Can I tell you a secret?
I’m relieved that yesterday is over!
So much planning and so much work went into our community party, and I’m really happy to say that it went off beautifully!!
In order to get people to come, we decided to make flyers and hand them out to people passing in the street. Here are some of the children watching the excitement from the orphanage gate, underneath our party banner.
At 11am, the festivities began! We had football (soccer), facepainting, crown-making and balloons.
Surrounding the property, the show was on display. We had easels made that we painted, which showcased two images per board. The show is called, ‘Pieces of Innocence’, and will be coming to a gallery near you in the coming months.
To keep the day flowing, we had excellent facilitators. They MC’ed, led dance competitions, brought rappers, and entertained for hours.
One of the most important things the facilitators did, was break our guests up into groups and discussed issues such as HIV/AIDS, poverty, orphans and the relationship between them all.
Our hope was for this dialogue to bring St. Clare’s orphanage into their local radar, and also to bring their own personal sense of responsibility to the forefront of their minds.
Our only hurdle yesterday was that lunch was very late. Late, even for African time! However, eventually the pilau did arrive, and all the children squished tight together in a single file line to get their meal.
At the end of the day, our guest of honour, Wendy Muckle (who had just arrived from Canada that morning) , gave a brief speech honouring the photographers and the importance of the work they are doing.
She also handed out the certificates of completion that we gave each student in our Piga Picha program.
And suddenly, that was it. The end of our session here. Words cannot describe how hard it was to say goodbye to our new friends, who we have grown to love enormously. Watching them pack themselves into the van for the last time before driving away was heartbreaking.
It might be the end of this program, but it is never goodbye.