Lately, things at DEPDC/GMS got colourful with a new Arts and Crafts class at the Community Learning Centre (CLC), launched by Deirdre, or P’Dee, a new volunteer from Ireland. Joining a CLC class as guest teacher, she showed the kids some fun things to create. Let’s hear from P’Dee what she had in store for them.
“I started by showing the children a Hawaiian necklace called a Lei that I’d previously made using paper flowers, straws and string. The kids were more than enthusiastic to get started. Some stuck with a strictly pink or yellow theme to match their T-shirts, while others mixed colours. For the rest of the class they all wore their new necklaces as we proceeded to the next activity: making paper frog puppets. After I showed them a very basic method of origami to create the frog shape, they continued to decorate their frogs with creative designs that far exceeded my expectations! Their teacher, P’Ali, and I were amazed by the initiative they took and their originality, with which they designed funny hair styles and mouths full of sharp teeth. We finished the class by having the kids make decorative home-made fans which came in handy as the evening heat crept in.”
P’Dee returned to P’Ali’s CLC class this week to a very warm reception as they now recognise her as the girl with the bag full of colourful goodies. When she showed them the “craft of the day”, a paper clip mobile, there were many “oohs, awws and suays (beautiful)” heard and they knew it was going to be a fun class. Once again, the kids used their artistic skills and imaginations to craft some beautiful decorations. Afterwards, they coloured the letters of the English alphabet and folded paper aeroplanes.
It came as a nice surprise that all children offered to help cleaning up the room at the end of the class. They swept up every paper cutting and put every pencil back in its box – their way of showing thanks.
Before coming to volunteer at DEPDC/GMS, P’Dee had raised funds back home. Thanks to generous donations by her family and friends, she was able to buy all the materials she now uses for her classes. She even raised enough funds to extend her Arts and Crafts class to four days a week.
“Personally I believe in the importance of Arts and Crafts for children and their development. On a deep level, art is a form of communication. It is another way of expressing ourselves and our emotions and it can help with processing feelings and experiences. And perhaps less deep, but equally important, art and craft sessions allow children to gain self-confidence, believe in their abilities, and learn through play.”
If you are thinking of volunteering with DEPDC/GMS like P’Dee, please visit our website to learn about the work of DEPDC/GMS and the application process for prospective volunteers. We look forward to hearing from you.