By Lindsay Malpas – 1 week volunteer
During my stay, one of the activities we did at the Kindred Spirit Sanctuary was called “Kids Day”. This involved interacting with the local village children to help them with their English. To start with we had about 20 children ranging from 4 to 14, all very keen to learn and interact with these strange people to come to their village. The girls definitely had the longer attention span and lasted the whole hour. The boys were like anywhere in the world and moved in and out of the group.We started with an alphabet recognition game where we said the letter then a word to go with it i.e. A Apple. The children then copied what we were saying. With the volunteers from different countries it was interesting to listen to the children copying our accents!! Next was an animal recognition game where we showed them an animal and said the name for them to copy. All the children were very interested in the first two lessons.
To get them moving and keep the attention going we split them into 2 teams and used the letters from the first lesson. One person from each team had a fly swat and had to race to the letters, which had been place around the room, when called out by one of the volunteers. This game was great fun as the other team members were not supposed to help their team members but only Kerri could understand them so I think there was a bit of cheating going on.
For the next activity we split into 3 circles with each having a different game. Mine was using Scrabble tiles and they were placed face down. As we went around the circle each of the children would turn over the tile and say the letter, also an associated word if possible. We tried to get them to come up with different words from the ones in the alphabet games. I had one very little girl, who I found out was only 6, that was amazing at this game. It was about this time some of the boys decided climbing the walls etc. was more fun!! The other 2 games involved a dice and counting, and a card game similar to “Uno”.
To finish we had a drawing activity where one of the children would draw one of the animals from the animal game and the first to say what it was got to draw the next one. I was very impressed with how good some of these children were at drawing. By now most of the boys had joined the others in climbing the walls and the girls still had a full attention span.
Once we had packed up, with the help of all the children, we went through the village and picked up all the rubbish that we could fit into the rubbish bags. It was amazing to see how helpful they all were and also great to see the village looking a lot cleaner once we had finished. This was just another part of the total experience that you get when you volunteer at Kindred Spirit and one I would highly recommend.