We have been dealing with a few behaviour problems of late. We have some kids that are living in difficult situations. They are happy and fun kids but unfortunately they have trouble in group situations. We have to have rules within the venue to keep the peace and over the last week our limits within these rules have been truly pushed.
I am all about inclusion and we want to keep as many children coming as possible. As a last resort we had to exclude a few children for the final two days of last week. From my perspective we didn’t have a choice. This was for the safety of those excluded and the other children around them.
This was an extremely hard decision to make and not one that I ever thought we’d have to make. Particularly this early in the project. The kids who were excluded returned to the venue today after the weekend. Thankfully they behaved much better today. In saying this, we have a battle on our hands. We can still see the tension within a few of the kids. We are averaging around 25 children per day and this is from an area of about two blocks. The moment we want more children we just have to cross the road and ask around. I think it is better for us to not go searching for more at this stage when we have a big enough challenge with the children that we have.
Other SOG news. We have been getting a lot of volunteers from all over the world coming to help out. A lot of people are very interested in collaborating. We have some volunteers from France doing art workshops every Wednesday. We had an Austrian volunteer today who is very interested in music. This week an Argentinian who wants to do Art and Philosophy workshops. Another Argentinian who is helping us out with making a small video of the project. It is exciting to see where we can go from here.
We seem to have found the right combination of ingredients for our meals that a. The kids will eat and b. Have nutritional value. Once a week to keep it simple, we make healthy sandwiches. They love shepherds pie so we “hide” a load of veggies in the mince. Most meals are sided with salads. We also make a small potato pizza (like a hash brown). Some kids have trouble eating greens but I think this is universal!
Valeria is an absolute champion! Working with her is amazing. She has a massive heart and a beautiful way with children. I’m extremely lucky to have her as a partner in crime! Our amazing chef Ellie has left us. She has left a hole in our hearts but due to her amazing example while she was here, the kitchen is functioning like a dream! At the moment we have two volunteers from the community in the kitchen every day. Daniella who is one of the best cleaners on the planet and a mother of one of our students, and Kristina who is an older lady who brings presence, and a life of experience to the kitchen.
Well onwards and upwards. Till next time. Wish us luck! Watch this space…..