Acción is an organization, which works to better the lives of young boys living on the street in Santiago. They do this by providing the children a safe and encouraging place for education, health services, creativity and games. This organization not only helps children living on the street but also children in abusive homes.
One of the things I love about Acción is that there is a mixture of Haitian and Dominican children. I think this really helps the children to understand how universal abuse and homelessness is, which is beneficial because it helps ease the difficulty of the current situation between Haitians and Dominicans. This is what is beautiful about volunteering here, I am able to see young boys come together and form relationships, not only between each other but also with other workers and volunteers. Watching this makes me realize the relationships the boys are forming may be the only positive relationships they have in their life. This thought is what helps me to remain patient during the difficult times, for instance, when the boys are fighting.
I have seen from this experience how creative children can be with very simple supplies and very little encouragement. In the United States, most children have the highest quality items when they are doing crafts, while at Acción the children are using recycled soda bottles. The best part of this is the children are just as creative and excited to make something.
Through games the children really learn how to cooperate and how to play fairly. While on the street, many of the children are able to get what they want by whatever means necessary. At Acción the children are required to calmly express themselves in conflict situations while still having fun. If the children fight or say “bad words” there are consequences for their actions. The games also teach the children critical thinking skills and strategy.
~written by Veronica Wolf, service partner---Jerry Forget