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Working with Children – An Absolute Joy

Team Journal for Wednesday, 23rd December 2015

“Life should be great rather than long” – B.R. Ambedkar

Seam's kids

Seam’s kids

Today was a great day, and was no exception to the wonderful time we have been having day after day here in Chennai. We had our usual schedule today, going to Assisi Ilam in the morning and Seam Children’s home in the evening.

A few of us had an early morning in which we enjoyed a yoga lesson on the rooftop of the guest house taught by a local instructor. The time was relaxing for all as we took in the sounds and sites from the neighboring areas and stretched and breathed with the yoga poses. We followed our session with breakfast and daily team meeting before heading off to Assisi.

At Assisi we were able to stay for longer than usual to help the kids with some work they had from school. Multiple children read to us from some of their favorite books and we also created a story as a group (below):

“Once upon a time there was a big brown dog named George who was owned by a girl named Lakshmana. She was friends with a girl named Missy. The went outside to play. They played cricket until suddenly a big thunder storm formed. They were scared and went inside to tell there mother there was a storm. They ate cookies”

With time for education also comes time for some fun. We danced to some popular hits such as the Macarena, ABC by the Jackson 5, and Barbara Ann by the Beach Boys. The kids had been shopping the day before for outfits to wear for their upcoming first communion which they enjoyed showing off to us. The kids are all very excited about the activities to come in the next few days including Christmas mass tomorrow evening and their first communion on Monday.

After our time at Assisi we went back to the guest house were we enjoyed a later lunch and some much needed relaxation time. At lunch we received an explanation of the caste system in India and some Indian history as told by our team leader, Stephen. The quote above was from one of the leaders of the Indian Independence movement, B.R. Amedkar.

The time came for us to go to Seam children’s home at 5:00pm. We continued our lesson from yesterday on “What” questions. We reviewed the 6 questions we had taught them the previous day:

  • What is your name?
  • What is your favorite color?
  • What is your age?
  • What is your favorite thing to do?
  • What standard are you studying?
  • What

Following our review of “what” questions we broke out into groups of 2 children per 1 volunteer. We took turns asking each other the questions and responding accordingly. The children enjoyed having some one on one interaction and were able to keep focused better as we all taught the same lesson. We also took time to teach “where” questions:

  • Where do you live?
  • Where do you go to school?
  • Where is the bathroom?
  • Where is your school bag?
  • Where do you sleep?

We followed our lesson with the same kind of breakout session. As usual, after we were done teaching we took time for play. Some children colored, threw a frisbee, and learned clapping games. We all thought today was received very well by the children and we will continue this approach with “who”, “when”, “why”, and “how” questions in the upcoming days.

Tomorrow will be a busy day for us all as we were invited by Doctor Sister Rexline to have lunch at St. Thomas hospital in the afternoon. We will also be attending midnight mass with the Assisi children in the evening.

Working with the children has been an absolute joy so far knowing that we can make a difference in their life while at the same time impacting our own. We are on our way to reaching our goal of having the children speak to us in full sentences. We have more work to do, but our time is not yet done!

Entry Submitted by : Katie

Message for the Day – “Cultivation of mind should be the ultimate aim of human existence” – B.R. Ambedkar

 

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