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January 2021

Listening and reading in times of pandemic is wonderful

Listening and reading in times of pandemic is wonderful 360 640 Lavinia Hirsu

A New Year has begun and, while the pandemic is still casting a shadow on many of the activities that we are able to do, our mediators continue to find creative solutions to stay in touch with children and their families, to seed hope in their hearts and to create safe spaces for reading, living and dreaming. Here is a great story we received from one of the mediators in El Salvador:

“During the most difficult months of the pandemic and quarantine, La Biblioteca de los Sueños de Santo Domingo de Guzmán, in El Salvador, sought creative ways to continue promoting reading among the town’s children. A speaker was installed at the top of a mango tree. Every day in the morning the children listened to mango stories that kept them happy, attentive, learning and entertained. With the constant winter rains and the arrival of Storm Amanda, the speakers stopped working. Fortunately, the village priest who also listened to our programme, ‘Leer es Maravilloso’, and who had also put his own speakers in the church bell tower to give Masses, realized our problem and decided to support us.

The stories now came out of bells and the children were happy, they kept learning, they were entertained … At the end of the quarantine, the children wanted to continue listening to the stories flying in the wind of the town. They didn’t want to stop listening to the stories. Something wonderful had happened: the children, in addition to listening, wanted to read. They began to come to borrow books from the Biblioteca de los Sueños (The Library of Dreams).

As the pandemic is not over, the children arrive with their masks, keep their distance and use sanitising gel. Children lend books, take them home, read them, and when they return them they bring with them a page of comments about the books, and illustrate with their own drawings what they have read.The children are cultivating the wonderful habit of reading. It is beautiful to help them cultivate their dreams …

If you have a story to share, do not hesitate to send it to us and we will be happy to post it on our blog. During these times, we all need stories of hope and creativity!