Interview with Cecilia

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Cecilia, how did you end up in the project?

My situation is different from that of the other women in the project. I am from Peru. I have two children and am divorced. I have lived in this neighborhood for a long time, here nearby in a neighboring house, where I continue to rent an apartment even today. We cannot move to live within the house, because there are no free apartments. Otherwise, we are here most of the time, together with all others.

Luschka and Andrea’s children went to the same kindergarten. I knew Andrea as a parent. Once in a while we would see each other when we brought our children or got them from the kindergarten, and we would then talk. This is how I’ve long known about the project, and was thinking to myself that it’s a good way for women to manage their lives themselves. In the following, I got separated from my husband. In the process of separation, when I didn’t know what do nor how, I was asked whether I could help out here in the house. I think that as women, we must help each other whenever we can. This is why I started coming here regularly to work. In this way, I had the opportunity to get to know the women, and we became friends. I liked life in the house, and realized that more and more I was becoming part of the community. Imperceptibly and little by little, I became integrated in the project. At some point, they proposed that I become a member of the community, despite the fact that I was living in a different place, and there was no way for me and the children to move into the house. Despite the project’s spatial limitations, together with the women we found a form, a solution that suited us. Not only did this enlarge the community, but it broadened the idea of the project.

What place does the project have in your life?

The project is for me a great advantage in my life, for several reasons. The children feel well here, because they know other children in a similar situation and don’t feel odd or isolated. There’s also my friendship with the women, which is very important to me. But mostly, because here I have found true solidarity. This gives me strength to face the future and go on.

How do the children react to the project?

Quite well. I have talked with them a lot about this new situation, about this change in our lives, and I think that the children take this situation quite well, their mother in one place, their father somewhere else… And here in the community, my children have made many friends. They play together and have fun. I think they like it.

In a few years, the children will have grown up and will perhaps want to live their own lives. Do you have any idea what you’d like to do after this? What is your vision of the future?

I haven’t given this concrete thought. My children are still small, and I’ve got plenty of time ahead of me to deal with this. But for sure I know that I want to stay here, at least until my children have grown up. I don’t know how the project will continue in the future, but I suppose that we’ll think up something interesting, together. At present, my children are the most important thing in my life. To have time for them, to give them understanding and love, is of the foremost importance for any child, for it to grow up normally. If you give this, you get everything in return. And that’s how the system is, you see how they are manipulating us. You need to work a lot, you think that in this way you’ll get everything. Then you come home dead tired, you have no energy or time to speak with your children, to spend time fully with them. And this is the most important for them, otherwise you lose them. Here in the community, through the project we have the energy to give them this support. Communication and solidarity in the group are very important. When one of us has problems, we can help each other, materially or spiritually. When one of us comes home dead tired, the others try to spend time with her children, and the children feel that there is someone they can trust. This is not a family with blood ties, but it gives a feeling of a real family.