PARAGUAY, Dequeni •
Sonia tells us about the learning experience of her two-year-old daughter Zaida. “Thanks to the Alfombrita Viajera project I am sharing many moments with my daughter, it shows us how to give the first teachings with love.” —
Alfombrita Viajera (Travelling mat) is a colorful space that we bring to the children when we visit their homes in the settlements. During this meeting with the educator, we share with babies and toddlers (1 to 4 years old) various activities that awaken their interest and creativity, and thus better prepare them for their school years.
We developed this project in:
- Nueva Italia: Ypoa Community, Renacer Community.
- San Antonio: Ita Koty Settlement, Ita Poty Settlement.
- Ypané: Fortaleza Community, María Auxiliadora Community.
- Luque: San Cayetano Community.
Two sisters who have a choice
Sonia is the mother of Astrid and Zaida, two girls who took their first steps with Alfombrita Viajera in the Costa Sosa community of Luque. Astrid is now in school.
Astrid managed to overcome her shyness thanks to the project. “She was a very shy child; it was difficult for her to socialize and lend her toys. Now she has new friends and shares her things”.
This year, Sonia started a new adventure with Zaida, who is taking her first steps with Alfombrita Viajera. Zaida is only two years old, but she fully enjoys the activities that the educator offers her when she goes to her house.
“She is a very alert and independent child,” says the girl’s mother, Sonia (38). “She socializes easily with other children. She likes to sing, dance, and play with tempera. In this brief time, she has already learned the parts of her body, the days of the week, the seasons of the year and how to identify the environment around her,” she says.
Overcoming the effects of the pandemic
Through the project, Sonia also learned to cope with the daily challenges, since at the beginning she had a tough time getting Zaida to pay attention to the dynamics.
“The guidance of the educators is fundamental for the families; they show us a path that sometimes we don’t see when the whole picture is negative in the daily routine. If one day my daughter has a bad morning, for example, she looks for a way to brighten her day,” she confesses.
The pandemic also left extremely hard consequences on the children, especially because of the confinement. Re-opening to a new world and to people was a breakthrough for them, who, like Zaida, are getting to know a new learning experience at home.
Zaida enjoys the visits of the kindergarten teacher so much that she waits for her early in the morning, anxious to share the play activities she will offer her. Seeing her in the distance on that narrow dirt road, she runs to catch up with her.
“Seeing Zaida so happy and motivated to learn to paint, count and communicate, to me as a mom, knowing everything we go through, fills me with emotion,” Sonia comments.
“It is very important that all the children have this opportunity to have a teacher who comes to them and teaches them, besides guiding us parents; showing us how to follow the stimulation, so that we can accompany our children; providing them with everything they need to grow up happy.”
At the year-end meetings, the mothers and fathers of our projects share their experiences and everything they have learned.
For example, Donatella: She is three years old, and her mother is Emilia. The Alfombrita Viajera helped her to overcome her shyness and to be more sociable.
Alfombrita Viajera, “is a miracle for us, a very nice support, before we didn’t have that support. It helped us to understand our children and to be more attentive to their learning,” says Mariela, Donovan’s mother.
Companies in solidarity
Thanks to benefactors in Paraguay and other countries, but also thanks to companies that show solidarity, projects like Alfombrita Viajera is possible.
One of them is McDonald’s with its McDía Feliz project. Buying this day, a Big Mac in any McDonald’s Paraguay restaurant and “automac” in the country, each customer is supporting the learning of children from 0 to 4 years with timely stimulation through our project “Alfombrita Viajera”.
McDonald’s managers and employees visit the Dequeni project and in this way are linked to the recipients of their gesture of solidarity.
Institutional page: www.dequeni.org.py
Original: Spanish. Translation: Maria Fischer @schoenstatt.org