July 2009 Newsletter
Welcome to our July newsletter
We’re at the end of the first half of the summer club, and looking back there’s no doubt… it was a very busy month. Daily activities, weekly outings, new volunteers…joy and enthusiasm abounding.
Same as last year, the summer club is running every day from 9am till noon. 50 children registered, among them a record number of little ones, in fact half of them are between 4 and 7 years old. Activities vary between indoor games and outdoor sports for all groups with Christine, play dough for the little ones,
painting and papier mache with Katrine,
creating our ideal sustainable island with Chiara Guida,
making our own newspaper with Chiara Zecchin, computer games, dancing with Sophie and whatever creative ideas our volunteers can come up with to make the sessions as enjoyable to the children as possible, while at the same time being educational.
Outings in nature
An innovative element, in line with the theme of this year’s summer club, i.e. Nature Takes Care, are the weekly outings. In the first week we visited Gaia Foundation. Guided by staff members of Gaia, the children visited the Tower and, among other things, learned how the roots of what we may see as insignificant shrubs serve to hold the clay from being washed away by the rainstorms. Daniela recounted the history of the tower up to the present time when it is being renovated.
After walking on the clay slopes, the children were all eager to jump into the water and swim. They also enjoyed the games organised for them.
Other outings were at Buskett,
St Thomas Bay
and the Garden of Serenity. In each of these outings the children learnt about the nature of the place and how to take care of it, played games and enjoyed walking (or swimming) and eating together. One particular activity which appealed greatly to the children was a treasure hunt which Chiara organised in the Garden of Serenity.
All the children were running excitedly looking for the clues leading up to the climax when Nicholas found Bixu, our frog mascot who is always accompanying us on our outings.
Inter cultural activity
In accordance with the requirements of the EVS, sponsored by the Youth in Action Programme, each volunteer does her best to learn about the local culture as well as impart as much information as possible about her own culture in order to raise the intercultural awareness of the beneficiaries of the activity, in this case our children as well as the other participants. With this in mind, our two Chiaras from Italy and Katrine from Denmark, gave a power-point presentation about each country respectively. The presentations were both appealing to the children especially with the integrated activities, songs, and tasting of traditional sweets :)
Apart from our children’s programmes, we try to grasp every opportunity to meet the parents. We feel it is very important that we stay in touch with the families, in order to understand their needs, get their feedback as well as to enrol them in our efforts to improve the quality of our programmes and services. So before the summer club started we again had a parents’ meeting which was a record breaker. More than half of the children’s mothers came, and most of the others sent their apologies and spoke to us afterwards.
Another innovative element during this summer club, albeit on a different note, is the good number of volunteers that are participating. A big thank you to our four EVS volunteers mentioned above, who are working with sincere dedication and love, as well as our young local daily volunteers Sophie, Lawrence and Charmaine, who prefer to spend their summer holidays doing service for the children. Ruth, Rita and Christabel join us twice a week, while a big number of LSAs (Learning Support Assistants) have chosen to do 12 hours volunteering at our project. Their experience in working with schoolchildren with learning difficulties is a valuable asset to our programme. All of them express how much they enjoy working at Centru Tbexbix, and many of them want to continue helping in different ways. One LSA wrote this at the end of her volunteering:
“Thanks for giving me the opportunity to get to know 'Centru Tbexbix'. Such a wonderful experience, very well planned, handsome children and volunteers!
Hope I will find time and visit your centre again. A very positive experience, well planned and structured. Different setting, but still well organised, thanks to your dedication!
Give regards to your young volunteers and children, and hope to see you again,
Maria Rita Bartolo"
Keeping to our tradition
Again this month we had a good amount of media exposure. Katherine was invited to talk about different aspects of Centru Tbexbix every Thursday for five weeks in a row, in the programme Zodiac, on favourite channel. She spoke about the activities, the benefits of yoga for kids, the importance of growing children on a healthy diet and she also gave tips to parents of how to help children in their education. One local newspaper, In-Nazzjon Taghna, published a report with photo of our “Tbexbix Olympics” which were held last month.
Farewell and welcome
This eventful month had the downside of saying goodbye to Didi, and from here we would like to express our deepest gratitude to her for the big contribution she gave to the project. She will be remembered for her many positive qualities and sense of service to the community.
Meanwhile we welcome back Didi Ananda Rainjana, who left Malta in February 2006, right after Centru Tbexbix was inaugurated. She was instrumental in the last phase of getting the construction work finished in time for the inauguration, and we are happy that she will be spending some time here to supervise, oversee and enjoy the fruits of her work.
The beginning of July brought to an end the volunteering activity for our EVSer Gul from Turkey. We wish her good luck in her future endeavours.
Next fundraising dinner
Date: Sat 5th September 2009
Place: Centru Tbexbix
More information will be forthcoming soon
There are many different ways how to contribute to the success of Centru Tbexbix. Through volunteering (in classes, administration, odd jobs, maintenance), donations in kind or financially, etc. The opportunities are endless.
One way to support the efforts of Centru Tbexbix is through the "Friends of Centru Tbexbix" scheme with a small monthly contribution by standing order. Centru Tbexbix holds the following accounts: HSBC 013-085675-001 and BoV 400-1705136-1.
For more information on how you can help, call us on 21/27 805130 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This newsletter will be coming to you every end of the month, with the intention of keeping regular contact with the growing circle of friends of Centru Tbexbix, keeping everyone informed of what is happening as well as sharing the inspiration of this blossoming community project.