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A Special Assembly

Saturday 4 November 2017

Today was our second day at SNEHA, but also our last day of teaching– while this broke our hearts, it was also the last of the early morning starts – WOOHOO! Breakfast this morning was an absolute dream thanks to the best–value–for–money jar of Nutella purchased in an Indian supermarket last night. After breakfast we hopped into the Vikrams once again to head to the school.

On our journey to SNEHA this morning, we stopped at the marginalised community where the vast majority of the children that attend the school are from. There are no words to describe the conditions that these loving children and families are living in. All I can say is that I am returning back to Northern Ireland, a place that I didn’t much care for or appreciate, with a new sense of how lucky I am.

After being kindly informed last night during dinner that the Saphara students also had a part to play in the special assembly, the team began to choose a song but were immediately distracted by the tasty dinner. However, when the vikrams rocked up to SNEHA this morning we were greeted by 1000 pairs of eyes staring expectantly at us, we immediately felt stage fright. Our performance would have flopped but luckily the kids joined in and gave us a run for our money. The girls from classes 8–10 then took charge of the assembly and presented a sketch on saving the environment as well as a dance displaying some of the many cultures of India; both were extremely poignant and gave us a glimpse of the crucial lessons that these young minds are being taught at this incredible school.

During recess the girls from the team had the opportunity to have a taster of the girls resilience program and the young women involved. The girls shared their stories of how much the program has benefitted them. We met the girls who had led the assembly and they shared with us that without the program they wouldn’t have had the confidence to even talk in a classroom, never mind a whole school assembly.

I was teaching class 1 which is the equivalent of P2. As part of the lesson we took the children out of the classroom and into the playground where we tried to teach through play and creativity. We had been looking at the book ‘We are going on a Bear Hunt’, so for our last lesson we took them on a REAL bear hunt. Seeing the children bursting with laughter as we journeyed around our imaginary land of rivers, forests, snowstorms then finally reaching the bear cave was tremendously heartwarming and will be a memory that will stay with me forever.

After the classes were finished we got to hear from Dr Reeta Rao, the founder of SNEHA. It was a privilege to hear how she started the school with just four rooms and how it has expanded into what it is today.

The homeward journey has now begun as tonight we spend around six hours on a train on our way back to Delhi for our last day. Goodnight and sweet dreams.

Rhiann McCurdy and Matthew Steele :)

Posted in Halloween Team 2017
on Saturday 4 November 2017