School holidays at the centre
As has been mentioned on our Facebook page, the first two weeks of August were busy at the Asha Centre. It was the school holidays but we decided to remain open for children and young people in the area so that they were take part in our first ever holiday programme.
The two week programme focussed on inclusive activities for all in the areas of arts and crafts and cookery. Younger children and older children, those with disabilities and those without were able to work together and create things.
As usual our committed staff team was joined by the RCCI teachers, who usually provide regular education support to those with disabilities. The whole group worked together well, planning and executing appropriate activities and it was a joy to see team work in action! It was also great to see the older ones helping the younger ones and those with and without disabilities working together. Our thriving women’s befriending group also supported the activities by helping with the sessions.
The two week programme culminated with a sale at the centre where the children were able to display their work and sell it to their parents and others in the community. Others in the community were also encouraged to set up their own stalls including some of the women from the befriending group. It was great to see the sheer diversity of ideas people had from mango and olive pickle, a Sri Lankan delicacy, to handmade bags, kites and doormats.
We also collected nearly new clothes from supporters of Asha and sold them at reasonable rates to those in the community.
For a first attempt there were many successes. The community came together and there was a real buzz at the centre both in the preparation stages and during the sale. The talents of those who participated have far exceeded our expectations and we hope that this initial trial will lead to many more opportunities where those with particular talents in the community will have further chances to showcase and hopefully sell their work. The sale also made a small profit that funded the 2 week project.
All in all I think those involved achieved the goals of this project which was to raise our profile in the community and show off the talents of those who access the centre as well as raising some funds for the work that goes on there.
There has been talk of further sales in the future in different areas of Colombo – watch this space for more updates!