FIGHTING WITH THE POOR: Ready for the service period!
Ten months have passed since I started my 18 months program here at the school and it is time to look back to what I have achieved and move forward to the project…
This experience has a title that means a lot to me:
As a student, and even more as a person with access to resources, I take this part of the program as an action. Neither random nor a simple one but a conscious act, based on a preparation given by experiences and studies to better understand what to fight against, why and how.
This is the big word that got me to this program. There are so many issues to fight against in the world, so many to fight for but this “with” is special to me. Education becomes not only a key towards understanding but a channel that creates the connection between the fighter and the fighting for.
A fellow human being, not poverty but the Poor. Realizing that at both sides of this Education there are fighters: the one who knows the why and the one who lives the how. Only by understanding the importance of seeing the will and strength of the Poor to be protagonists of their own lives, their own change and fight for better condition, we can try to help these fellow fighters.
These considerations come from a mix of personal background, new experiences at the school, the studies we carry on, and represent a further connection with the world and its realities. This connection has been strengthened in each step of the program in a variety of forms.
The life at the school made me get in contact with many different people, each one with a story, a culture, a language and an attitude. I am always fascinated when people from different ages, places and socio-economic backgrounds share an experience together.
This time the experience has been sharing the daily-life. It is not an easy task even with the people you love and care about, so imagine in this way! However, the beauty of this challenge is seeing how, in time, everybody learns something new they didn’t know and how the edges of our knowledge start to take new shapes. We read about diversity, we experience it by travelling or through individual events in our lives but when you have to face it every morning waking up, it becomes a different kind of learning.
I arrived here with an idea of meeting a certain kind of people that I would have liked and loved to spend time with and work, but I realized that my idea was wrong at its base. There was a sort of perfection that I was expecting, but that is not life. I found myself many times thinking I could have met the same people outside, so what was the purpose of being here?
In time, I have learned that outside I probably wouldn’t have spent my energy on someone I initially would not like, or that was maybe coming from a wealthy life or behaves in a way that goes against my principles. I decided to stay and I am incredibly happy for that, I had the opportunity to adapt my own behaviour, to give chances, to understand that actions are a result of what we learned and only by keeping learning we can influence each other and keep changing in better human beings.
The studies have been another important form of connecting me with the world’s realities. I come from a family who dedicated their lives to support each other through work, because the economic conditions they were in didn’t allow them to study. All my knowledge come from my own efforts to understand the world in a broader way and I couldn’t rely on my family for that. While I am thankful for the ethics and the love they pass on to me, I had to work a lot by myself to make connections, find people, search for knowledge. Here I had the opportunity to find a different source of it and I have been enjoying the ideas, the perspectives and views through each task.
The concept of education and teachers I found here was not knew to me. I have learned during the years that whoever has something valuable to pass on to others, to enrich another person can be a teacher, and for this reason this person also has ups and downs, limits and challenges. So I have learned that the role of student is not limited to a specific time and place in life, it follows us all all the way. Despite the need of some improvement, I believe in these concepts and I have seen their values applied not only by myself but by the people around me.
Last but not least I have evaluated the importance of a team in this program. Due to my previous work as an activist, I am used to give a lot of importance to a team while working towards communal goals. We stand up, we learn, we fall, we stand up again, all of it needs strength and support. The team is both your strength and your support as you are for them. The dynamics of my team have changed more than once here at the school, this however did not get in the way of personal and interpersonal development. Many differences, contradictions, arguments that brought me today to share this experience with 3 other incredible girls, with good hearts which motivate them, skills and intelligence to act upon and affection for each other.
I am about to enter a new part of this education, my service period in Africa.
I feel I am going with a lot more baggage in my backpack than what I had when I started.
I feel ready to meet the WITH and enthusiastic to do it WITH the people I had the opportunity to grow until this moment.
By Alessia from Italy