Last Days

Day 7 Teaching at the playgroups

OceanStars :: Monday 31st October 2011 :: This Story

Today reports from some of the 4 playgroups visited by Team members in 2s and 3s. Teaching had been carefully planned from weeks ago, and since the nurseries were mostly local, I think everyone got there on time to complete a full 3 hour session with the children.

Chris, Lydia and Dan at Kirankulum.  (Chris)

It was lovely to go back to Kirankulum and see some of the children we had met last year, together with lots of new ones. The children were happy and lively, obviously enjoying the chick pea and milk lunch provided at the playgroup. The teachers encouraged lots of activities and enjoyed helping us with mask-making, collage and singing. Percussion was a highlight with the children counting in English and Tamil, their pronunciation putting ours to shame – our Tamil wasn't nearly as good.

It’s humbling to see the vary basic conditions, with such limited resources available, producing an environment in which children can thrive and learn. It’s a very uplifting experience.

Elephant masks at Kirankulam nursery - Sri Lanka

Meeting children at Kirankulam, Sri Lanka

Children at Kirankulam, Sri Lanka

Carolyn and Janine at Kaluwarchikudy (Janine)

Carolyn and I arrived at Kaluwarchikudy just after 8 – the building was spacious and in comparison to Tuesday, seemed better equipped. 23 arrived, some of the children started crying and at one point 5 were crying at once, which was upsetting for us as we couldn't comfort them as they were scared of us.

Circle time, the story and our first activity went well, the teachers helped the children a lot in terms of doing some of the sticking etc for them. After break we went outside and played "Elmer says," which worked well, and then played with the bean bags. The children all enjoyed the outdoor games. Then we did one more collage activity and suddenly the morning was over – the session finished at 11, not 1130, so there was a rush to get teddies given out, with masks and photos, and we didn't have time to sing more songs or listen to the children singing to us.

The children seemed better nourished, and after playgroup we went for a walk around, arriving at the teacher’s house, passing a very large pink mansion which belonged to the aunt of one of the playgroup children. The teacher’s house was spacious and cool, and we were treated to a glass of king coconut juice before going back to the nursery for a delicious lunch..

During the morning Dilanee had phoned to say she had bought a bike for Indushan, and he was coming to Joseph’s at 3. The bike was amazing, shiny, complete with lock and bell – and pompoms on the wheels! Indushan arrived by tuktuk, with his mother and was a little shy at being photographed by about 8 people at once, but both he and Mum seemed delighted, and it was special for me to be able to present it to him while I was here. Thank you Dilanee for organising it – I think it will make a difference to his life.

Maggi and Maureen at Kurumunvely

Fortunately not all the 56 enrolled turned up. The 40 odd who took part in today’s session had the advantage of being in the church building, where there was more space. The ladies had a fun time working with Nilanthe, whom Maureen has known for several years now.

Craft work at Kurumunvely
Elephant ears at Kurumunvely

Meeting with sponsored girls from Vincent’s School (secondary) in the afternoon.

These sponsor arrangements go back to Dilanee’s first trip here in 2005, so many of the girls are approaching University courses. It was fascinating to hear about their ambitions, as these are all highly motivated girls.

Vincents School sponsored girls