962 IBM’s Art Workshop with Backstreet Kids

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Written by Vice President for External, Ate Charmain Tan

We spent our Saturday morning with the children of Backstreet Kids, one of the ministries of Christ’s Commission Fellowship (CCF) that cares for out-of-school youth and shares the gospel to street children and their families. Backstreet Kids assists children in two communities, one in Mandaluyong and one in Pasig City. The children from today were from the communities living in Pasig area. Our partnership with Backstreet Kids started in 2008 and this is our 9th event with them to date.

The sponsors for today were from IBM STS Manila GBS SWS. They provide administration support for IBM in the US. Their working hours are based on US time. They just finished their work at 7 in the morning when they arrived at CCF C. Raymundo to spend their morning with the children. They were welcomed by 50 energetic kids. There were more than 50 volunteers from IBM, all eager to get the morning started. We first grouped everyone into 5 teams namely, Team Chinese Garter, Team Incredibles, Team Star, Team Lion, and Team Happy, who were adorable as they kept singing the “Happy, shalala” song.

The kids and volunteers got to know one another by introducing themselves and talking about their favorite game. The volunteers shared what kind of work they do while the kids shared their dreams and aspirations. We then played the first game, Beachball Relay. Teams formed two lines, one for the kids and one for the volunteers. They had to put the ball in between one kid and one volunteer and the pair went around the chair in front. Then they passed the ball to the next pair until all the pairs in the group finished. The first team that finished got a point. The volunteers can hold the kid in place to make sure the ball did not fall but they could not touch the ball. They were also not allowed to carry the child. It was a challenge to make sure the ball did not fall and also some of the volunteers ended up carrying the children especially the small ones. Those who did had to start from the beginning again. It was so much fun watching everyone as the ates and kuyas ran as fast as they could while keeping the children in place. They laughed and shouted as the members completed the race. In the end it was Team Incredibles who won the challenge.

The second game was Pass the Charades. Teams formed a straight line with everyone facing the back. The first people on each line were given a certain animal. They had to act it out to the next person without making a sound. The next person then had to pass the action to the next person until it reached the last person. The last person then ran to the front trying to guess the correct animal. It was funny watching the kids act out the animals. When we gave them elephant, they extended their arms to copy the elephant’s trunk, but as they passed on the action some of the members thought it was a duck. Another animal we gave was rabbit. The kids hopped around copying a rabbit but then some of the members thought it was kangaroo. Everyone laughed as they tried to pass on the action as fast as they could. In the end Team Chinese Garter emerged as the winner.

The last game we played was Stack Me Up. Teams were given paper cups. They were to form pyramids based on the number of paper cups we said. Some of the cups were bigger than the others so teams had to use the kind of paper cups that were specified. It was again Team Chinese Garter who won that game.

We then moved on to our main program, Art Workshop by Teacher Blanca. With the help of the ates and kuyas, the kids learned how to make marionette. Teacher Blanca demonstrated the step by step instructions. The bodies were made from folding the paper accordion style. Arms and legs were also folded accordion style from thin strips of paper. Faces could be made from different shapes like square or circle depending of the children’s preferences and they drew the faces themselves. Strings were attached to the head and 2 arms and they were help in place by a stick. As the kids moved the sticks the arms also moved with it. The kids had fun as they held on to their colorful marionettes.

After the activities the kids got to have their early lunch and for dessert they had the old time favorite Kristpy Kreme doughnuts. Some of the kids even asked for seconds of doughnuts. Kuya Ullisses of IBM gave a message to the children telling them to never give up. Kuya Krat and Ate Jeng entertained the kids by showing off their singing and dancing skills. The sponsors from IBM also gave out gift packs to the kids. They gave out not only school supplies but also grocery packs. There were pasta, cookies, and other food items. All the kids held on to their gifts as they hugged and said thank you to their ates and kuyas. Despite coming from work from a night shift the ates and kuyas from IBM still managed to be so energetic as they inspired the children to hold on to their dreams. We thank Ate Jeny, Kuya Ulisses and the rest of the IBM STS Manila for giving not only the gifts but also the time and care to the Backstreet Kids. Giving is about making a difference and inspiring others to give.

 

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