Promoting creativity, a healthy lifestyle and celebrating difference!
Our support for children and young people in Badowita continues to develop as we adapt our new Afterschool Club timetable to meet the needs of those who access it.
We are currently conducting a consultation with children, parents and the staff team. Initial findings have been very positive with good feedback from all involved as well as new ideas about how we might develop further. We will feedback properly on this once all data has been collected and analysed.
Creative therapy sessions continue every 2 months on Saturday mornings and we have now finalised a revised weekly timetable for Saturdays based on the children’s feedback. Dance and singing classes will start this month and as part of our work on ‘healthy lifestyles’, our Maths teacher Nilanga has registered the centre with the National Youth Club Association, which supports youth activities for those aged 13 and over. This gives us access to the events they organise and 20 young people recently participated in a sports event with other local organisations. The team were delighted that so many from the Asha Centre won cups and medals for the events they participated in, which included football, volley ball, cricket and the walking race.
Those accessing the centre also enjoyed our recent ‘Avurudu’ celebration for Sinhala and Tamil New Year. The event was organised by a committee of young people who with the support of the teachers, planned and executed the event which involved games and a traditional New Year meal.
Finally last weekend, a special workshop was conducted at the centre – Celebrating Difference. This was planned by the staff team and the RCCI and was intended to be a session to promote inclusion and acceptance at the centre and in the community. Activities, games and group discussion were planned in order for the children to think about what makes us different and the same, how we can learn from people different to us and how we can make sure all our included. When asked what they had learnt from the session, the children and young people’s comments included the following:
- Don’t discriminate
- Help others
- People are different and there are things that we can and can’t do
- It is important to understand people
- When a person can’t do some things there is always something they can do.
- Boys and girls are equal
- Love and care for people even if they are different to us.
- Give more thought to how to support people in the future
- Equality in society is important
Moving forward, we are busy planning the next few months with activities for our August Holiday Club as well as a ‘Dansala’ a Buddhist cultural event, where food or a drink is offered to the local community. We’ll keep you posted!