When a few years ago I met the protagonist of today’s post I didn’t think I’d be writing about her one day, and it’s not that, by any means, she went unnoticed, but to be honest, her entrepreneurial facet didn’t attract my attention. But life, sometimes, connects you with people that in another moment, for some reason, didn’t. That’s what happened with her and what’s important from this story is that today I’m writing about a woman who has decided to start a new social project.
Do you want to meet her?
Her name is Dorota Małecka-Ortiz de Zárate and was born and raised in Krakow, Poland. In 2008 she gets to the University of Deusto to do the Master of Arts in Euroculture and after finishing it she starts working on the International Relations Office of the same university, where she still is.
In 2015, after her maternity leave ended, she decided to enjoy two unpaid years to take care of her daughter Emma and, of course, to enjoy her. That moment was when Dorota started deepening in a method she was interested in during her pregnancy. It’s what some people know as Dr. Emmi Pikler’s philosophy or even a pedagogy about respectful childrearing or respectful attachment-childrearing or attachment to the children.
Emmi Pikler (1902-1984) was an Hungarian pediatrician who developed most of her professional career in an orphanage in Budapest, where children spent most of the time contained in cribs due to the lack of personal to take care of them. It was then when, after realizing the severe lack of attachment and motor development these children had, and with the objective of them not having the “orphanage syndrome”, she dedicated her life to defend some principles she herself tried to implement:
The freedom of movement that influences in a positive way in the child’s physical, emotional and intellectual well-being.
- The respect towards the children in every moment and in every area.
The love and support that has to be shown, patiently, to every child.
Pikler believed that each child had their own time of development and that the fact that learning things by themselves has an influence on their self-esteem and personal satisfaction.
Dorota admits that Pikler and her methodology were her big discovery and that thanks to her today Espacio Wabi-Sabi (WAbi-Sabi Place) exists. It is her “other” child. I assure you that Dorota knows how to transmit very well her passion for this project that has started not long ago together with a friend. Espacio Wabi-Sabi is a space organized by the Asociación para la Crianza Respetuosa y Juego libre she and her hardships companion, Leire, created when they realized that the time to incorporate to the workplace was arriving and that the options there were to “leave” their daughters didn’t convince them. That’s how the “key question” arrived:
With whom do we leave our daughters?
You can imagine that this association is based on Dorota’s and Leire’s shared vision of raising their children with Pikler’s basic principles, in other words, the respect for the children, the enjoyment of the free play not directed or imposed and an assistance from the adults according to the needs of each of them.
Among the purposes this association has, personally I like the following one:
- To foster autonomy, the self-learning, the self-motivation and creativity of children.
I believe there is nothing more important in the education of a child than the development of their ability to self-motivate, to make their happiness depend on themselves, on their self, their attitude to life and the trust placed on them. Of course, I don’t even have to say how fundamental I think it is to develop creativity as one of the basic characteristics of the E.P. and of the integral development of the person, that together with the promotion of the autonomy and the permanent self-learning close a fantastic circle.
Dorota and Leire know what it costs to start a business, yes, because although they insist that “it’s not about making a profit”, hence the social nuance of this entrepreneurship, the truth is they are offering a series of services to maintain. I’m not even telling you that until they got the space and the constitution of the association, they had to do all the necessary paperwork with their daughters in their backpacks, like real kangaroo-moms. But that has already happened and now they can proudly say that they have managed to carry out a project that is worth it.
In an area of approximately 65m2 with different areas to develop activities, the services offered from wabi-sabi are the following:
- Morning game for big txikis aimed at children from when they have autonomy of movement until they’re 6, from Monday to Friday from 9am to 2pm.
- Holy Week camps, for children from 2 to 6 years old, from March 26 to 28 and from April 3 to 6, 2018, from 9am to 2pm.
- Summer camps during the month of July, for children from 2 to 6 years old, from Monday to Friday from 9am to 2pm.
- Free play afternoon, aimed at children who have autonomy of movement up to 6 years.
- Talks, workshops and courses.
- Birthday celebrations on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 5pm to 8pm.
If you want to consult prices or need more information, you can go to Espacio wabi-sabi or contact Dorota or Leire at the following address:
- Tomás Zubiria Ibarra Street, n. 10 bajo, URIBARRI in BILBAO.
- Tel.: 685 025 493 / 606 057 350
Enjoy the week.
Translated by María Ubierna Quintanilla and supervised by Arantza Arruti.