There is no doubt that the children of Friendship Home benefit from our weekly donation of rice, protein and other food products. And it’s important that we provide blankets, scarves, gloves and other essentials to keep them warm throughout the winter.
But we also firmly believe that along with basic material needs being met, children should be allowed to be children. They should get to play, to be silly, to enjoy their childhood. A vital component of any childhood is laughter and joy. The long term benefits of nurturing little souls are without question. One
source of childhood joy comes from the excitement of those fun filled excursions out into the world. Those childhood memories are so important, we can all recall a couple of them pretty quickly.
Unfortunately, such memories are scarce for the children of Friendship Home. Having fun is not a regular part of their lives. We try to balance this a little and take them out for an occasional fun day. This time our big day out was “off to the movies”.
Being the holiday season there were a few of the latest releases from Hollywood on offer, lucky for us the animated Chipmunks had released “The Squeakwel!” (oh yay). We pre-bought all the tickets and headed off to Friendship Home to collect the troops.
It was with great excitement that they rugged up in their new scarves and gloves. We try to make a point of giving the children individual items so they can enjoy a little ownership. Rather than buying 18 identical scarves we chose quite a few different styles. The kids were hilarious as they opened up the scarves, checked out the design, did a bit of a swap with each other, and then worked out just how they would wear it to make the most drastic fashion statement. Looking sharp and grinning away, they were ready to take on the Chipmunks!
We ordered a number of taxi’s to ferry us all back and forth. I shared a taxi with one of the older girls. Hang has lived at Friendship home since she was just five years old. She mentioned that they were all so excited because they had never been to the big shopping centre let alone to the movie mega-plex. It’s a different world.
The movie was great fun and the kids were glued to the screen. You know the Disney routine, cute little cartoon characters who sing, dance and save the day, they were hilarious. Okay, I admit I enjoyed it, just a little.
But what I really enjoyed, a whole lot, was watching the kids squeal with delight and laugh out loud as the very predictable story unfolded. Even the most serious of the kids were heard belly laughing.
We then went on to a local soup kitchen and a bunch of very happy children fed their little bodies. For a brief moment in time, these kids were totally content. With lazy smiles they returned to Friendship Home for a nice afternoon nap.
Some lovely childhood memories were made that day.
Alison & Rose