Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of one of our projects!

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Celebrating the 10th year anniversary of one of our projects! Celebrating the 10th year anniversary of one of our projects! Melissa Castaño

It all started in May 2009. That day Lorena cut the blue ribbon and opened the kindergarten doors but not everything was quite complete. They started with only one classroom and the kitchen; no fence, no backyard and no roof. But that was only the beginning.

This project has been able to keep on growing thanks to help that comes in many ways.

Lorena welcomes us with a big smile. A mate in her hand, we go to the playground and sit down with her to talk about her project, a kindergarten located in Villa Independencia, which she created from scratch 10 years ago and has transformed the lives of the kids and the community of Villa Independencia.

While we sip mate she recalls how parents from the neighborhood have been of great help and how volunteers have been the fortress of the project. For instance, the bathrooms were completed with the help of two german volunteers who participated in a marathon and donated the money they got for the prize. She also told us a beautiful story about two english volunteers who met while working at the kindergarten and got married, asking their friends and relatives to give them money to donate for the project instead of wedding presents.

After volunteers are done with their work in Buenos Aires, contact doesn't break and help keeps coming this way. “They may not come back but they sure remember us and send us donations” says Lorena.

Nevertheless, this contrast with what she feels about Argentina’s society. In her opinion, there’s been a lack of contribution due to argentinians are running out of empathy and don’t want to help to vulnerable people. This humor deepen the problems when you have to deal with sanitary issues, which have been a constant for the neighborhood. Since it’s located very close to the city’s landfill, it becomes problematic when you picture kids going to school and having to play amidst the toxic odors and potential illnesses that the landfill produces.

That is why this courageous woman likes to stress on the kids here “need to feel comfortable and see this space as a place where they can be happy, meet new friends and learn in a safe way”. We can realize why the kindergarten makes parents feel safe and gives them the comfort to keep working hard for their families.

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