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Splashes of color in the desert

Around 50 people from Switzerland are spending April or parts thereof with NOIVA in Jordan. The small teams with randomly mixed age groups are bound to add color and variety wherever they go. And they are using all the available resources to show the children and grownups there that “we like you and won’t forget about you!”
Tabea, who’s been there several times before, tells about what she experienced recently.

“Every time I’m in Jordan I gather a huge amount of experience that stays with me for a long time. The image of this ice plant, for example, has become a metaphor for everything I encountered during these last few weeks.

Part of our project involved working with around 200 children to make pots, in which we then put ice plants, a succulent desert plant that grows wild in Syria. All you have to do is cut off a shoot and stick it into the dirt, where it then starts sprouting roots and continues to grow. This thought gives me hope that this country, too, won’t simply keep the refugees in limbo but instead become their new home. Although the word “home” may be a stretch, it could at least become a fertile ground that’s safe and promises a new perspective.

I was especially touched by the children’s loving sense of care as they held their creations and then gingerly carried them off. Despite all the suffering and pain they had experienced – a likely cause for becoming hardened, rough, and stubborn – even the smallest among them managed to muster up respect for this plant. I can only hope that they will show the same respect to those who have now become their neighbors. I know that a sense of community cannot be forced, that places of peace are fragile, and that moments of reconciliation must be cherished in order to grow and bear fruit. But we all have the ability to show care and concern for others, as I witnessed with my own eyes.

An ice plant can store water even in its shoots and leaves, which is why you need to let it dry out before watering. Children, on the other hand, cannot store extra love for later use. That’s why I wish there was a perpetual source of attention and affection for them, especially when they come running up to me, a stranger, and hug me and grab me by the arms and legs. I’m always moved by how much children long to be held and acknowledged. I recently used an occasion to whisper into a girl’s ear that she matters, is loved, and not forgotten. Although she didn’t understand what I was saying, the sound of the strange foreign language made her giggle. I can only hope that his moment will have a lasting effect.

Dear desert flower, my thoughts are with you …”

 

We all have the ability to show care and concern for others.

An ice plant can store water even in its shoots and leaves, which is why you need to let it dry out before watering. Children, on the other hand, cannot store extra love for later use. That’s why I wish there was a perpetual source of attention and affection for them, especially when they come running up to me, a stranger, and hug me and grab me by the arms and legs. I’m always moved by how much children long to be held and acknowledged. I recently used an occasion to whisper into a girl’s ear that she matters, is loved, and not forgotten. Although she didn’t understand what I was saying, the sound of the strange foreign language made her giggle. I can only hope that his moment will have a lasting effect.

Dear desert flower, my thoughts are with you …”