“My mother is dead.”
We just sang a song about a poor man without a house that sold his pants to buy macaroni, when a little boy told one of the workshop leaders this sad news. It was during the second workshop in the kindergarten in al-Azzeh refugee camp, Bethlehem. A group of 35 children, age 3-5, gather every day in the small space. Some of them have behavior problems, some have special needs and can barely talk, some show very violent behavior, and one girl never smiles. But it would be very superficial to stick to this observation. Because when we had a closer look, we saw that the boy that doesn't talk, is an amazing dancer; the boy that fights constantly, is a talented painter; and the girl that doesn't smile, sings beautifully.
Maysa told a story about a little rabbit that didn't have a home, like the poor man from the macaroni song. The rabbit met many animals in the story, and every animal made a different sound, explored by the children. When the rabbit meets the lion, who offers the rabbit to stay at his home, the rabbit is afraid the lion will eat him.
“I'm afraid at home, because many times I'm alone and my older nephew is making me very scared!”
What was supposed to be a workshop, turned out to be an opportunity for this little boy to share his worries, living without a mother and being scared at home. But unfortunately we couldn't change his home situation so instead we did what we could do: we danced and sang and tried to show the children how imagination can bring us to the most fun and peaceful places.
At the end of the story the rabbit without a home found a sweet rabbit girl with a beautiful house where they could live together and be happy forever...