Today we had a very interesting and impressive program. Together with two faciliators from Barefeet Theatre we went on an outreach.
Outreach is one of Barefeets core activities. One or two facilitators visit places in town where a lot of streetkids hang out, and get in touch with them. They chat about all kind of things, about life, possibilities, opportunities. Today, they also brought some clothing for the kids with them.
The facilitators know the street life very well; one of them actually lived on the street for some years, before accepting a place in an shelter. Now he’s a grown up, and working for Barefeet Theatre.
By just giving the kids attention, listening to their stories, and making them feel they’re also worth it, the facilitators try to empower the children and rethink their life, to vision their life in another way.
It was very impressive to us because we saw a lot of very sweet kids, but a lot of them completely drugged, ruining their bodies ánd their life sniffing on plastic bottles.
On the other hand, we experienced the social structure, the community, and the protection of the group they live in. They also have a daily routine, just like everybody else: washing their clothes, getting water, begging for money on the streets, social activities with each other.
But without feeling the urgency to change anything from within themselves, they’re stuck to their bottle. And it is exactly this what Barefeet and MakeFactory are working on: making these kids see other possibilities as well.
Next week MakeFactory will start with a new project in Lubuto Library in Lusaka’s Garden compound. With kids from the compound, also vulnerable, but not as on the edge as the kids we’ve seen today. We’re very much looking forward to this project! We’ll keep you updated.