Sunday, 13 September 2015

Character Building for the Future

Let me start from the beginning! As you might know, I've started going back to Uni recently. Orientation week started on Friday two weeks ago and, as a part of it, every class should come up with a social project, submit a proposal and go do it together. Exactly a week ago, my class went to Mizan Amanah orphanage to play and teach the children social skills and teamwork. It turns out, most of the other classes are doing pretty much the same thing as well. But it was quite an experience for me, since I've never done this before - yes, you may call me spoilt and selfish. The activities were a lot of fun and - dare I say - it brought the class closer together.

We started out quite early to meet up at the nearest mini market to wrap the prizes and prepare other games props. As soon as we were done, we went straight to the orphanage together. It turned out there was a mixup with the administrators, because they thought we would start at 09.00 and end at 11.00, when, in fact, we wanted to come at 09.00 to set up the place but start at 10.00 and go on for 2 hours. But, since the orphanage got other people coming at 11.00, we had to start right then and there. First, we introduced ourselves and learnt the children's names, divided them into 2 groups then went straight to the games.

The first game was the Whisper Challenge - it's called 'Kuda Bisik' in Bahasa. The second game was Heads Up. The third game was Belit-Belit - where the children had to make a circle facing inward and turn it into a circle facing outward without letting go of their hands. The last game was Treasure Hunt. Between the third and the fourth game, my friend Ken came up with mini games to distract the kids a little - and give us some breaks, because those kids are so damn energetic. In the end, the boys' team - called team Barça - won! We gave them the grand prize of 14 story books and some candy. Some of them read the books right away, I was so touched - they were all my contributed by me! But everyone also received some participation prizes, consisting of stationery and candy, as well as an official certificate, provided by us.

As a closing, we distributed food to everyone - including the caretakers - and ate lunch together. It may not sound like it, but it was truly a bonding moment for all of us. The food was provided by one of ours, who pretty much cooked it himself. The whole experience was such a treat and gave me an incredible feeling. The only thing I'd want to change from it is the destination orphanage. The children weren't as eager as I'd hoped, mostly, I believe, due to the size of the Mizan institution. Had we gone to smaller and more remote orphanages, there may be more children who aren't used to getting charity and donations from people. That being said, I'm glad I did this with these people and in this place. It was so inspiring and I really want to do more social work from now on! How about you guys?

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