Looking back on the past few days I know that my first time in Chicago will be an experience that I will never forget. I had little to no understanding about how the foster care system work and it was though this trip I saw the various facets that involve foster care. One thing remained constant throughout my experience, positivity. Talking directly to mothers that had just given birth, making art with them, and socializing in general I always felt a constant sense of positivity.
Our team was divided into two groups; one was responsible for working the warehouse and thrift store while the other was responsible for playing basketball with the kid. I was fortunate enough to be able to work with the kids and always felt a constant sense of happiness as we were playing with them and giving them the attention and love that they need.
As we did drills and played games, I could see the growing interest of the kids and the positivity throughout the gym. Even if it was a brief moment for them it was great knowing that they had fun and was excited to have us there. I can only imagine what they have gone through and still are going through, but I feel Maryville Academy (our community partner) does an incredible job at fostering hope amongst the kids and generating happiness as well as positivity.
Our trip ends in one day and I am very sad to leave the kids, but I am glad how much more informed about the social issue I became through each day. Hopefully I will keep what I learn in mind and constantly seek to find ways to address the social issue.
Today is our second day of service at Maryville. We painted one of the lunch room in Madden, a home for teenage moms. To be honest, I was worried that I could not be able to make an impact. However, after seeing the room painted and some tangible results, I finally feel relief. Also, it was really nice to interact with some of the girls. Personally, I am shaken by the fact that one of the moms is only 15 years old, which meant she got pregnant around the age of most high school first year girls. My sister is a sophomore right now and I can’t imagine her having a baby right now, raising the kid on her own.Another thing we got to do was, we had a chance to meet with the person in charge of fundraising after lunch . It was also good to learn about the obstacles they have to go through to fund all the services. Some one from the group came up with the question of why do the mothers get funding from the government and why not the boys. It is an interesting question, that we look forward to find out by the end of the trip.
It is surprising and quite disturbing to find out that things have not fully recovered even after a decade, even in a country like America. I wonder how long will my country, one of the countries with the lowest GDP will ever get back to where we used to be, after Nargis Cyclone.
We are teaming up with St. Bernard to renovate a house. Prior to the trip, each team members had to research about the economic, social, and other aspects of the city and present it at the meeting.
It would be better for me personally, if I have been to New Orleans before Katrina Hurricane so I can know what New Orleans was like and what it is now. To be honest, I don’t know if would find the aftereffects of the Hurricane though.