In the village of Morelia, we always encourage gratitude as An important value for life. A 12 year-old boy, told his brother: "Do not drag your shoes, we have to take care of the things we have because many people work hard to help us out." Therefore, we appreciate the support you give us.
On January the 6th, Epiphany day, it was such a nice surprise for the all children gathered around the kiosk to see the Three Wise Men with their royal dressing (the costumes were just perfect) and to receive the toys the Three Wise Men had brought for everyone. "They're real", said an 8 year-old boy that couldn’t stop touching the costume of one of them.
Last February we decided to create a Support Children Committee. We had a meeting with the 93 children of our community and the members of the committee were chosen by a democratic voting. Since then we have regular meetings to address issues on children rights. It is encouraging to see the children participate in meetings, give their opinions, vote and agree on important issues for the Village. Then, we have organized workshops on environment preservation: in groups, we go out to clean up our gardens, do some gardening and garbage recollection, etc.
This Committee decided to make a party with all the children of the village to celebrate Valentine’s Day. They got organized to prepare some snacks and fruit drinks and they decided as well to have a gift exchange. The party was completely a success. They were particularly happy because it was "their party" since they had organized everything for it. Then we had a campfire and roasted marshmallows sitting around the fire. They organized games and we all participated. After that, they called my attention: A 9 years-old boy, told me: "Director, come with us because we got a surprise; we got a cake for you." I laughed out and loud and I as approached the “Japan house”, I could see a huge cake and all the children around it were singing “happy birthday” because my birthday had been a week ago. We happily shared a piece of cake and enjoyed a lot Valentine’s Day. "It's nice to be a child”.... I thought.
In March we made the arrangements, as a committee, to go to the water park “El Refugio”. Children were happy falling down the water slide, playing ball and some of them learning how to swim in the wading pool. We have also organized picnics, barbecues and volleyball tournaments. This has made children feel that they are important and taken into account. It encourages them to get involved since they are assuming responsibilities that will help them in their development.
Our village is cleaner, better conserved, and our children look really happy. We always program activities to involve every child in our community.
When I walk through the village and receive greetings from the children, I can see their affection on their faces and it is of great satisfaction to my life. I have no doubt that you, who also are part of this noble work, will also be pleased to see the results and imagine the smiles of the children in our community.
Oscar López Benítez
SOS Children’s Village Morelia Director