Esperança is also known as the HOPE project. It is a group of volunteers who go out every Saturday and Sunday to distribute clothing, sleeping bags, shoes, socks, and food to the Barcelona homeless. There are two types of volunteers. People can choose to be the “walker” who goes out in the city or be the “donator” who gives away free food or items of clothing. At this moment, there are not enough manpower and infrastructure. Donator will need to send food directly to the host.
I first heard about this organization through a Barcelona Expats Facebook group and began to do some research about it. The article below provides an in-depth interview with The cofounder of Esperança – Julie Stephenson.
I was very excited about the idea that my family can be involved with something so meaningful. At the same time, it is a wonderful opportunity to teach our children about the importance of being kind and giving back.
The homeless situation in Tainan City is better than Barcelona’s. We do not usually see homeless on the street of Tainan. After moving to Spain, children see the homeless more often than before.
What do we talk to our toddlers about homelessness? The discussion context will need to adjust according to age. Three-year-old toddler will not understand the concept of poverty, but they know there is a place called “home.”
I explained to my kids that those people sleeping on the street could not go home, because they don’t have one! It is cold outside. You have juice, toys, jackets, and blankets, but they don’t. Let’s share your juice with them? Sharing is caring!!
As the children get older, they may grow curious about homeless people on the street and advance to ask more questions. When we are discussing homelessness with older children, it is vital to deliver the message that everyone has their own stories, try to focus on gratitude for having a shelter over our heads rather than judging.
Stickers are a great way to keep children entertained. They are easy, fun, and engaging. Our girls have chosen their favorite stickers from Christmas and give away with love. The whole idea is you don’t need to spend much or be wealthy to do something nice! A simple act of kindness can be small but still making a significant impact on other people’s lives!
I spend quite some time writing about raising kids in a multicultural family and parenting. In the end, we want our children to understand the differences and respect the differences. We are not talking about just the color of skin, background, or cultures. It needs to extend beyond this. Judgment is an instinct but never judge before knowing the whole story. These are the things that, as a mother today, I am also still learning; Parenting can be a mutual growth process between parents and children.