In this exciting world, with all our different adventures, possibilities and opportunities, it is sometimes important to take a moment. Breath. And reflect over all the things we have achieved and what we have to be thankful for. We therefore asked our colleagues around Europe to put a pen to the paper and write down what they are thankful for at this time of year. First up is Anita Meyer, who help people to relocate to Belgium. Read more about their excellent services here:http://am-pm.be/
Thankful: I am extremely thankful for having spent the past 10 days in Casa Marcelina, a “home” for girls between 6 and 18 years old, in La Paz, Bolivia.
The Casa is part of the Alalay organization, sponsored for their basic needs, among others, by the psychology department of the Free University of Brussels (VUB).
The girls have experienced violence, abuse and neglect in their respective families, and have fled to the streets as a result.
Some sooner, some later, have been picked up by the police or by volunteers, and have been brought to the Casa to be able to experience some sort of family atmosphere, a form of structure in the daily routine, lots of care, and psychological support to help digest the traumas.
The main objective of the organization is to give the right motivation to the girls to pick up their lives, study and become independent.
It is impossible to describe the friendship one receives in exchange of simple things, such as taking them to the park for the day, providing the material and making bracelets together, going swimming, attending Taekwando lessons. The latter was the biggest success. Taekwando is a South Korean sport, combining strength and self-control, in a framework of strict rules and respect for each other. The girls love it; it was quite a challenge catching up with them in the race from the Casa to the Taekwando school.
For € 375 am&pm was able to book lessons twice a week for 16 girls, for 1 month, i.e. until mid-February. The “chicas” have asked me – when saying goodbye yesterday evening – to find sponsors to allow them to continue the courses….