by Barbara Kussbach
We all have dreams and are not always able to achieve them. The kids club “The Dreamers” in Longo Mai, a small village near Pérez Zeledón, is a good example of how to make dreams come true.
Every Thursday, about 30 children between the ages of 4-14 years, have been participating in their “afternoon of games,” where they play, have fun, draw, do crafts, dance, read a book quote, and share a little snack. “That’s what we always dreamed of: to offer our children some leisure time, where they can learn from each other in a playful way,” says Yolanda, one of the four mothers who run the group and organize the activities of the week.
It all started in April 2011, when I came to Costa Rica in search of life change after many years of human rights work in Austria. During my stay in Longo Mai, living with a family, I realized that the village children after only 3 hours of class per day had little to do.
So, I talked with the mothers, I looked for a suitable place, I organized some donations and started the first afternoon of games. I remember well how the children initially only wanted to paint and play football; then we presented other games and activities. The project is funded by private donations. The mothers, along with Austrian and German interns, are working voluntarily.
A special occasion for the children is our annual tour to a nearby attraction, which this year took us to Reptilandia near Dominical and then to the beach in Uvita. What a great experience: observing the snakes, turtles and lizards and then enjoying the afternoon at the beach, playing in the water! For many children it had been a long time dream.
If you are interested in our project or would like to contribute to achieving some of the dreams of these kids, I’d love to hear from you!