On December 27, Learning Center Bandarawela organized a very different christmas program: the students went to Sri Sangabodhi Children’s Home to play games with the children and distribute handcrafted gifts and snacks. By Satheesh Pushparajah
This year we decided to organize something different for Christmas: in our Find Yourself Class, we discussed what to do two months before the program. The students were divided into groups and were asked to brainstorm some ideas for a christmas program. There were some valuable suggestions but the one proposing activities for a children’s home attracted everyone. It was planned to give some gifts, snacks and play games with the kids. Everyone liked the project. The students discussed how to fundraise for the expenses. I gave them full freedom to make decisions for the fundraising.
The students came up with ideas to make Christmas decorations, greeting cards and handcrafts which could be sold. The students were confident that they could do a great job. They took one month to make different crafts. In the meantime the learning center team found a children’s home and got the permission for the program. The team finally got the chance to conduct the program at Sri Sangabodhi Children’s home which is located about 7 kilometers away from the city.
The students were very active. Every day they came at 9am and worked till 3 or 4pm. In the third week of December they split up in teams to plan the program. One team started to sell the products while the others prepared the program agenda and finances. They visited banks, government offices and education centers. They were able to collect 12,000 rupees by selling their handcrafts!
Two days before, the finance team planned the gifts and other things for the program and the purchasing team bought gifts for the kids. The day before we all met at the learning center and wrapped the gifts them.
On 27th December, students gathered at 10am at the children’s home. Lakshani, one of the students, delivered the welcome speech. Then the students treated the kids with cake, snacks and juice followed by the games they had planned: Musical chairs, cap passing, eating biscuits, balloon balancing and singing were organized for the kids. Kids enjoyed the games and the winner were awarded gifts.
As final event the students distributed gifts for kids and staffs. The program was planned only for two hours but kids wanted to keep everyone longer. Therefore, the learning center’s students went to the playground and started playing cricket with the kids. They spent another hour plating with the kids. It was an amazing day and the students were very satisfied with what they had organized.
After that we organized a party for our students to appreciate their work. Beni – participant of BOOKBRIDGE Masterclass and volunteer at the learning center for one month – donated 500 CHF to us. Part of this donation was used to organize the party for the students. Sujitha and Satheesh together with the students cut a christmas cake and enjoyed the day with many games and dance.
The christmas program was not only a memorable day for the students but provided them also with great learnings. They learnt to work as a team, to take leadership, to do planning and take social responsibility. It helped them to understand their real potential.