September 8th marked International Literacy day, myself and Dogstar volunteer Maria were invited by Miep to attend a special day of fun and communication with the Yawjeewa school and 5 other similar schools from across Sri Lanka. This was held at a special team building facility close to Negombo, with the idea of bonding through team building, play, dance and lots of fun!
The children had all stayed the night before, for most of them it was their first night away from home. They got to sleep in bunk beds and were very excited, looking at the teachers the next morning, I am not sure how much sleep was had. We arrived at 8am just as the children were finishing breakfast, it was then time for the opening ceremony. There were many speeches from different people and each speech was translated into 3 languages, Sinhala, Tamil and English.
All the children were then put into lines and given a team number and split into different groups. Each team had the opportunity to partake in lots of activities which showed many different ways people can communicate. Dancing, singing, playinginstruments, speaking out loud, guessing items by touch, coordinating their team all standing and walking on planks, even the local scouts were there to teach the children how to make knots!
Lunch was a very delicious, many curries and rice followed by yoghurt for dessert.
Around 2.30pm all the children were called up on stage one by one to receive an attendance certificate and goodie box filled with pens, pencils and work books. Each school representative then spoke and had the opportunity to thank everyone for a fantastic day celebrating International Literacy day. It was then time to get the bus home and reflect on how resilient children really are. Many of these children come from unfortunate backgrounds and have to deal with many situations that children just should not have to endure. Despite this these children embraced the day, laughed, learnt and made new friends. Thanks to Yawjeewa School these children really have a chance.
I am so proud to be a part of Dogstar and the Breakfast Club that ensures these children receive hot breakfast every day.