Picture of one of the older children during the party on Christmas day,
Its news years eve tomorrow so we (Children and staff) would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year
Lets hope things get back to normal and schools fully reopen as it has been a struggle here. Fingers Crossed. Just for a bit of fun, if you have a New Years Resolution then please mention in the comments. ??
Christmas Eve PartyIts now Christmas morning - Merry Christmas!!! - Here are a few more photos from yesterday where we gave out over 270 presents, there was a little bit of a mad rush on the day as a couple of the children hadn't chosen anything but they managed to fill a couple of bags of goodies just in time!Thank you to everyone who helped on the day, especially Amina, who organised the children and cooked (with the help of a few of the girls) and Ganesh for the dancing, and Gopi, Acchelal, Suman, Savita, Kaveri, Papu, Savita Didi and all the kids and parents. THANK YOU AND MERRY CHRISTMAS!
This year we are having tree parties again, with the youngest the first to enjoy a bit of dancing, playing games and of course food, sweets and presents.
We had over 50 children here, with some of the older ones coming to help (and have an excuse to join in with the festivities ??. Amina and the girls prepared lunch and then had a good selection of games and finally it was present time. All the children get to choose their own gifts, so the smaller ones especially choose from gifts we have in stock which means they do get a bigger selection for their allowance. A couple had new outfits so only got one or two, but others choose upto 12 presents.
Here are a few photos, mostly taken by Papu (Thanks Papu).
All the children had a great day and a few of the parents joined in too....
A big thank you to Purple Martini at Sunset Point, Goa, Anjuna for having us at their new wing! It's just 30 meters down the road and overlooks the original restaurant. We arrived just as they were finishing their Pooja ceremony, and Miguel came over to give the children juice packets. The kids were then given Santa hats, snacks, chocolate, and drinks.
We really appreciate everyone at Purple Martini for making us feel so welcome. Merry Christmas!
We were so excited to receive £750 from Penny, Ralph, and the Dipping Group Girls to help us buy Christmas presents for the children! Thank you so much for your generous donation!
Robert has been wrapping presents for the past month and a half, and he's already wrapped a whopping 370! But there are still more to buy and wrap, so it's going to be a close call to get them all done before Christmas.
We let the children choose what they want for Christmas, and some of the most popular items are shoes, clothes, footballs, badminton sets, bags, Barbies, watches, and soft toys. The older children tend to choose one or two larger items, while the younger children choose lots of smaller items. Three of the kids even have 10 or more presents each! (Each wrapped separately, of course!)
We're hoping to give out the first round of presents to the younger children in a few days, and then the older children on Christmas Day itself.
We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
On December 8th, we were lucky to receive three large containers of curry (paneer and pea, cashew and mushroom, and dal), along with vegetable fried rice, plain rice, and gobi manchurian. The food was leftover from a wedding, and the families didn't want it to go to waste, so they contacted us to see if we could distribute it to the children and their families in need.
There was a lot of food, about 20 liters of each curry and plenty of rice. We received the food at around 7pm and spent the next two hours distributing it on motorbikes to the families we help in the local area. Robert and Narendra worked together to deliver the food to around 35 families just in time for their evening meal.
We are so grateful to the happy couple and their families for their generous donation. We hope the food was enjoyed by everyone who received it.
Here are a few photos of the food distribution, although they were taken on a mobile phone as we were in a rush to get it all delivered.
The last couple of weeks have seen the schools re-open in part, with children from 7th and 8th joining 9th and 10th standards who had already returned to school in the first batch a couple of months ago.
Goa Outreach has now around half of our children going to school and having physical classes again. Although many are going alternate days to allow for better social distancing in the classrooms and up to this week there was a sense of victory that we might be through the worst of it and finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
The past week there has been more and more reports about the latest variant which has set our hopes tumbling back down to earth as cases in Goa and India start to rise again. In Goa cases have increased by around one third in the last week compared to the previous 7 days. According to FAQ by the Goa Government, the W.H.O. has predicted that the new variant will have increased transmission and immune evasion, which seems to point to a short-lived return to school. The next couple of weeks will provide an insight to how the next few months will go. Please keep your fingers crossed!
It seems so long ago when it all began and we thought it might last just a month, then thinking it should have all finished by the time schools open in June. How wrong we were. It has been an eye opener to see the full range of emotions by the families and locals through the last couple of years.
Goa being a tourist destination was feeling really hopeful that flights might start again, but flights have once again been cancelled and tourists seem to be a distant memory. We can probably count on our hands how many visitors we have had in the last year, it has had a rippling effect on the work that we had hoped to do as we struggle to find the funds to keep the children in school and the lights on at the centre.
As Christmas fast approaches we are hoping that father Christmas will bring us something to cheer about for the new year.