Every three months, GVI hosts a Creole Day festival for the children who live at the President’s Village Orphanage in Port Glaude, Mahe. What a great opportunity for our volunteers to interact with and get to know the children, as well as make a personal connection with one of the organisations that GVI supports in its community outreach work. It is also a fantastic way for the volunteers to give back to these children. In my mind, the most valuable contributions are not monetary, but instead are comprised of time and dedication, and result in smiles and happy memories.
The first group of volunteers arrived by van in the morning and the rest followed shortly afterward. We quickly set up our activities while the children finished up in church and when they arrived, the fun began! Some of the kids were a bit shy at first, but as soon as they became engaged in activities they immediately came out of their shells. The President’s Village was filled with some good old fun and a little chaos with so many things going on at once. There were soccer and rugby games going on outside, and friendship bracelets, colouring, paper planes, bubbles, face and nail painting, and jewelry making going on inside. The kids quickly proved how upbeat and energetic they are, and it wasn’t long before the children, volunteers, and kitchen floor were covered in paint, marker, and glitter.
Our little festival was followed by a delicious traditional creole lunch prepared by the President’s Village staff. After lunch, the volunteers took the kids out to the beach across the street for a snorkel. Some stayed on the beach playing in the sand while others swam around the rocks in the beautiful clear blue water, the perfect way to cool off and end a fun-filled day. The happy but tyred volunteers headed home after an exhausting day, with new friends and memories made, ready for another day of diving tomorrow.