July 2008 Newsletter

Another month passed, a month of summer fun. Enjoy the news!

Summer Club

The decision to have fifty children for three hours all together at the same time five mornings a week sounded like a very daring step before the summer club started on 7th July. Three weeks after, we still feel it was a daring step, but one which we don't regret having taken.

Equipped with a fresh energetic team of professional volunteers, we surmounted quite a few hiccups and have reached mid-summer on a completely positive note.

Activities

The sessions start at 9am, with half an hour of relating experiences and singing. Then the children divide into 6 groups (decided according to age), and eagerly go in the respective classes for one hour of learning and fun.

Activities include songs and yoga with Didi, outdoor games with Pamela, dance classes with Esin, language games with Katherine, arts and crafts with Purna, Josette, Sophie and Maria, assisted by Helen, Ruth, Michaela and Lawrence. Yana introduced our children to many aspects of environmental awareness, and showed them how to propagate plants from cuttings. A late addition is Eric, whose musical background is handy, as well as Isabelle with her IT skills.

During these three weeks, we have seen a progressive change in the children's behaviour, enthusiasm and overall performance. Centru Tbexbix programmes are benefitting the children of Cospicua in many aspects of their educational and social development, the summer club is no exception.

Our EVS team

Our third EVS volunteer, Maria from Germany, arrived exactly the day before the start of the summer club. She and the two other EVSers Pamela and Esin are becoming more and more confident in leading two summer club sessions each every day, with support from our local volunteers. All the children have bonded with them a lot. It is a truly beautiful and rewarding experience to see the children's increasingly confident interaction with them.

The participation of EVS volunteers is being financed by the Youth in Action programme.

Cultural awareness

Once a week, Pamela, Esin and Maria took turns to give the children a power-point presentation about their respective countries. The children learned about the history, geography, tourist attractions, traditional food as well as a few phrases in Italian, Turkish and German. The cultural sessions ended with the kids tasting some traditional sweets and chocolates, which of course went down well!

All rounder

For the first time last year Purna from Turkey came to Malta, and her reason was to volunteer with the summer club of Centru Tbexbix. Her experience last year was such that she was determined to return, and this year she's with us again. An architect by profession, her mission is to inspire the children to be creative and discover their artistic potential, as well as increasing their social and environmental awareness.

Locals, no less

A number of experienced teachers have joined us for the first time this year. Josette, Helen, Yana, Sophie and Erik joined our experienced Ruth, Isabelle, Michaela and Lawrence bringing various expertise and skills.

Our biggest team yet, more and more adjusting and learning for all of us, and never a dull moment.

100 patrons

This is how many came to our last fundraising dinner! Not only our programmes, but also our social and fundraising events are increasing in popularity. For the first time we needed to utilise the space in the basement to accommodate 33 guests, who all appreciated the special features and character of the renovated basement. As usual the food which we prepared was enjoyed by all, even individuals who confessed to being skeptical about vegetarian food. Our gratitude to those who incessantly contribute with food preparation, setting up the place and cleaning up afterwards. Some of us ended up dead tired, but all of us look at our work in a positive light. Believe it or not, whatever we do at Centru Tbexbix, be it teaching or cooking or cleaning, is an experience of joy.

Fair Trade

A valuable resource we acquired recently is the board game FAIR PLAY which teaches children how to help cotton producers improve their working conditions, produce cotton clothes with the least use of pesticides, and create a commercial chain with decent pay for work as well as least harm to the environment.

Nathalie Grima, representing the local Fair Trade Group, came to Centru Tbexbix and played the game with our seniors group, "the dolphins". They were quick to learn and showed a lot of interest. Nathalie commented that our children were very receptive. She was impressed.

Computer course
Monday is a busy day for some of our children. Again in the evening, at half past six, eight nine-year olds return to Centru Tbexbix for an hour's class in basic computer skills. IT wiz Alex Micallef has kindly volunteered to give a course during July and August. Again, same as with our other programmes, we are happy to note the enthusiastic response from children as well as parents.

 

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