The importance of beign yourself, Rafa Nadal Foundation Center Madrid

At the Rafa Nadal Foundation Centers, we work with minors in vulnerable situations through educational, sports, and psychosocial support activities. We believe that providing a safe and enriching space for children is fundamental to their development and emotional well-being.

In this context, a few days ago, we carried out a very special activity at the Rafa Nadal Foundation Center in Madrid, in which the “Onion Story” was read to the minors. This fable teaches them that sometimes people have many layers, and we only show a part of who we are out of fear of being judged.
After reading the story, we opened up a space for discussion so that the minors could participate by expressing their opinions and explaining what they had understood from the story.

“Once upon a time, there was a garden full of vegetables and fruit trees. It was delightful to sit in the shade of the trees and contemplate that landscape while listening to the singing of the birds.

One day, some special onions began to grow. Each one had a different color: red, yellow, orange, purple… The colors were dazzling, like the color of a gaze or a beautiful memory. After some false investigations, it turned out that each onion had a precious stone inside, right in the heart of it (because onions have their own heart too). One had a topaz, another a ruby, the one beyond an emerald…

But for some incomprehensible reason, it started to be said that it was dangerous, inappropriate, and even shameful. So, the beautiful onions had to start hiding their precious stone with layers, each time darker and uglier, to disguise how they were inside. Until they started to become some of the most ordinary onions.

Then, a wise man passed by, who liked to sit in the shade of the garden and who knew so much that he even understood the language of the onions, and he began to ask them:

• Why aren’t you as you are inside?

And they would respond to him:

• They forced me to be like this… They kept putting layers on me… Some onions
had up to ten layers and hardly remembered why they put on the first ones.

And in the end, the wise man started crying. And when people saw him crying, they thought that crying in front of onions was something that intelligent people did. That’s why everyone keeps crying when an onion opens its heart to us. And so it will be until the end of the world.”

Una vez leído el cuento, abrimos un espacio de debate para comentar entre todos el mensaje de esta fábula, para que los menores se hicieran partícipes opinando y explicando lo que habían entendido.

Following this reflection, the children drew the different layers of an onion and used them to showcase their personalities and the way they present themselves to the world.

It is important for minors and teenagers to feel safe to freely discuss any problems they may have. Self-esteem and self-care are essential for their emotional well-being. For this reason, at the Rafa Nadal Foundation Centers, we work to promote these values and provide a space where minors can feel heard and supported.

The “Onion Story” activity was a fun and creative way to convey an important message about the importance of being oneself and not being afraid of being judged or judging others.

Through this activity, the children learned to express themselves and become more aware of their own personalities and emotions.

We hope that this experience has left a positive impact on the minors and that what they learned will have a positive impact on their personal development.

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