Last Friday, Orfe and Anita and I invited the mothers and their children ages 0-3 to join us in the computer lab turned play room. It was a slow start, but soon the word got out. I think that we gathered 9 mothers and 12 little ones. The grandmothers were standing in the doorway watching! At the end of the day I went and bought another carpet expecting even more participants next Friday.
The one hour, once a week gathering has many motivations:
1. It is a time for Orfe to talk with the mothers about good childcare practices.
2. It is a time for the mothers to spend some quality play time with their babies.
3. It is a time for the mothers to talk with each other.
4. We can listen to children's songs and watch children's vidoes and dance!
5. It is one more way to build relationships with the people of Purushila.
We spread out some carpets on the cement floor, and opened a box of new and used toys, and let the children get adjusted. Many of the children do not have a place other than a dirt floor to crawl on at home. There were more toys than most have ever seen. My only surprise was that none of the children crawled into the empty toy box!
Our focus for the first few weeks with the mothers will be on speaking with their children. The mothers voice is the sweetest music for the child and the first teacher voice. Speaking with the children does not appear to be a common practice.
All in all, it was a GREAT first day!!!
Sr. Pam Buganski
Sr. Pam joined SewHope as our first American Project Coordinator in 2012