Carnival Day Alegria, Alegria!

Last February 24, in the neighborhood of Orcasur, an octogenarian woman leaning out of her balcony looked at the streets of her neighborhood full of children, teenagers, young people and adults walking and dancing to the sound of drums. I looked and saw blue monsters, brave pirates, dancing games and singing drums. He watched, clapped his hands and shouted “Joy, joy!”, because in March two years ago he looked out to clap his hands on an empty street, wishing for a different future. What has not happened to that woman in this time! His smile and his palms only spoke, however, that his wish was granted: the future was better.

For the first time in two long and difficult years, Orcasur takes to the streets and begins to heal its battered community fabric. The “Resurrection of the Sardine” was made possible by this fabric, networking, coordination between programs and entities, and dialogue between people interested in the positive transformation of the environment. Under the slogan VOLVEMOS A LA CALLE, ¿TE BAJAS?, the Socio-educational Board of Orcasur, with the leadership of ICEAS and the collaboration of Fundación Tomillo, manages to bring joy back to the neighborhood carnival.

As could not be otherwise, the I+I Usera, SAI Usera and Tiempo Joven programs joined the initiative. After bringing the proposal to their groups of children and young people, their participation becomes active: elaboration of the poster, collective decision making, development of imagination, involvement in the necessary actions to turn what is imagined into a tangible costume, and mutual support and joy to present it to the neighbors.

The day began with a parade, animated by a batukada and accompanied by a great diversity of groups interested in the improvement and transformation of the environment. At the end of the parade in the Orcasur Town Square, we moved with a group of teenagers and young people to the “red courts”, where we held a session of neighborhood games, dances and, above all, shared fun, thus closing a great day of community meeting.

From the educational teams of Fundación Tomillo we celebrate these community processes that activate children and young people towards participation, empowering them in the use of their public spaces and provoking their desire for action and community transformation. Shall we continue?

As if that were not enough, the celebration of Carnivals 2022 continued the following day with an intercenter meeting of SAI Carabanchel, SAI Latina-Olivos, I+I and SAI Vallecas and SAI San Blas.

We have enjoyed a carnival day, where more than 60 children from different centers have participated in artistic workshops and a “brunch” offered by the Tomillo Foundation School of Hospitality that has put the icing on the day.