It’s easier together

I still remember when Barbara told me that she was going to Tanzania to volunteer at the NGO Africa Directo. It was a summer day, sunny and intensely hot, that’s what the south has!

We were introduced by a friend we have in common. I confess that something caught my attention from the first moment I saw her. With the passing of the days, until the moment of farewell arrived, I met a woman with a humility that crossed borders, always aware of the people around her. A strong woman with a very definite idea, in which I believed and will always believe.

After a few months in the African country, we maintained a fluid and constant contact through the phone. She told me about her day to day, delving into each of the projects in which she was involved, and the full satisfaction that the smiles she received from those boys and girls, sometimes not so little, gave her.

His eagerness to want to be useful and to be able to help, prompted him to create the photographic exhibition that we can currently enjoy in the Community of Madrid.

The smiles captivated him, but almost at the same time he was also aware of those looks of uncertainty and sadness, which did nothing but make him reflect in order to transform the negative into a positive. I know you’ve been thinking about it a lot. Until one day, after many calls to public agencies, the time or the opportunity came to publicize his experience.

I thought he was joking, that he was dreaming very high, that covid-19 could overshadow his original idea. Months of hard work, trips to the villages, daily photographs, unique moments with unpleasant stories… then that dream began with a selection of photos, the assembly of what would be the exhibition, Qr codes or the printing of brochures. A whole challenge of intense efforts in which, honestly, I was alone. In fact, Bárbara did not rest until her idea arrived in Galapagar, the scene of the opening of the photographic exhibition.

Fortunately, I witnessed the beginnings of this solidarity exhibition. My desire was to accompany her, to support her in this new project with the firm intention that she would not walk alone. The looks penetrated to the depths of my heart. I knew many stories about these boys and girls. Everything went as she wanted, her dream was coming true. After this first stop, Alpedrete arrived, and finally, Pedrezuela.

Barbara was full of satisfaction with what was happening, but she was also impatient to return to African lands. We thought then that someone had to take care of the management and all the tasks related to the exhibition, and it was at this moment that the Regional Library of the Community of Madrid appeared on the scene. They would take care of everything. It was a relief to see how the project was taking shape, a real reason for celebration. Even so, my friend needed someone who knows her work and that of Africa Direct, to be able to give voice in the guided tours or in the conferences.

I was still in the shadows, but fully identified with this project.And sometimes, he collaborated as a commercial, others as a public relations or community manager. I couldn’t say no to her, that I didn’t want to support her, and whenever she has needed any help in her different crowdfunding, I have mobilized my family and friends. I believe that the help he receives comes.And what better inner reward than to see, through the videos, the signs of gratitude of these boys and girls!

That’s how I told her that I would continue to help her, that I would be her voice wherever she couldn’t be. This is a project that is the result of his experiences in Tanzania, before, during and after the pandemic, which we will talk about another time.

Thanks to all the collaborators and institutions that every day that I take the project to their offices they receive me with kindness and eager to get involved.

To all, Asante sana!

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