December 14… I, together with some Add Up! Volunteers joined the group of integral artists of K@TROPA to act as facilitators for an Ecopark Event with the aim of nourishing the body, mind and soul of the children through art. The beneficiaries are 50 street kids from Child Hope Philippines.
The activities include a nature walk at the park (we incorporated some environmental activities like , Keeping in Touch with Nature, Thunderstorm and Eight for One to awaken the awareness of the the kids about environmental issues), dreamcatcher making, indigenous music workshop, boat ride, inner dance session and gift giving.
The activities are enlightening and educational but the one that conquered me most was the making of a dreamcatcher. Here, I saw on the kids’ eyes an incomparable zealousness. They were just so focused and I believe that even for just a while they have forgotten their bitterness in life. Oh, how I wish that the life they experienced like child abuse and abandonment is just a part of a dream that will be trapped in the dreamcatcher they are making.
Dreamcatchers originated in the Ojibwa Nation but they become as a symbol of unity among the various Indian Nations, and as a general symbol of identification with Native American or First Nations cultures.
Dreamcatchers are constructed by tying sinew strands in a web around a small round or tear-shaped frame of willow (in a way roughly similar to their method for making snowshoe webbing). The resulting “dream-catcher”, hung above the bed, is then used as a charm to protect sleeping children from nightmares.
The Ojibwa believe that a dreamcatcher changes a person’s dreams. According to a legend, only good dreams would be allowed to filter through . . . Bad dreams would stay in the net, disappearing with the light of day. In another legend, good dreams pass through the center hole to the sleeping person. The bad dreams are trapped in the web, where they perish in the light of dawn.”
It’s recommended to hang the dream catcher above someone sleeping to guard against bad dreams. Good dreams pass through and slide down the feathers to the sleeper.
Seeing the delight in the eyes and the smiles on the lips of these street kids after each session is more than enough consolation for us. Knowing that somehow even for just a day, we have made the lives of the less fortunate a little bit lighter and happier. More than anything else, I feel more blessed being a part of this event. Surely, this is a different and more productive way of a pre-birthday bash 🙂