Being a part of the Aisling project is a privilege that I have had the pleasure of forming. It is complicated to express in words what he has given me: gestures, experiences, struggle, eyes, affection, frustration, learning, empowerment. Aisling is, for all of us who belong to this project, present and future. You cannot focus on the past, that right now does not worry, you just must focus on the struggle of the present and in the near future that can be achieved. This is one of the most valuable learnings I have internalized.
However, there are more things that I have learned from this great Dublin family:
On the one hand, I have learned that it is not necessary to have absolute control of the situation. For things to work, and even less when there are children involved. In Spain I was very frustrated when working with children because I thought that only in a quiet environment do children learn. This is false, because in Aisling there are children with a lot of energy and need to be in constant movement, and you can teach them very useful things like cooking or making crafts.
On the other hand, I have learned that working in a different language can be very complicated and frustrating. There are times when you cannot express yourself well and feel silly, or even see others who prefer not to talk to you to avoid complications. However, when you notice that you have improved your speaking skills, you feel pride and happiness.
Finally, I have learned that projects would be nothing without the involvement and affection of the workers. Aisling workers are a reference and support figure for children. Thanks to them I learned that you have to avoid taking problems in the personal field, that activities can go wrong, and nothing happens, that the best weapon is a smile. I have also learned that children are the strongest people in the world and that they constantly surprise you. Connecting with them takes a lot of effort, but it’s worth it when you share funny or beautiful moments with them.
Professionally I have also learned. As a teacher, I feel that I have learned to handle complicated situations. Sometimes, children have conflicts and, although it has been difficult to do it in English, I think I have made a lot of progress in resolving conflicts. In addition, I have put my knowledge of intercultural education into practice by putting them in contact with international students from different countries (Germany, Brazil and Romania) and I have taught them Spanish and Spanish culture in the flamenco workshop. This last workshop was the most special for me because the whole project got involved: children, leaders, volunteers and workers dancing together.
It was difficult to leave the project. After all the experiences and activities together, I created a very nice link with the project.
For all this and much more, I will be forever grateful.
If you want to know more about the program https://www.all2help.org/en/european-voluntary-service/