Last Friday I was invited to a very interesting space of the Network of Healthy Municipalities and Communities, an instance of training of promoters was developed whose topic of conversation was the situation of our childhoods and adolescents.
It is a space where actors who have activities at the local level in different territories of our country participate, different actors and actors who are involved in things that improve concrete life.
They are active citizens who are part of educational, health, and sports networks, among others, and who build values and meanings about the reality in which they work.
It is in these spaces where the consequences suffered by the gurises from the pandemic and the different public policies carried out by the different levels of government are visualized. But those spaces where what different actors in the communities feel are shared rarely emerge on the agenda of public conversation, they do not appear in the headlines despite the fact that this is where much of what is happening in our communities emerges.
There the themes have a name and surname, they have a smell and they give an account of the course of the concrete lives of our gurises, it is an interesting space to build an idea about how we are.
One of the things that most caught my attention was a kind of anguish or impotence in the face of the issues of the food of the gurises, not because I have never had to face that painful and lacerating situation of families that stretch the stew in the best of the cases and how it mobilizes those of us who work there, but because it was a kind of claim for the ways in which all this was processed in the public conversation, by different actors. Clearly it is a situation that is lived in the neighborhoods but this bonus regarding “We are alone” exploded in my face.
It would be very unfair to the activity if I only stayed on that, much more was heard and said.
Glances at childhood
One of the first emerging is that there is a situation that is harming the gurises, a pandemic plus an economic situation that does not benefit them, for whatever reasons. Added to this is a deterioration in the presence of the state in the territory, not just any state, but one that has to do with the matrix of social protection that our country has built for decades. “There is no longer such a space in which we used to do…” This shows, beyond the particular considerations about the policies, that what existed and was valued by the communities is missing.
What has been happening with the National Care System was also part of the exchange, the lack of concrete support is stated and a brake on these policies is clearly perceived that ends up affecting the daily lives of women and children, making it difficult to access to goods and rights as well as deteriorating the quality of life.
Nutrition issues were also part of the conversation, a very interesting experience was added to the well-known situation that an important group of compatriots are going through and the insecurity that they are experiencing.
In Ciudad de la Costa and within the framework of the extension activities of the University of the Republic, together with teachers, students and families, a task is being carried out to promote healthy eating in a defined territory. Working together with all the actors in ways to improve nutrition, a key aspect for the development of our childhoods and a space where we build our culture on a daily basis.
The situation of education and the proposals that exist in the neighborhoods were also addressed, the need for more pedagogical time, the effects of the pandemic and the insufficient measures to reverse those who fared worse, among other issues, entered the agenda.
The budget and public policy when put on a face mean very different things than the way we hear it when it hits the headlines. They are something else.
drawing possible solutions
One of the constants has to do with the withdrawal of the state or the weakening of the social protection matrix with a climate in the institutions that makes the situation even more complex.
Several and several of the participants appealed to memory and the activities, networks and initiatives that already existed a few years ago when Uruguay collapsed. Linking solutions and building a common agenda with everyone who can join seems to me a good summary that allows us to look to the future with hope despite such a complex today.
One of the oldest closed saying we already lived it, those of us who are in the neighborhood whoever we are, we have to get together so that no one falls.
Knotting the agenda and actions is possible, from there the future is built, even if it is without much help.