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DukeEngage-Cabo Verde

May 22- July 17, 2018

Reflection 1: Narratives, Storytelling & Assumptions

Our civic engagement consists of working at three sites of an organization named ICCA, which aims to enrich youth who come from families of abuse and trauma. The three sites are the Emergency Center, Lem Cachorro, and Nos Kaza. In order to communicate with the kids, we receive daily instruction on Krioulo, one of the two most spoken languages in Cabo Verde.

These past few weeks at the Emergency Center and Lem Cachorro have made me think critically about several issues and assumptions. I think about the type of impact I can have here: the classes I am teaching right now will be discontinued after I leave, so I question the sustainability of my impact. At the same time, I know that even though I will only be with the kids for a short period of time, I can still make their summers a little more stimulating and exciting.

At the Emergency Center, I wonder if I should even be there sometimes since I feel like in their lives, they have a lot of people leave them, and I am doing the same thing. It was something I struggled with a lot, especially when I started and saw how the kids would feel when I would leave. However, I also know that perhaps the time I am there is temporarily helping out the overworked staff at the center. I struggled with these two perspectives, but at the moment I am simply doing the best I can with my activities and looking for other opportunities to assist the center.

Overall, my first few weeks have been very memorable already and have helped me think critically about issues that I have never encountered before.