On the highest point of the playground sit two best friends, laughing and sharing secrets. For 13-year-old Nelly and 12-year-old Silvia this is their special place, a place to play games, share snacks and generally get into mischief!
Though they attend the same school, the girls formed a strong bond of friendship three years ago when Nelly was registered at the local church-based Compassion project Silvia attended in Bolivia.
The girls love skipping during break time.
Today, Nelly and Silvia are inseparable. As Delicia, their tutor, explains, “They are always together. One time they were placed in different classes, so they begged us to be placed in the same class. The good thing is that they behave well!” The two girls love football and play for the same local team. They have even set aside their differences when it comes to supporting international teams. Despite supporting different clubs Nelly assures us with a giggle, “We are still friends.”
While sharing lots of similarities, the girls have very different personalities. Silvia is shy while Nelly is outgoing. This seems to compliment them well, “What I like about Silvia is that she has a good temper and she gives me good advice when I don’t feel well,” Nelly explains. For Silvia, “Nelly gives me encouragement when I have problems.”
At the Compassion project, the girls learn about the importance of healthy relationships. They have learnt and put into practice that to be a good friend you must give and receive respect, loyalty and support. “When we are not together, or one of us doesn’t come to the project, we miss each other very much. We help each other in everything. Since I’m in an advanced grade, I help Silvia with her homework when she doesn’t understand something. We do everything together and help each other.” explains Nelly.
Nelly often helps Silvia with her homework.
The girls spur each other on in their faith journeys.
The girls not only share special moments together, they also share their Christian faith. In times of sadness, worry or difficulty the girls find strength by praying together. If there is something that is troubling one of them, “We go to a quiet place and pray,” says Nelly. Through the Compassion project Nelly and Silvia haven’t just found a friend to rely on, they've learnt to rely on God.