This week we helped our school celebrate an all-day open event filled with various fun activities for our own students, as well as those attending nearby schools. The recreovias is a government-led initiative to reclaim public spaces for children, as part of a larger violence prevention scheme. Its stated aim is to 'provide families, children, and youth with safe and free access to public spaces, where they can share with each other' in order to 'promote values, discipline, and a healthy lifestyle for citizens through culture, art, and sport'. To this end, the school director created a morning programme filled with theatre performances, dances, songs, and even a puppet show! Prizes were given for the children who brought the most family members with them, the clear winner being an adorably shy little girl from Year 3 who managed to gather ten relatives and get them to all wear red too. 

Following the more formal beginning to the day, the students were then invited to attend whichever activity they were most interested in. All six of our clubs held drop in sessions, which showcased the kinds of activities and projects we develop on a weekly basis with our inscribed children. These were popular and well attended, especially considering there was a football match taking place at the same time. In mine and Lary’s art club we introduced the new children (and a couple of our regulars who just could not keep away) to the concept of pointillism, which they really enjoyed and were surprisingly good at. It was heart-warming to hear a few of the children asking me what time they should come back next week (although not so nice having to tell them it was just a taster session). Alongside our clubs and the football match, the teachers also hosted various activities including hula-hooping, an egg and spoon race, painting class, trampolining and skipping, amongst others. Parents provided a variety of delicious snacks (half a plastic pouch of horchata with a straw anyone?) with all proceeds going to the school development fund. Aside from all the wondrous entertainment on offer, both our own children and those of nearby schools got to see and enjoy the newly rejuvenated playground which we had finished painting a few days previously. 

Salima on the see-saws with the students

It was quite a scene, our little school flooded with smiling faces running around energetically enjoying the activities on offer. It is on days like these that we can really see the meaning in us volunteering here. Although we may suffer setbacks, it is all worthwhile when we see the children's adorable, happy faces. 

Written by ICS Team Leader Frankie Johnson