“Today was our second day working. I volunteered to do one of the hard jobs because I wanted to have the real experience of how life is in the community. I worked with Carla and we moved paintings from one building to the other and later cleaned the area out. After finishing the hard work, getting and dirty and being a little tired, we went to make tangerine jelly with one of the ladies. I had a busy and productive date. My favourite part was in the afternoon when Ali, one guy from the community, invited us to his place.
He came from the Sahara looking for a better future, he found himself living on the street and the foundation took him under their wings. When I came in to his apartment I couldn't believe what I was seeing, this man who barely has enough to survive was giving us everything. He took out a backpack from his room and got his best glasses of tea. He gave us a piece of cake. He made coffee and tea. Everything for us. This man, who should probably be saving every donation because he doesn't know what might happen tomorrow, is giving it all away just to make us feel special. To me, Ali is rich. Rich in kindness, rich in love, rich in everything that money can't buy.“
“I started the day by working in the kindergarten with Gema. There were 5 kids of different ages: ranging from 6 to 1. We were playing with them in the room. When it got warmer outside, we came out and played in the playground.
In the afternoon we (WLE team and some community members) gathered in the African house - the place built by the community members for meetings. Ignacio established the routine - once a week resident meet in this African house to open and discuss any issues on their minds. Such conversations help to develop trust and understanding between members.
We took turns in introducing ourselves, talking about our dreams and expectations.
Every day I’m observing this community I think that Ignacio is a unique person. He brought together people from different parts of the globe, of various backgrounds, beliefs, etc. and all of them co-exist peacefully. It takes tremendous amount of empathy, compassion, understanding and patience to listen to all those different voices and make a symphony out of them.
There is so much pain and suffering in this world and, unfortunately, injustice. We can’t change the world or other people, but we can change ourselves, we can be responsible for our own actions and we can be an example to other people - in spreading kindness. This is exactly what Ignacio is doing. He has launched a chain reaction - he is helping many people who, in turn, start helping others. Ignacio is extremely generous and selfless, always putting other people’s interests first. He is a role model that our group looks up to.
Don’t try changing the world on a global scale. It’s nearly impossible. But we can instead change the space within our reach - make the other person smile, say a compliment to a stranger, say a few kinds words to someone you know. This is a start, and this is something that all of us can do.”
All photos were taken by Aermoo M1 cellphone.