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The realest smile you've ever seen

The realest smile you've ever seen

Lucía with one of the girls from the Kenyan orphanage.

This summer, Lucía has taken a trip that she will not easily forget. He has traveled to Kenya to improve the education of boys and girls in a orphanage and school. “The experience has changed my life,” he says. So much so that she feels that part of her "is still there." But, Do you know what he found in addition to affection, friendship and solidarity? "The most real smile I've ever seen." Do you want to know whose it is?

Homework, sewing and hygiene 

The activities that Lucía carried out with the boys and girls of the orphanage were very varied. The main one was school reinforcement. According to the volunteer, the little ones are subjected to a "very tough educational system" that does not leave them time to play. For this reason, the group of volunteers with whom he met prepared board games, parcheesi, bowling, twister and other playful activities "so that they could enjoy free time even when the volunteers are not there," he says.

In addition, “most of the little ones had their uniforms damaged, so we spent several days fixing them. They also we made some cases with fabric so they could keep their things”, explains Lucía. “The initial idea was to teach them to sew, but it was not very successful because when they saw the material, all they wanted was to keep it for themselves!”, she adds.

The volunteers taught the kids various games and movies.

On the other hand, Lucía and her fellow volunteers realized that the little ones had to improve their hygiene habits. “With recycled water bottles we build some litter bins for the enclosure. Until the moment of our return they worked wonderfully. I hope it continues like this!”, affirms the volunteer.

Dancing and watching movies, your favorite games

“Once the boys and girls had dinner, around 7:30 p.m., we had time to enjoy with them. They loved watching movies! We only had three but they wanted to repeat them over and over again. They also asked us music to dance to, it was what they enjoyed the most! And also, on weekends we had more free time with them and we did all the activities and games that we couldn't do during the week”, explains Lucía.

Family photo: volunteers with the children of the project. 

Happiness that is contagious

“I think this experience has changed my life. When I returned to Spain it was very marked. In fact, I think that part of me is still there: those children are already part of my life”, says the volunteer. For her, a solidarity trip allows you to delve into other cultures and discover a very different reality. “I had been thinking about doing something like this for a long time and now I think that I should have done it earlier. The happiness they have with so little rubs off on you and you realize that our problems are irrelevant,” he says. I was so comfortable in the project that I did not want to return: “I have learned so much that my only word to define this experience is: THANK YOU. I'll be back!" he says.

culture shock

But, although once back "it is impossible to remove the negative parts of the trip", not everything in his experience has been easy. “Cultural differences sometimes arose and what seemed to be a priority for the volunteers, perhaps not so much for the coordinator, Julius,” says Lucía. Even so, in the orphanage”they gave us a care of 10Your care is really good. I am also very happy to have chosen Tumaini and I am sure that I will repeat it”, she affirms.

Although they have to study a lot, any excuse is good to laugh.

The best gift, your smile

Although she affirms that "there have been many anecdotes to tell", Lucía is left with one, the one that made her find "the most real smile I have ever seen". “One day we distributed the cases with two candies for each child inside. To the first of the 6-year-old girls we said "look what's inside". I will never forget his reaction. His face had the realest smile I've ever seen.

That something that is so simple for us is capable of creating that happiness is incredible. For these children everything you do for them is a world. And his way of thanking you, just with a look or a smile, fills you so much that I know that I will continue participating in this type of project for a long time”, he adds.

We hope so 🙂

Sincere and real smiles, like that of this girl from the project.

Lucia participated in the kenya orphanage and school during July 2017. 

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