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Sep 25, 2020

How Making focus (Haciendo Lupa) is close to children in the COVID context?

Haciendo LUPA (Mkaing focus) is a program that is developed in various spaces, always through group dynamics, and with literacy and play as the axis with the objective of promoting the development of language and expression. From Pilares, we maintain that play is not "an instrument for", but a fundamental right of children, their time and living space. For this reason, the proposals of "LUPA" are always oriented towards generating playful encounters, from different activities that promote development and learning: artistic expressions, language practices, etc.
In view of the social distance, from the program we started to think about how to continue promoting these encounters, taking into account that the quarantine modified everyone's daily life, multiplying the screens and the imperatives (stay at home, wash your hands, do your homework, read, etc...) Even the best advice and the prettiest proposals can be overwhelming in an age when time and space, those aspects that command us, became so disordered.
We celebrate virtual connections, which allow us to shorten distances and share moments even when we are far away. But we also defend play as a moment cut out of reality, where it becomes necessary to disconnect from the everyday in order to connect with that inner world of fantasy and creativity, without risk, where each girl or boy exercises the freedom to open the door to go and play, and can also close it whenever they want.
For all this, from Haciendo LUPA we invented a magazine for the children of the program. A paper magazine, which can be touched, opened, closed, drawn, painted, taken from here to there. A magazine with proposals of games, adventures, discoveries and creations, in which each one can unfold his own, leave his mark, share with others, in a time without haste, without demands.
We know that we are in a difficult time, with shared cell phones, data that is consumed and batteries that wear out. That's why we aim at the inexhaustible: at the possibility of playing in childhood. We take great care that the magazine is not confused with a task, with a duty to be fulfilled, and that it does not blur in a hobby or an entertainment proposal: our bet is to continue doing magnifying glass in the game and in the literacy, that girls and boys can discover their own power to create and play when they meet the proposed activities.
We have already delivered three issues of the magazine, we made a special delivery for winter vacations and another for the month of children. We continue working on the next issues, and shaping a library project.
In the magazines we included interviews: two plastic artists told us about their works and the things that inspire them, and invited the girls and boys to play and create. We also talked with teachers: we asked them about their childhood games and stories.
The magazine always has invitations to read stories, draw, paint, and solve challenges... Some recipes to prepare something delicious at home, challenges to sharpen one's wits, and also a kit with a different proposal each time: to make a germination, to build a doll to remove pain, or magic papers for a collage. In the special deliveries for the vacations and the month of the children we include games to share with the family: a bingo, a path to walk with challenges, and the trangram, to build everything you can think of with only 7 geometric shapes.
It is very good to be able to meet again with the families, even if it is with distance, with a beard and quickly, to find that smile that you can only see in their eyes today, and to have that short talk when they receive the magazine, where they tell us how they are doing, they are happy that we sent them something for the children, that "we remember"... Impossible not to remember! 

May 26, 2020

Report

Activities photos (previous to COVID - 19)
Activities photos (previous to COVID - 19)

Thank you for joining the Making Focus project! The literacy and pre-literacy project until March was able to run normally with boys and girls between the ages of 2 and 9.
Work had begun in age groups according to the level of pre-literacy or literacy that the children had.
However, then the quarantine stage began due to the COVID 19 pandemic.
Therefore, we have had to change formats and migrate to remote activities with children.
We are working on making a magazine that allows them to connect with literacy through play and continue doing activities from home, cared for.
This is mainly due to the fact that boys and girls live in an environment where they do not necessarily have access to technology or not on a recurring basis (perhaps there is only one cell phone for the family group) and they do not necessarily have Wi-Fi.
For this reason, we are thinking of an alternative that is currently in the design stage to make proposals tailored to them for something they can do in the neighborhood and that stimulates their development. I hope to keep in touch.
Thank you for accompanying Pilares in their daily work!

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Dec 26, 2018

This is how we worked in 2018

2018 was a hard year for Argentina, specially for children. Almost 50% of the children that live in Argentina are poor. This means almost 4 million children are growing up with basic needs unsatisfied, like access to health, quality education, proper household, basic feeding, among others. 

This year, more than ever, we had to make special efforts to be there for the children that come to the Education Program in the slum Villa 21-24, in the city of Buenos Aires. This program not only provides school support, which many times prevents school dropout, but also offers breakfast and lunch for 135 girls and boys ages 6 to 13 that live in vulnerable conditions. This means that 5 of the 7 days of the week they have the security and stability of receiving at least two meals. While this may sound like something for granted in many people's lives, it's not like that for many poor families in Argentina, specially in the last year.

But we know that, apart from food, there are other needs... like feeling appreciated, like having hope, like believing in theirselves. And that is the soul of the Education Program. A place of trust and love where each child can feel like home and be theirselves to find what they like, what they want to be in life, no matter the  context. We encourage each student to feel valuable, and to believe in him or herslef. Because that is the core of each child's future. 

We hope 2019 comes with more work, more children finishing school and more dreams coming true. 

Thank you for being with us all year long. We wish we can count with you next year so more children in povery conditions grow with equal opportunities. 

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