Wednesday 13 April 2016

Bulgaria day 4, by Angelina

Today, we visited the kindergarten of Helping Hands Foundation where there were two small classes of Roma children. The groups were split into under 5’s and under 4’s. The location of the kindergarten was in Dobrich town, near the shopping centre. That is where we all met up, and met the lady who runs the kindergarten and puts everything in place there for the children, her name was Albena she was so warm welcoming and lovely, the right person for the children to be around I thought personally!

The kindergarten was set up for the Roma children because otherwise they wouldn’t get any education until they are age 7. All the other kindergartens cost money, and any children that haven’t been to one ends up behindhand at school which then means they drop out early.

We got to know her and what the scheme provides for the children and what they get up to during there time there. We then went to meet the children and have playtime with them. Some of the children were a bit wary which is understanding because of their circumstances, but others were really clingy and just wanted to be showered with attention.

I interacted with the shy ones first to show them that its ok and tried to assure them it was ok to unwind and be comfortable with me. We played lego, named some animals.

One boy in particular grabbed my hands and pulled me to the drawing table where he showed me he could write the number 9, I was so impressed he was also left handed the same as myself so I knew how hard it was to write as you can’t actually see what you’re writing because your hand covers most of the paper when you write. He was one of the timid boys and I was so overwhelmed he felt comfortable doing this for me, he then wrote his name and pointed at himself and said ‘jevbat you’ I felt warm and fuzzy inside; it was like a different child from when we first met him.

After the children had had a few minutes playing and interacting with my cred teammates, and myself, Angel and I prepared a little puppet show for the small group, where I spoke in English and their teacher translated. They were so fascinated and excited, it was so beautiful to see.

Afterwards we sang songs, and danced; they even showed us a song they do every morning as part of physical education to keep them fit.

I thought it would be a nice idea to get my phone out as I have an app on there where the children can face the camera in the “selfie” position and have effects on their face where their face turned in to a dog, or their face widened

Their enthusiasm was great, they were literally all climbing on top of each other to have a go, even the teachers asked what app it was so they could download it so that their children could have a go when they went home.

As it was time to leave I felt really sad, because it seemed the children were so happy and energetic over the stuff we think are ‘the little things’. When I said bye they were all hugging my leg and running off and running back; it was so cute I didn’t want to leave,

If I could I would’ve taken every single one of them home. Each and every one of them have such a bright future and so much potential and its really upsetting that they haven’t got the funds or facilities to better their future.

This experience is such an eye opener for me, and I’m so thankful for being a part of this little happiness we brought the children today.

I wish there was something more I could do, today has had a massive influential effect on my life of how I perceive what I think are major problems in my life because in reality my ‘problems’ come nowhere near to how these young children are living and what they are going through.


Clare Seek said...

Sounds like a brilliant and challenging day. Thanks for the update.

Unknown said...

Great work team! Enjoy every moment and don't forget to tell someone how great they are doing!