege to be able to attend and participate in the birth of a project. Arrived in September, we have, with another volunteer, Anna, made the necessary to be able to open the library: coverage of books, inventories, paintings, small jobs, everything it takes to put in the bath at the outset.
After the opening of the library, it is another adventure which begins! New Project, for the children as for us, we must think, we must redesign the organization, be present for the children, make them familiar with this new place. And that is where the adventure takes all its meaning. The links are created with the children, the discussions become possible and learning in is enormous. The children, these small toddlers without barriers, are open to us without complex, in a sincerity touching, and, with their words, between mumbo-jumbo in English and with the universal language of hands, we learn to discover their life, their goals, their dreams. Ujakwa who wants to become a doctor in Canada, Hedwig who wants, as her mother, become a teacher in order to help her community, or Brown, who, in the image of his idol Barack Obama, wants to become president (nothing as that!). As many names, faces, dreams that I will not forget! These young people filled with hopes for their future remind us that, despite the material poverty in which they live, nothing is played in advance. And if by our small means, we can help them to believe in their dreams, then so much the better.
Because Peri Naua is also this: by the school and the library, give them the possibility of a quality education, help them to grow, to improve in the learning in reading, in order to have the best possible chance for the future, in an environment where access to knowledge is a luxury that is sometimes difficult to offer themselves.
This experience, these meetings have been for me a source of deep enrichment. It is impossible to explain to what extent these children, this community, have brought to me and I sincerely hope that I have been able, from the top of my weak means to give them, this would be only a tenth of what I have received!
I could still talk about my personal project of the creation of a book with the children, who has allowed me to meet with key individuals in the community, of discussions with the local volunteers or the teachers about the school, about their country, their future and hopes. But I think that it is an impossible mission to transcribe these moments in their original wealth and, by fear of not being able to describe them to their fair value, I will simply finish by Thank You!
Thank you to Peri Naua for having given me the fabulous opportunity to live this experience, thank you to Monique for having accompanied me in it, as well as for all the energy that she puts in Peri Naua, thank you to the community of the Township for their kindness, their smiles and their human warmth, thank you to the children of the school and of the Library for their simplicity and their open heart, thank you to the family home with which I have lived during these six months for having welcomed me as a brother and a son, and finally thank you to Namibia for its landscapes of dream but especially for everything that it has brought me, even if I am sure that I will realize only in a few years how much it has brought to me. Thank you.”
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