Written by Chris Ioannou
Chris reporting here late in the evening after a busy couple of days!
Tuesday was Sports Day with the children at Himmatgram. As you could imagine, bats, balls, stumps and sacks equals a few hundred hyper children! And although the races organised were slow to get going, the day went down a treat with children and volunteers alike. The children very much enjoyed the sack race, skipping, lemon and spoon (No eggs available!), obstacle race (Which involved the kids wearing the volunteers own clothes!) and sock wrestling. We rounded off the day teaching the children how to play rounders, they seemed to enjoy that pretty much too! There was also a chance for the boys and girls to play cricket and football. Face painting was also on offer too!
Absolute credit goes to all the volunteers; Stephen and Sophie for organising the event. The same goes for Catherine, Olivia, Claire and Joyce for their artistic skills as well as setting up some of the races. One could imagine setting up such an event is no easy feat, but everyone did a wonderful job!
The day wasn’t finished when we arrived back at Snehalaya, as we met up several of the volunteers that organised the youth camp that was held over India Independence Day weekend until Tuesday. It really is great to hear that these guys, whether they are coming to volunteer for the first time or have volunteered for several years, working with particular Snehalaya projects such as Childine, all seem to have one thing in common. They are doing this out of the goodness of their heart. Although our job was to talk more about their backgrounds and ours, I was roped into learning the Marathi alphabet!
Wednesday involved arts and crafts with two different classes that involved farmyard animals and transport, respectively. The children do enjoy a good nursery rhyme, therefore it wasn’t long before they were also singing along to “Old McDonald” and “The Wheels On The Bus…”!! Some children are very gifted too, whether it’s colouring, painting, or making paper airplanes!!! The day ended with a trip to the Big Bazaar to stock up on much needed supplies before ending the day with a lovely meal again at Hotel Sanjog.
Today has also featured more arts and crafts; finger painting the colours to the British and Indian flags (And they look fantastic!) and hand painting more farmyard animals. The volunteers have all contributed to painting 1-10 on a wall with representing illustrations. There is also a huge tree that will soon feature the children’s own artwork when they use their handprints to make the leaves. It’s all very exciting indeed!
Tonight has ended with a lovely donation of pyjamas from Claire and Olivia to some of the young boys and girls before their bedtime. They were naturally delighted to try them on! It truly is a great feeling knowing how appreciative the children are of such a gift.
Bed time for me now. Catch up with you all soon!
Saturday 30th July – 28th August (4 weeks plus one week free time)
South Africa volunteers
21 volunteers are working across 3 projects in Durban to deliver sports coaching, teaching and social work
Saturday 13th August – 10th September (4 weeks plus short tour)
8 volunteers depart to work on a playground construction project with East Africa Playgrounds
Friday 19th August – 10th September (2 weeks plus short tour)
India Bhopal volunteers
12 volunteers are supporting 3 charities in Bhopal with mental health work with adults and sufferers of domestic violence as well as working with young people on educational activities.