GLEN Lagos Nigérie 2010

* * * * * * * * * * * * povídání a fotky z tříměsíční GLEN stáže v Lagosu * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * stories and pictures from a three-month internship in Lagos * * * * * * * *

Stáž / Internship

Holiday Camp in Agege

Our next holiday program took place in the Agege neighborhood and lasted only three days, but was simply amazing. Volunteers were great, the main coordinator could easily organize things and had respect of everyone and the kids were simply thrilled. Already the first day hundred and twenty of them came, the last day we counted unbelievable hundred and eighty. We also always wait for something here. Wait till somebody brings us to Agege by car, till somebody takes us back home, till the football players finish their training, till the rain stops…

Agege is much poorer than our home neighborhood Ikeja. The sport center is just football pitch consisting if muddy floor and two iron goal posts, situated right behind the fence of a big Guiness production factory. From other sides it is surrounded by sheds, huts, houses and old cars that the local mechanics work on for living. The kids jump over a stinky sewage to get to the field and goats and chicken walk everywhere around. The whole program takes place with old trucks and yellow busses in the background. We listen to hammers and other tools instead of music. When it rains, we hide in the trunk of one of the mini busses. We use other one to hide our memory game cards in there so the wind doesn't blow them all over the place. The banners are hanging from the back of a huge truck and the same truck is being used as place for the awards ceremony at end of the football tournament.

„And tomorrow take your sisters with you, bring some girls. This is not just for boys. Girls can play football as well and we will do much more than just play soccer,” the coordinator explains to the kids on the first day. The second day we have three girls and hundred sixty boys. „Why the girls don't come?” I want to know. „Some of them think that this is not for them. Others come just to look and most of them are at home, helping their moms in the shops or selling things at the street.

The volunteers are taking good care of their teams and thanks to them it is quite easy to manage to huge amount of children. On the first day they let us explain the icebreakers and fun games to them, but after little while they start to come up with their own games and kids are having great fun. The start of the next day is a bit confusing because the teams have to move from one station to another for the different Olympic tasks. But it lasts only shortly and after that the teams move quite smoothly. All teams managed to go through all the stations and fulfill all the tasks which is much more than I expected so I am accordingly happy about that.

Film workshop is taking place on the last day and the children are supposed to introduce specific topic about their daily lives. My family, my school, my hobbies and so on. We try to highlight that it should be done in a very creative way, but we don't expect much after our experience with this workshop in Ikeja. But the children manage to surprise us. Each groups has something extra to show us. Some prepare drama performance with drumming and dancing. They can jump and flip in the air, break dance, do football tricks. It is amazing what they are able to do. „Come here, we would like to show you something,” the boys take us to the other side of the filed. They want to school us metal ship that they built and that is running thanks to small engine.

We prepare the whole program with a zero budget, our organization ran out of money. They don't have enough to pay the wages, internet in the office, let alone the holiday program. We use material that is left from last week. We draw and write so that we don't have to use the printer. We use our own money to buy awards for the kids, the winning team of the Olympics and football tournament simply has to get something. Bag of twenty biscuits costs around one Euro and the kids are so happy about them.

We can't leave football out, it is the main reason why so many kids come in the first place. We play at the end of each day, but for us it is actually a break, because the volunteers are more than capable of organizing the whole thing. The tournament between the teams started on the first day and the kids take it very seriously. I admire the energy and dedication that they show while running after the ball. And those who are not playing at the moment stick around us. „Which country are you from? What is your name? Can you play football? Can I take a photo with you?“ Boys are nice and curious and they like getting some attention. “Do you remember what my name is?” I have to think hard, so many introduce themselves. “Azis?“ I try. „Yeah, right” Azis is happy. Do you like the program?” I want to know, “Are you having fun? Will you come again tomorrow?” They all smile and nod.
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