Today was our first day working in the Kusumpur slum which we were highly anticipating. As we made our way to the slum, we were delayed by the water trucks blocking the one way traffic with cars coming both ways! (You can imagine how that worked out). After we finally squeezed through we were warmly greeted by the Resource Centre staff. We had already pre-organised our groups and our plan of action so we instantly got stuck into our work.
The boys began to sand down walls and paint the base coat while the girls instantly got stuck into the drawing led by the art team Hannah, Aimee, Amy and Caitlin. We drew up our images in the sweltering heat, with all of us assigned different pictures to complete in four different rooms. Being determined as we were, we completed them as quickly as possible, so other team members could begin to paint. Asha appointed us someone to mix our paint as there was no ready mix paint available. However, instead of using a wooden stick to mix the paint, he effortlessly stuck his hand into the paint pot and mixed the paint – which went up to his elbow! As the painters got stuck in, the artists continued to draw.
As the artists and painters were busy in action, 4 pupils and Mr McDonnell had the privilege to visit some areas of the Asha community outside the Resource Centre. They met with members of the Asha women’s group, who invited them into their homes. They got to view their dwellings, meet their children and even got to do some dancing!! Once they got back, the painters and artists were exhausted and in need of a break. We left the Resource Centre, hopped into our taxis and made our way out of the slum through the narrow hectic road straight to a well earned McDonald’s to satisfy our hungry tummies.
We arrived back from McDonalds and hastily gathered our materials for the craft and English lessons and kindly welcomed the slum children into the Resource Centre. As the children gathered we started to sing songs and got to know their names. After a few renditions of ‘If you’re happy and you know it’ we split off into 2 groups (one craft and one English group). Alice led the craft today which was making decorative fish and Andrew led the English lesson with the theme being food. The ever enthusiastic children were keen to learn new words and phrases such as ‘These are scales’ and more complicated food names such as ‘Asparagus’. As the craft and English lessons proceeded we split off into smaller groups of 3/4 to complete the fish craft or food worksheets. It was very encouraging to see how quickly the children were able to identify keywords and repeat certain phrases with ease. As the final gems were added and plastic fruits gathered, both lessons finished with a small recap on words and phrases used throughout each lesson.
As lessons were drawing to a close, the college students had been hard at work completing a ‘Happy Diwali’ message masterclass on the resource centre floor using coloured powdered decorated with candles. Some members of the team had a chance to light the candles and each was greeted with loud cheers from everyone present. When all of the candles had been lit we were invited to show off our dance moves to the classic Indian music and also up beat music which we are more used to. Everyone decided to join in on the dancing which turned into one big party! As soon as we had drained all of our energy the team was escorted outside to witness, but also part take in a fireworks display, Indian style! Although I’m not sure that health and safety was to the fore front, it made for exciting, enjoyable but also eventful memories. There were sparklers, fire crackers and bangers on show. When the excitement had calmed, we all had the opportunity to wish our new found friends a Happy Diwali and to take a few photos. After an unforgettable day we all are anticipating Monday morning with great enthusiasm to continue in our work.
Once we all had arrived back and freshened up we headed out to a Chinese restaurant where we tucked into some delicious meals.
Tomorrow we are looking forward to our journey to Agra to visit the famous Taj Mahal and the Red Fort.
By Aimee and Josh
Rainey Endowed School
The Big Shift
Monday 13th – Friday 17th June 2016
Contact: Mrs D Adamson
Over the next week Rainey Endowed will take part in an online challenge run by the charity SUSTRANS which encourage pupils to travel more actively to school, benefiting their health and helping to reduce congestion around the school gates. The Eco-club is asking pupils to be more active by walking, cycling and scooting to school as part of a five-day event called The Big Shift.
During the summer, two upper 6th pupils, Hannah Johnston and Hannah Monaghan, travelled to Zimbabwe where they spent two weeks volunteering. They were based at Jabulani Orphanage and spent most of their time looking after the 13 children who live there. These children have been abandoned by their parents, many of whom have died from HIV and AIDS.
Rainey Endowed presented its annual Prize Distribution on Thursday 17 September 2015. The school joined together in celebrating academic success. There were also musical interludes, the Headmaster’s Report and a very motivating speech from the Guest of Honour, Professor Tara Moore, a past pupil of the School.