Today, April 12, we celebrate here “Children’s day”. Of course we immediately ask whether there is much to celebrate. UNICEF underlines important rights and indicates us a number of weak points: access to education, the right to health care, a safe environment, no child labor, no hunger, protection against diseases and space for recreation. If we fill in these points of interest on the basis of western criteria and standards, we will not score 50%.
In the daily work we do in the remote villages of Bolivia we often confront ourselves with all kinds of situations that are not ideal. If children can happily go to school then many times it happens in circumstances that are unfortunately below all levels. It hurts you.
But in those often predicable circumstances you see children who like to go to school, to meet their friends en teachers and have fun. They resolve a conflict in their own way and they are absolutely not pampered at all.
The material conditions are far from ideal and must be improved. Together with many others we work on that.
But at the same time we do get the feeling that these children although they are still very young they know how someone should give meaning to his/her life and don´t depend on what “a social network” will tell you what to do as so many others do in the western world.
They realize that they are a member of their community: their families, their friends, with their teachers. That is why they are so strong and can withstand a setback.
They must not exchange without any reflection their philosophy of life.