I was privileged last week, to visit a site of frenzied activity. School holiday fun…
Children, older students and adults were working together throughout the week to brighten up a grey and lifeless neighbourhood. A neighbourhood low on a socioeconomic level – but really high in spirit. It was the most fantastic community effort – really exciting to see. If I hadn’t been asked to go and take photos, I would’ve picked up and paintbrush and done my bit on the fence.
Four fences (one 25 metres long) were brightened up with beautifully designed murals – fun, funky and colourful. If you look closely at the photograph you san see that Destiny proudly added her name to the work she’d done.
As well as the murals, kids – with a bit of supervision – were painting white lines on the edges of concrete steps to help with visibility at night. While doing so, they were also giving fences and letter boxes a bit of a touch-up with the white paint. All with huge smiles on their faces and laughter in their eyes – and pride. All were working cheerfully alongside adults, happy to be part of brightening up their street.
Both sides of the road were lined with large neat piles of rubbish awaiting collection. Mattresses, sofas, wood, boxes…some probably going to the recyclers – others off to the dump. One big stuffed tiger – no longer needed – lay atop one of the black rubbish bags. I wondered how long it would be before a child came along and took it home to love.
On a back section further up the street, two beautiful young gumboot-clad girls were busy digging holes to help establish a community garden. One of the local garden centers had donated a stack of plants to get it started; old rugs and underlay had been gathered from the sides of the street and put down on the patch as weed matting; old tyres were being used to plant vegetable seedlings in; and a couple of young guys from the council were teaching the locals how to build and maintain a compost bin.
It was an amazing community effort.
I found the experience very humbling.