Home is a magical word conjuring images of love, laughter, family, and safety; a haven of refuge. So what about the homeless, the abused and the abandoned? One of the ‘Saris for Peace’ projects was carried out by Sangeeta Isvaran in Merida, Mexico, to CAIMEDE, a centre for minors without shelter.
The workshop focused on the emotional integration of teenagers into the CAIMEDE. These adolescents, rescued from dysfunctional and abusive homes — some even sold into prostitution at the ages of eight and nine — mostly wanted to go home. Logically if one contrasts the home of CAIMEDE — a beautiful building with wonderful caretakers — with their homes located in squalor, violence and fear, then there should be no reason for the children to want to leave. But for them, being abused was normal, alcoholism was normal, drug-abuse and prostitution was normal. And being taken away from their families was not! They all wanted to go home!
So in the workshops we discussed what an ideal home should be, we built homes with our bodies, painted beautiful homes with the qualities they required inscribed on each step leading to the door. The workshop aimed at building close groups that could replace their families to some extent and also encourage them to study and develop skills that would enable them to create their own peaceful havens in the future.
The project with CAIMEDE continues with partner Flor Pacheco.Youth for Peace will have various activities through January on Peace and will culminate on January 30, 2011 with a mass singing of peace songs at Tilakar Tidal, Marina Beach where Mahatma Gandhi had spoken. Youth Association for Classical Music (YACM) is composing the theme music for Youth For Peace.
Send us your thoughts on ‘what makes a home’. Send us messages for the girls and boys at CAIMEDE … and they will write back to you. If you wish to volunteer your time and experience for such projects in India contact Sangeeta Isvaran at email@example.com or V.R. Devika at firstname.lastname@example.org
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