Lavalla200> Atlantis Marist International Community – Holiday Program for children

Every year, the Marist International Community of Atlantis (South Africa) organizes two editions of a Holiday Program for children of Atlantis in social vulnerable situations. The program aims to offer them a safe space during the period they are not in the school. The first edition takes place in June and, the second one, in December (holiday time).

Between December 17th and 20th, the members of the LaValla200> community – in partnership with some volunteers from St. Joseph Marist College, St. John the Baptist Parish, the Walking Bus project, San Vincent de Paul and two young volunteers from Australia – prepared an intense four-day activities for these children.

The program, held at Rebecca Van Amsterdam Hall, started its first day (17/12) with free and recreational games, such as ping pong, football, board games and others. Then, the participants developed two activities: production of handmade sweets boxes (morning) and bracelets (afternoon).

On the second day (18/12), everyone was divided into two groups. The older ones had the opportunity to do an external activity in Sundowne – a place that offers an outdoor obstacle course race. The activity provided them fun and learning about collaborative work. The youngest children’s group remained in the Hall, making Christmas cards and participating in a dance workshop.

The focus of the third day (19/12) was on visiting Atlantis institutions. The participants were organized in three groups. The first went to an asylum; the second, to an elderly club; and the third to Orion– an institution destined to people with mental or physical disabilities. In all these places, the children had moments of sharing, they sang Christmas carols and gave the handmade boxes of sweets and Christmas cards produced by themselves. With this activity, they were able to learn about the importance of solidarity – specially in this Christmas time.

The last day of the Holiday Program (20/12) the participants had an art exhibition with Christmas theme and a talent show. All participants could present their skills in dance, theatre and music. There was, also, a presentation of Christmas songs and, finally, the distribution of Christmas kits with some sweets.

One action as Holiday Programs is connected to the call of the XXII General Chapter, to Marists of Champagnat to be with amongst children and young people in situations of social vulnerability.


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