Most of us grow up with annual holidays, day-trips with the family, visits to relatives or, if we are lucky, a few trips overseas. Even if it wasn’t always somewhere fancy, it was probably memorable.
Some travels stand out more than others, but it’s good to have these experiences. In some of us these travels probably sparked our current wonderlust even if you only did spend a day at the museum or went to visit your grandmother on the farm. The incredibly rewarding joy of travel and seeing places and learning about our own culture is exactly why Dreams to Reality first started doing our cultural trips two years ago.
Our first trip
When we went on our first trip to Oudshoorn, it was the first time in five years that the children that were part of the DTR programs actually went on a road trip. Many of these children have to deal with abject poverty on a daily basis and go to schools where there simply isn’t the funding for cultural excursions.
Culture and it’s importance in childhood
Gaining cultural experiences as a child is incredibly important. It can teach children values, codes, norms and symbols that were passed on from previous generations. This doesn’t mean that they are laws that one should adhere to. Fundamentally, culture is a dynamic changing concept that sometimes differs as much from one individual to another as much as it can differ from one generation to another.
Building a cultural legacy
However, in order to create our own culture, we need to understand the cultures around us, as they echo the lives of the ones that shaped the world we live in today. Culture also has important messages of pride, but also warnings and lessons that can help us improve our own lives. What we hold onto and abandon or adapt is what defines a richness of the gifts we pass on to the next generation.
Making the time for culture
In general, it is the job of parents and educators to pass on cultural lessons, but this isn’t always the reality, not when teaching resources are limited and parents have very real immediate concerns that they face on a daily basis. This is the reality for many of the kids that we provide a service to via the Dreams to Reality program. Which is why do what we do.
Why we do it
Enriching the lives of the kids in our program is about more than just aiming to improve their current circumstances, it’s about showing them the cultural richness of their own country, inspiring them, but always having fun along the way.