Hermanos en Cristo
"Hermanos en Cristo" is a nursery school in the city of Concepción to the south of the Chilean capital, Santiago de Chile. An earthquake damaged the nursery so badly that classes had to be held in emergency accommodation, due to the risk of collapse.
Susann Zumstein, owner and managing director of punkto beratung gmbh, spent six weeks there getting to know the local people. She was struck by how they celebrated the joy of living with renewed vigour every day, despite their difficult circumstances.
The staff at the centre, who take care of the children with a great deal of love and attention, welcomed Susann into their team immediately. At the end of her adventure, Susann promised to return. In the meantime, she is supporting the people there remotely.
The nursery looks after around 100 children from the age of three months until they go to school. Susann had the chance to experience every class and to provide active support to the staff as they went about their work. The resources at the nursery are very limited, but despite this the children receive a fresh programme of activities every single day to help develop their creativity alongside their school work. All of the children come from poor backgrounds. Their parents and guardians often have to work long days and without the nursery the children would be unsupervised after school.
Susann was deeply moved by how grateful the children are for the little things in life. This raised her awareness of the level of luxury to which most people in Switzerland are accustomed.
This is a sentiment that she has embraced in her daily work and embodies in her projects, where it is often the little bits of fine tuning to the system that make the difference that is needed. Things like appreciation, gratefulness, new perspectives and cooperation.
The town of Concepción lies to the south of the Chilean capital of Santiago de Chile. Built on the banks of the Bio Bio river, it is home to 230,000 people.
Una feria – a market! Once a week a market took place almost right outside our door. Of course, with finances extremely limited, we had to be very careful about what we bought.
There were fresh shrimps by the bucket load!
Due to its unfortunate tectonic position, Concepción has been repeatedly afflicted by earthquakes. The epicentre of the last major earthquake in February 2010, in which over 200 people lost their lives, was just 105 km from the city. Despite regular earthquake warnings, buildings are not built to prevent collapse because, in many cases, the money simply is not available.