In a narrow alley where all the roads lead to the banks of the Ozama River, the improvised study center “Playing is learned” is located, a project that provides a little hope and free training to children in the sector of Gualey.
The children who congregate there do not have the necessary documentation to enroll in the public education system, nor do their parents have the financial resources necessary for them to make their dream come true.
The roof, made of zinc, is full of holes that, together with the rains and storm winds, allow the sun to enter the slate. There are also no bathrooms and they only have a small fan, which is crying out to be replaced. Several of the children who come there are restless.
The lack of ventilation and the lack of drinkers of drinking water are elements that conspire against emotional stability. Added to all this are the precariousness of the place. But these difficulties do not detract them. With their small hands swaying, the children tried to quell the intense heat that makes everyone uneasy in this country where there is never winter.
Freddy Ramírez Quezada, founder of the project, said that this center welcomes minors from 5 to 13 years old, and they are given the necessary teachings for their development and entertainment.
Although Ramírez, 58, is not a teacher by profession, he assures that he has always leaned towards that lineage, since he is passionate about Physical Education and has participated in several marathons. He indicated that through sports he realized that he could continue to help and teach in a dynamic way to the little ones. This is where the name of the project comes from, so that the kids understand that playing can be learned. “The idea of creating such a school was idealized because many children drop out of schools and prefer to play, or wander the streets where nothing good awaits them. Therefore, we created this school project for them, so that they do not think that the classes are boring and that they can obtain some principles of academic training ”, he said.
He added that when he observed that so many children residing in the sector could not attend school because they did not have Birth Certificates, he understood that this cut off his desire to learn. Faced with this reality, his desire to help through education arose. “This project began in 2009 and more so when we saw the need of these children who do not have this valuable document; today it is already a reality that is paying off ”, he added with enthusiasm.
He stated that “when possible” they offer a “snack” so that they can revive their energies with the few financial resources that they receive from the “Luces en el camino” foundation.
That same entity became interested in this initiative and helped him obtain financial aid of 6 thousand pesos per month via the Ministry of Education.
Empirical teacher, without documents Ramírez is not only part of this interesting initiative as the creator and main promoter, but also has the support of the young Nayeli, 19, who decided to join this plan, since her dream was always to be a teacher ; wish is currently truncated because, like many other minors belonging to the improvised study center, he does not have a Birth Certificate. Her sisters, alike, lack this important document, therefore they cannot continue to strengthen their respective learnings. Consequently, they require the help of the relevant authorities to be able to continue training, and thus be able to improve themselves professionally and help the educational development of the country.
“I started studying when I was 9 years old and around 16 I couldn’t continue due to lack of papers. I used to study because my uncle helped me and with his ID I would go and register, but after a while they needed my Certificate to register and they did not accept me to register for high school, ”he said. Therefore, he could only reach up to eighth of basic.
Nayeli assures that her mother does not have identity documents, nor has she taken steps to obtain them due to her impotence, ignorance and resources to carry out the procedures. “I would like to finish my studies, go to university,” he said in a hopeful voice.
Sixteen children in each batch of the day go with a notebook under their arms, to go to receive the teaching bread.
The mothers of some of these children expressed a deep feeling of gratitude for this initiative, because many of them could not find a way to gather the necessary documents for enrollment in schools, and this was the only option they found on their way to do not leave your children in the street.