803 Ate Ivy’s Puppet Making with Childhaus
Written by Board Member, Ate Issa Gayatin
Can I do a lot more in my present position? How can I find more fulfillment making a difference in my individual capacity as a volunteer? These were the questions that were running on my mind as I look at the two beautiful kids conversing with Ate C, a core member of U! Happy, that sunny afternoon of September 3, 2016 in Childhaus, Paco, Manila. If I hadn’t known, I wouldn’t think these two kids have cancer. They both looked happy and energetic for what is to come that afternoon. It was Ate Ivy’s birthday celebration and she decided to spend it with the kids who have cancer.
CHILD Haus is a joint partnership of 4 institutions: 3 Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCC) and one non-governmental organization (NGO). It serves as a halfway house for parents and their children as they seek medical assistance to hospitals in Manila for diseases that cannot be attended to by provincial hospitals such as cancer and hydrocephalus. An estimated total of 140 people live in the charity foundation. (Krusada: Childhaus by Nathalie Blanco)
When the U! Happy team arrived there, the relatives of Ate Ivy were already there. They arrived early to prepare the things needed for the celebration. The U! Happy team present at that time were Ate C, Ate Amy, Ate Dash, Kuya Robby and myself. We then helped in dressing up the extensive area to be used for the momentous event. Afterwards, one by one the kids came together with their companions. It was not long after that Ate Ivy and her friends came. There were a total of 32 kids and 9 volunteers who came to participate in the event.
As a start, Ate Amy and I grouped them into five. Then, we asked the volunteers to come in front to introduce themselves to the kids. We asked them to state their names, favorite color and favorite thing to do during Christmas. Also, we requested a dance number to make the kids happy. Without a nudge, they obliged! Afterwards, we asked them to join their groups and to share each other’s personal information. We also asked them to think of their group name anchored on the Christmas theme. The whole place brighten up as happy smiles of kids and volunteers filled the place.
When everyone was finished sharing, Ate Amy asked one representative to share their team’s information and team name. The teams that were identified are Team Santa Claus, Team Pak Ganern, Tropang Santa, Team Joyful and Team Bulilit.
Next, it was time to play a game. The game is called “Pass the ball.” The instructions were actually very easy. As the music plays, everyone passes the ball. When the music stops, the participants holding the ball will do the action assigned by Ate Amy. First team to do it gets a point. However, when we tried passing the balloons, they immediately blew up. And here’s the funny part, Ate Amy decided to replace the balloon with a glue bottle. So, every team were given two glue bottles to pass around. Ate Amy identified 5 actions for the teams to do namely cross, Christmas, an angel, Santa Claus and karate kid. Chaos filled the room, but it was a happy chaos, the kind that you look forward in any birthday party. I had the most amazing time looking at the precious smiles of the kids and volunteers. This activity didn’t take long as a winner was immediately awarded. It was Team Pak Ganern who won in this game and immediately Ate C wrote stars on the hands of the winning team. They will receive gifts before the activity ends.
Then it was time for Kuya Robby’s segment- Art workshop. Kuya Robby showed the kids the finished work art that they will be doing- a happy paper puppet! The materials needed for this workshop are colored paper, glue and scissor. To make thing easy for the participants, Kuya Robby already handed over some cut outs of eyes and nose of the paper puppet. Then he carefully delivered his step-by-step instructions to the participants. Everyone were sitting still and quiet as they focused on what Kuya Robby was saying. Everyone were to be seen enjoying this most-requested workshop. Most kids got it fast while some kids who had hard time following had asked their companion to do it for them. When everyone was finished, Kuya Robby chose 3 best art works and made them lined up in the stage. The winners had a photo op and each one received a gift from Ate C.
Then it was time to fill their empty stomachs. Delicious Jollibee meals were distributed to everyone, even the companion. No one was to be seen not eating as At Ivy wants everyone to enjoy in her party. After the partaking of food, we had a photo op right after. We also sang a happy birthday to Ate Ivy and lit up the special cake prepared by one of her friends. I saw Ate Ivy wearing a sincere smile. I know she was very happy to be there. Who wouldn’t? Making kids like these happy is truly a worthwhile experience. It was something you will always remember in your lifetime. When it was time to bid goodbye, some kids were seen to be frowning. It is indeed painful to end a beautiful day with newly found friends. The kids waved goodbyes and hugged their Ates and Kuyas for the last time. Thanks to Ate Ivy for making this event possible. You and your friends have brought a different kind of happiness and hope to these kids. What you did today had surely made an impact to their lives and to the lives of their families. May you continue to reach out and to be a blessing to communities or foundations such as this.