URUGUAY, Providencia Educational Center •
On Saturday, August 5, at the Providencia Educational Center in Montevideo, we held a new Maintenance Day, an instance of encounter, enjoyment and exchange with our entire educational community, educators, families, and children. —
One of the main axes of the day has to do with the improvement and care of the center’s campus. For this, the Family Commissions of Providencia, together with the educators, are responsible for the logistics and organization of this Day, “we all put our small contributions together to see what we needed and how to carry out each of the tasks,” commented Rosario, mother of Alexander, a student at the Liceo, and Ian, a student at the Youth Center.
Fruit of much preparation as a community
The Maintenance Commission, made up of family members from the High School, and the ECO (Building Opportunities Team) Commission, made up of family members from the Children’s Club, had several prior meetings to organize and define the activities, the distribution of tasks, who would bring what tools, and together they formed the various work crews necessary for the day and the welcome.
During these preliminary meetings, “they bring suggestions about what they would like to do in the school. These suggestions come from tours of the school or from what the children tell them at home. This year, we also wanted the children to take ownership of these maintenance days by asking what improvements they would like to see in the school. We worked on this during the Provi Hours and it was channeled through the delegates,” commented Elvira Sisnandez, the school’s vice principal.
The Maintenance Commission was also in charge of organizing the welcoming event for the day. During the day, we brought back the loom that we had built together on Family Day, in order to continue weaving the different experiences of this new meeting. The event was a “great opportunity to share the experiences that we had had during the day and that we valued. I valued the meeting with my son and sharing time together, I valued that someone taught me something, that I learned something,” said Elvira.
On the other hand, ECO, the Committee of Family Members of the Children’s Club, had been working on the logistics of the day in previous meetings. Josefina Fernández, psychologist of the Children’s Club, commented that “the preparation of the day took place in two dimensions: that of the oldest Club and its surroundings, and then there was an important movement with the new extension”. We can recall that through a social agreement between Providencia and the Ministry of Transport and Public Works (MTOP), we have carried out an expansion work in the Children’s Club, which has four new classrooms, a pantry, a teachers’ room and a new access to the educational center.
A place built among all
Rosario shared with us “I think these events, such as the maintenance day, are very important because we are helping to make the place where our children go to, a better place. I believe that without everyone’s help we could not achieve a place like the one we have, for me Providencia is a very special place that we have built together and I say “we” because I consider myself part of this community”.
In order to care for and improve our common home, we were doing deep cleaning of different places, we assembled and painted the new pallet benches, we cleaned the rain gutters, we fixed the volleyball net,
we painted the high school and Kids Club courts, we painted the entrance of the Kids Club, we sanded and polished the wayside shrine, among other things. “We painted the pallet benches of the high school, helped in the dining room and cleaned the benches of the different classes,” said Facundo Inzaurralde, an eighth grade student of the high school.
The visit of the Gospel Choir “Singing Sensations”
This year, we also had the participation of Singing Sensations, a gospel choir from Baltimore, United States, with whom we shared the entire day and who also surprised us with a great musical show to close the day. A valuable cultural exchange that was experienced with great warmth and joy. “This is something that characterizes Provi, when someone comes as a guest there is a lot of importance in how to make the other person feel welcome, this is something that Provi has really installed. There are no barriers when you want to make another person feel welcome and good” concluded Elvira. We ended the day singing and dancing with the members of the gospel choir “all the members of the choir were such lovely people. It was great how they wanted to be part of everything, they invited us to dance. They were guests and yet they cleaned up with all of us” shared Noemi and Valentina, ninth grade students of the high school.
For Providencia these events are very valuable, they are part of our identity and are fundamental for all of us to be part of the construction of our community. “The best thing I did was to come that day because I had a great time and I left happy” commented Noemí, Valentina added, “I always have a great time when I come, I come to all the workshops”.
Original: Spanish. Translation: Marcela Fernandez, Toronto, Canada