Twenty teachers from the Center prepared for the new school year with a workshop on affectivity. This word, I’ve learned, includes more than learning how to give and receive hugs. Rather, it describes all our responses to emotions and feelings. By digging into our past, we encounter clues to why we (or others) respond in certain ways. Also, we learn that social constructions and gender stereotypes affect our development from a young age.
The two violence-prevention programs at the Center organized this four-part workshop, the second-half of which is to be completed in the following two months. Dynamic games, visualizations, reading-discussions, open sharing of personal experiences, and plenty of laughter were among the elements of the two days. It was an opportunity to deconstruct stereotypes and start the process of reconstructing what our true identities are, free from violence and all forms of oppression.
Speaking for Sam and myself, as international volunteers, we found the most value in listening to other Nicaraguans share from their life situations and in the bonding that formed among us as teachers. The slow work of opening up ourselves to those surrounding us–in honesty, and with the trust that they will do the same–is worthy and gratifying.