Every weekend, I join Women Across Borders club in my university to pay a visit to a shelter. This shelter is a temporary home for kids or teenagers who have been abused, forced to work as prostitution or beggar, or subject of domestic violence. Some are orphans and some of them come from very poor families. They live in the shelter under security protection, and keep up with their education there. However, the NGO that manages this shelter says it is either costly or insecure to take the children for entertainment outside of the shelter. therefore, we try to visit them every weekend and provide some educational or art workshop for them, or simply perform different activities to entrain them.
Last week, we thought them how to make a handy-craft pencil boxes out of color papers (the ones you see in the picture). The final product seems to be something very complex and at the same time very good-looking. But we thought the kids how to do it step by step. I didn’t know how to speak their language (Bangla), but I think it was not an obstacle at all. I communicated through passion in my eyes, smile on my lips, and movement of my hands, and they responded by innocent excitement in their faces. They really enjoyed the process, connecting colorful pieces of paper together and build something completely new out of it. In fact, they didn’t believe by following some simple steps they could create something extraordinary-looking. They were surprised by their own ability, and proudly showed their handy-crafts to others. Their feeling of self-confidence was at its highest level, I guess. And I was happy I could stimulate such a precious feeling inside someone else.
This what education should do: increase children’s self-confidence and self-esteem so that they are encouraged to move further. Next weekend, we are going to teach them games that promote corporation, teamwork, and healthy competition among them. I am very excited.