I had never thought on how it could be living in a tent, until I entered in one
There is a small door in the center of Al-Mafraq village, near the suq. It’s hidden between thousands of shops, and you would hardly notice except for the symbol of Vento di Terra which attracts your attention. There are so many children, teachers and hopes coming from that door. They are the hopes of a different future, far from the war, but also from what was home once.
I slowly went down the stairs, I did not know how it was inside. But as usual, here in Jordan, I was grateful for the smiles. Teachers showed me the center: a large salon, a kitchen, a room for games, a thousand colors, and classrooms. It is from these that the bigger smiles of beautiful babies came from. When someone enters their class they stand up and sing a welcome. They approach, ask for photos, show notebooks. Many of them did not even know how to hold a pen in their hands when they came here, and now they do their homework with great enthusiasm. They are active, full of energy.
Vento di Terra is one of the very few NGOs working in this area through a local coordinator, Suhair, prepared and attentive, who constantly visits the two centers of Saydiyye and al-Mafraq.
The children spend their morning in this center, then come out of that small door and go to the public school.
Then in the evening, when they return to “home”, there is no door. For many of them there is a curtain and a rug, so many brothers waiting for them and, when they are lucky, their parents.
I had never really thought about how is could be to live in a tent, until I came in. There are so many people in here, but everyone is united. The older brothers take care of the little ones and mothers spend their time together. They are communities.
They tell of Syria. They tell of their houses. They talk about the past, but all end up with a future, the hope for return, “inshallah” they say, “if God wants.”
Every morning I step through another door, the one of Vento di Terra office, where there are always smiles to welcome me: those of Maria Chiara and Sara, the Italian professionals of Vento di Terra in Jordan. Thanks to their support and trust in me I have learned so much in this month. Like the educators in the Mafraq center with their students, they have been a push for me to improve, to get involved, even in contexts I had no experience in. I was rediscovered myself enthusiastically. Moreover, I realized I was not a superhero, I could not improve the lives of all those kids.
But I can continue to work hard in the present. We all can do it by following Vento di Terra, making a donation, taking a ethic journey, keeping ourself informed and remaining human.
A Mafraq center teacher told me one day: “Education, more than a home, a homeland, is a thing that cannot be taken away by anybody.”
I share his thought, hoping that for these smiles there will be another door open: the one of a home where they do not feel the cold, a door for a university, a job, a better future.
Inshallah, if God wants.
volunteer for Vento di Terra