The portal to our hosting space

By Rowan Salim

I wonder who you encountered as a child who’s curiosities, explorations, passion, and kindness you still remember. When I was a child, my parents had many friends who visited us from around the world. I remember Parine Jaddo, the Iraqi/Turkmen filmmaker who visited us in Morocco and who spent a month walking around with her camera, capturing what I hadn’t known I’d seen. I remember my grandmother visiting, laying out her prayer mat on our living room floor and I’d watch from the corner of the room as she prostrated five times a day. I remember when we moved to Yemen when I was 10 and in our first few weeks my new neighbour, Taqiya, came to visit and rather than enter our house, she climbed the wall separating us from our neighbours, balancing high on the beam and jumping onto adjacent rooftops, and in doing so immediately shifted how I saw my new home, in a manner only a guest could have done.

Continue reading “The portal to our hosting space”

The visceral and the virtual

By Rowan Salim

This article was written in July 2020, we are now happily back at Dacres Wood!

Free We Grow online has been great. And going back to Dacres Wood is going to be even better. 

I cannot have predicted what FWG online was going to be like. I held so many feelings before we started. I was excited about the prospect of doing something new with everyone we all know so well. I was relieved at the possibility of remaining in connection with each other during these strange times. I was apprehensive about the prospect of being on screen for so long, of running meetings online, of working out how to hold space for self-direction and expression, about our distance from nature and from each other. Continue reading “The visceral and the virtual”

Being new…

By Sara Asadullah

Whenever I turn into the road and see the Dacres Wood site, I get a smile that starts from the inside and makes its way through to my face! It’s a feeling that I’m in the right place, and I am experiencing such good fortune to be part of Free We Grow – this secret world of cat ninjas – with their unique skills, talents, interests, and hidden depths to be revealed slowly and in flashes. It’s a precious thing and I’m happy to be at the start of this journey! Continue reading “Being new…”

FWG operations during COVID-19 lockdown

Free We Grow has started to operate its summer term online. A programme with online sessions has been created based on childrens’ and facilitators’ ideas. This way we continue offering chidren a routine during lockdown. In the sessions children can meet each other, explore their interests together with the facilitators and pursue their own projects further.

Summer Term 2020 (10 weeks) April 22 – May 22
Half term break (May 27 – May 29)
June 3 – July 3

FWG operations amid COVID-19 virus outbreak

Free We Grow is operating online from today March 18th until the 27th. These are the last two weeks of the spring term. This way we want to continue offering a routine to the children. They can meet each other and explore their interests together with the facilitators virtually.

The way in which FWG will operate after the easter holidays (April 22) to start the summer term, is still to be determined.

Upcoming Parents’ information meeting

Free We Grow next Parents’ information meeting will take place on Thursday 5th of March 2020 from 6 to 8pm. Children are welcome.

If you are interested in hearing more about the project, meet our facilitators and some of the founders and view the venue come along to the meeting.

If you have any question email us at hi@freewegrow.co.uk

Goodbyes

By Rowan Salim

The week before term started in Autumn 2019 I visited Dacres Wood to deliver some materials, and as I cycled up to the gate I spotted a poster with a picture of a cat on it. LOST it read, REWARD if found. I recognised the cat, it was Ginger, the friendly mottled cat who had been a regular at Dacres Wood in our first year. Ginger was a little like the fox in the Little Prince to each child at Dacres Wood.  There are even areas of the woods which are named after her use of them.

That evening as I mentioned this to a friend, I found myself crying. I don’t know if I was sad about the potential loss of ginger, or about the loss I anticipated the children would feel. Continue reading “Goodbyes”