Sunday, December 2, 2012

Residencial Santa Cruz. A home in Cordoba for girls with special needs.

The patio and one of the girls´rooms.
While in Cordoba, we visited a home for girls with special needs in the Alta Cordoba neighborhood. We were inspired by the playfulness and enthusiasm shown by these teenagers. All of the girls currently living in the house are between 11 and 17 and were welcoming of the two funny dressed ex-pats that showed up to surprise them. I can´t call it an orphanage exactly, because many of the girls living in the home have relatives that, for one reason or another, don´t visit often. In many cases the family doesn´t have the capacity or means to care for a daughter with different abilities, though in some cases girls are moved out of their homes by the local municipality due to unsafe circumstances.

The ladies of Residencial Santa Cruz and the clowns.
Our show is juggling and physical theatre based, which means that it was written to appeal to all ages. Even so we usually cater mostly to younger children or mixed age groups. Very rarely do we perform for an adolescent/teen only group, which means that these girls had an important lesson to teach us. Have you ever thought about going to volunteer (at home or abroad)? What age group or population is it your initial impulse to work with? I find that for most people, myself included, the first thing we search for are children´s orphanages. Why? Because they are playful, living through hard circumstances, easy to connect with, and deserve a lot of love. Exactly what we found when visiting these young ladies.

After we finished our show and juggling workshop, the ladies invited us to take and seat and be their audience. As it turns out, all of the girls are involved in local art workshops and enjoy performing. On Saturday afternoons at the home, they learn folkloric dances to be performed around town at local schools and community events. Of course, just as we do, they decided to end with a workshop in which both Tyler and I danced the traditional partner dance, Chacarera.

 Last week I wrote about our scavenger hunt to find a place to perform for local children in Cordoba, Argentina. Revisit that story here. That hunt led us directly to Residencial Santa Cruz. When asked about donations, the caretakers enthusiastically explained that they are happy to take donations of any kind- including second hand clothes for the girls. They are also excited about the possibility of workshops and activities the girls can participate in. The grounds are spartan and the building is a bit ashamble, because the funding that comes from the government does not seem to be quite enough. I imagine someone interested in helping them set up a garden project would serve them well.

If you are interested in volunteering with these wonderful ladies, you can contact them by telephone at (011.54) 351.434.6072.

No comments:

Post a Comment