Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Dia Del Niño

April 12th was National Children’s Day, or Dia del Niño, in Bolivia. Typically, this is a day when children are celebrated and when they are reminded of both their rights and obligations as members of society. To mark the occasion, the children in the Kaya Center participated in a full day of fun and celebratory activities.

To start the day, children engaged in a special ceremony where they were matched with buddies. Older adolescents became big buddies to their younger counterparts in an effort to foster positive relationships among the kids and emphasize the importance of taking care of others. The pairs were matched by the teaching and clinical staff, taking into consideration each child’s strengths, weaknesses and interests. Buddy pairs had an opportunity to get to know each other better through a time of sharing, and little buddies got to ask their big buddies about their experiences in the Kaya program.

The day continued with buddy pairs participating in a variety of games together. The 3-legged race, balloon volleyball, and marble bowling were just a few of the many games played. The kids enjoyed winning prizes like stickers and fancy pencils, and the day ended with a special meal that was selected by the kids themselves. Guisela Mustafa, our Clinical Program Coordinator, said, “The kids were really happy and had a great time. I think they learned a bit more about the need to be cared for and to care for others, an important aspect of healthy emotional development.”

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