Hogar de niños

by CameronM Thu, March 23 2006 21:52

This morning we prepared some craft activities, games and a drama for our afternoon visit to a nearby Hogar de niños (Home for Boys). The boys, aged between 4 and 18 all come from high risk families and live the whole week at the home and return to their parents on the weekend. The parents can be alcoholics, prostitutes or just unable to provide a caring and safe environment for the boys.

The home is a little rundown and the boys are dirty and smelly, so you can imagine what their real home must be like if this is deemed better.

We had bought food for a 'party' including cakes, the boys could decorate with cream and smarties, as well as a number of packets of cookies and several bottles of soft drink. As yuo can imagine with this sugar rush, we were not worrying too much about nutrition or health.

After the party food, Rachel and Luke performed a short skit entitled 'The Hello Skit', where they act like clowns fooling around saying hello to each other.

We then started on a craft activity where the boys had to decorate some blank people with crape paper and coloured pencils. From what I could gather from the Spanish woman from OM who did a brief talk to the boys, the idea was that all people, whatever the colour of their skin or where they come from are equal. This would no doubt have two important messages, firstly that they are not inferior and secondly that we are not to be looked upon as something special.

Yerko had mentioned that many Chileans, even in the church, see themselves as second rate and rely on support from foreign missionaries. Yerko and Corine, along with OM Chile, are trying to impress upon them that it doesn't matter where you come from, you are not exempt from serving.

The boys really loved the craft and although we had been warned of their short attention span, many of them were tirelessly working on their masterpieces for ages. I sat next to a couple of boys and used my Spanish colours and clothing names as best I could to help them. One little boy wanted his person to wear the same clothes as mine, which was so cute.

When we had finally dragged the last of them away from their work, we had a game of football (soccer) to burn off some of the sugar we had given them to eat. It was a very close game and I think Yerko's team was cheating, but in the end, my team showed it's true colours and put through several unanswered goals. Sadly, the last goal was scored against me, while I was in goal, but luckily this is not Brasil or Colombia, because an 'own goal' there can get you killed.

We were all worn out by the time we left and I think the boys and the staff really appreciated that we had come along. It was a great day.

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