You know they say its hard to change a thought process of someone if they’ve thought in that way for their entire life. It is easy to give up hope if you constantly think like that. The least you can do is TRY. The experience at Tupac Amaru school today gave me hope for a better tomorrow. It gave me hope to see more smiles in the future. Days like this make me believe that our work is… well….contributing to the change.
What I mean when I talk about changing peoples way of thinking has to do with todays health initiative at the school. Health promoter volunteers James and Chizo went into Tupac amaru with our lovely Maria from the SIA peru team to do demonstration in some classes. The children were attentive from the moment we walked in because of the buckets and equipment we brought along. We had student volunteers demonstrate to the other kids how Glo germ works. They got to see first hand, the germs on their hands and the affect soap has on getting rid of them. It was exciting to see their reactions of amazement when the flashlight proved that their germs decreased after washing hands with soap
and water. Does this mean we have convinced each person in that room to use soap next time they wash their hands? No, not at all. It means that we did our part and showed them the facts. It is up to them to decide how they want to interpret it. All we do is try, we let them know… someone cares.
I suppose you can take that approach with many other things in life. You want to help a friend who’s life style you do not agree with. You can do your job as a good friend, and a good samaritan and let them know your side. Let them know what you think and let them know what might be better. After that, it is up to them to decide how they want to interpret your help.
We took a similar toll in our ESL class today when we introduced “World environment day” to the students. We spoke about the importance of loving nature, cleaning up your surroundings and overall awareness of a healthy lifestyle. When I told the students about Walking instead of driving when you can avoid it, they all agreed. It made me smile to know that they agree and understand these things at such a young age. They did a photo scavenger hunt where they had a list of instructions in English to figure out for themselves. They had to depict certain scenarios and really think about how they were going to do it. When came time to show a “bad/dirty environment” the children didn’t have to go far to see garbage laying on the ground.
We ended the day with a garbage clean up activity that the children took on with full enthusiasm. They ran around looking for places to clean up and even the elders around noticed what they were doing and it gave them a reason to smile.
All in all, it was a day full of smiles. Full efforts were shown from the children and our team to be a part of this change.