Last Friday, the centre was full of laughter, cheers and music as everyone celebrated the national holiday of Children’s Day. The students and staff spent days preparing for the celebrations and festivities. On the morning of the holiday it was clear that all of their efforts were a huge success. This year we had an extra layer of excitement as one of our volunteer groups from the USA was also able to participate in the day’s events.
The day started around 9am with a few speeches from teachers about how the day was going to unfold and thanks to everyone for coming. First on the agenda were the games and activities. Different groups of students had creatively designed games and activities that were enjoyed by all age groups! Each included a small prize and each participant received something even if they didn’t technically win. Plenty of games were played throughout the morning and the games continued to get more interesting as the day went on. Probably one of the most entertaining games was watching people compete in a timed race to see who was the fastest to eat an orange, drink a box of juice, blow up a balloon until it popped in their face and then use only their mouth to find a dime hidden in a pile of flour. You couldn’t help but find yourself laughing!
Around noon everyone took a break from the games to eat a great lunch and set up for the gift exchange. In the days leading up to Friday, students and staff each brought a gift to the center to be wrapped and used for the exchange. Teachers didn’t want the students to spend a lot, seeing as they don’t have much to begin with, so they weren’t allowed to spend more than 20 Thai baht (around $0.60), while staff and volunteers were allowed to spend up to 50 Thai baht (around $1.50). Once the gifts were wrapped they were all put into the same pile so no one would know who purchased what. On the day, the gifts were perfectly arranged on the stage and one by one each student, staff and volunteer had their name called to receive their gift. On top of that, they received an extra gift provided by generous donors. These gifts included blankets, stuffed animals, journals and a few other exciting items. In between the gift giving a few groups of students gave some stand out singing performances.
Around 3 pm everyone joined in on the clean up. Shortly after, the students collected all their treats and presents and got on the school bus. Smiles lasted into the final moments of the day. Asking students how they enjoyed their holiday, the response was almost one in the same, “Really fun!!”. I think all of us who were fortunate enough to take part in the festivities would agree on that!
If you have ever thought about donating or volunteering at one of our centres, please don’t hesitate to visit the volunteer information page on our blog and get in touch, or visit our GlobalGiving donations page here to pick which of our programs you’d like to contribute to. Thank you for reading and for keeping up with what’s going on at DEPDC/GMS, just keeping aware makes a meaningful difference.