We had a wonderful day with the children of the Chausy Orphanage! There are a lot of new faces at the orphanage and many new younger children participated in a concert that was held for us. Here two of the new children at the Orphanage, who will also be coming to Brockville this summer, join in a song.
The 3 oldest girls in the Orphanage will be graduating later this Spring and all 3 of them have been tremendous participants in our music program. They wanted to ensure that the program continued, so at the concert, they asked the younger children how many wanted to continue in music and many children raised their hands. They then had the children sign a certificate promising to support the program and presented it to Dave. Here Karina, who plans to continue her education in drama and music, performs for us.
Another one of the children performs and he shows a lot of natural talent and charisma.
Yana, Karina and Katya, our 3 upcoming graduates, perform with 3 of the younger children.
Sarah Lewis has been working all week on an International video project that will be completed with her students at BCI (one of Brockville’s High Schools) after returning to Canada and then entered into the School Board film festival. Sarah also stepped in for Stephen MacKinnon and helped the girls produce a music video that they then presented after the concert. Sarah spent most of the week with these 3 girls and established a very close relationship with them. The video they produced was so fun and happy that all of the children were laughing and clapping through its full length. I know that Sarah made a lasting impression on these girls, she helped to boost their self-confidance and left them with positive life lessons that they will carry with them forever! Here Sarah and the girls explain the video and the process prior to its world premiere!
This year Karina took charge of the Yearbook Project for us at the orphanage. She took the students photos and provided all of the input from her end. The yearbook was laid out by students at Smiths Falls District High School and printed by PhotoVisions School Photography in Brockville. Since Karina will be moving on next year, two new student volunteers were selected. Here Karina introduces the new yearbook committee to the students.
The Yearbooks were handed out and, after the children had a chance to review them, everyone signed each others books. The children absolutely love the books and the chance to mingle with the Canadians and get the autographs.
Afterwards a dinner was held in the Malcomson Home for Family Living on the orphanage grounds. The food was excellent and it was an amazing opportunity to discuss our thoughts on helping the children at this orphanage, most of whom come from very difficult and aggresive backgrounds.
It was wonderful to hear Oleg, the orphanage Director, talking about the importance of the children learning peaceful resolution; in the world, in their community, in their families and within themselves. It all starts with self-respect and inner peace. The children must learn to love and respect themselves and find that inner peace within. Truly a lesson that we should all take to heart!