Monday, April 5, 2010
9th SBS @ St. Philomena's Little Boys Home
The volunteers of AF-Mysore visited the ‘St. Philomena’s Little Boys Home’ located on the Ashoka Road as a part of the 9th Sunday Breakfast Serving (SBS) activity on 28th March 2010. The children’s home is situated within the campus of the St. Philomena’s church – a popular landmark and tourist spot of Mysore.
The volunteers assembled at the venue at 8.30AM but had to wait till the kids returned from the Sunday prayers. As 28th of March 2010 happened to be the Palm Sunday, the prayers took a while than usual. Palm Sunday is usually marked by the distribution of palm leaves (often tied into crosses) to the assembled worshipers at the churches. While the children were busy attending the special prayers, the volunteers caught up with the caretakers of the institution.
It was learnt that Sister Hildegard and sister Jecintha would take care of the kids. Sister Hildegard informed the volunteers that the children at the home came from various backgrounds. Some of them were brought to the facility by their parents requesting the church authorities to provide the child a decent education. Many orphans get referred by various authorities operating in and around Mysore. When asked about the most challenging part of the job, Sister Hildegard said, “Most of the children of the facility are going through the transition from a life full of innocence towards realizing the realities of the society around them. It is in this phase of their lives we need to play the role of a teacher, a friend and most importantly a mentor. The real challenge is being all of them at once.”
The rooms were spic and span and the children’s home as such was located in the ambient campus of the St. Philomena’s church. It was understood that the facility was residential in nature. The beds were arranged nicely in a wide hall.
Soon the children came back from the prayers with their crosses made of coconut leaves and it was breakfast time. They spread the mats and occupied seats alongside their buddies.
The children folded their hands and prayed to the almighty. They thanked Jesus for the meal, shelter and companionship they were bestowed with. They also invoked his blessings to the Aashayein team and wished them well for all their future endeavors. Sister Hildegard and sister Jecintha led the children in their prayers.
The children were served Idli’s and Vada. They were then served with Badam milk too. After the breakfast it was time for some fun. It almost amazing the amount of happiness, joy and fun a dozen of balloons can accomplish. The children were led to a game of balloon blowing. A lesson or two was imparted on subjects of general interest like history of the nation, scientific inventions etc.
In the end, chocolates were distributed to the children and the group posed for a group photo before dispersing. More children to be reached out to… More smiles to be spread... The Aashayein caravan will go on…