You can have a huge room with big walls and big windows, but it will still be empty. Sunlight doesn’t warm up the room, it is the people inside of it. Tina shared this beautiful thought with us today during discussion at the end of the day. The group was asked the question, “What is solidarity to you?”
I once read a quote on a message board outside of a church while walking to class that stuck with me till this day. “You have to experience humility before you can experience greatness.” Mayra (Translator) mentioned something similar to this today. It was during the sewing class that the participants ran today. They had 9 to 10 ladies in the class, willing to learn how to sew. They were surprised to have a boy at the door, and the women mentioned that “he can not hear, and he is asking to join, will you let him?” The volunteers would never refuse someone who was willing to learn, he spent a few moments with Roxanne and Tina learning to sew but he disappeared after a while.
You may ask us, “How is it possible for you to come into this community and make a change?” And the answer is in the question. H is for honesty and humility. This boy probably felt uncomfortable coming into this room full of women wanting to learn how to sew, but he still fulfilled his wishes. O is for his openness, he is being open to new ideas. And W is for the willingness to learn. Us volunteers cannot make any growth take place if the willingness to change isn’t there. “How?”, is the right answer.
Solidarity IS the willingness of these kids, these women, and this community to want to have a change. Lindsay (participant) mentioned that the children in Youth in Action program today were insisting on asking for translation in English of every Spanish word they came across during a game. For her, this was a moment of solidarity because the kids wanted to learn so badly. Soon, the children were teaching other kids who came late.
“It is a kind of chain of happiness that is created by just proceeding with one program. The kids stay happy in Youth in Action, and some of their mothers are being empowered by being in sewing class, everyone goes home happy.” – Alex
The health group was a moment of Solidarity for me. What I thought was going to be a “question and answer” round, turned out to be a group of women just sitting together and “chatting.” The health promoters of Pacifico talked to us today about what needs to be done. We had a meeting with them and made plans for Friday. (You’ll find out soon). But, after the meeting, they insisted on knowing our names, our background and what we like. They didn’t just give their efforts, they gave themselves. Their willingness to help us, their openness to meeting us and their honesty is what keeps us going.
To me, Solidarity means, people coming together and working towards a better tomorrow.
Tomorrow, is an opportunity we all get. Embrace it.