An Afternoon at The Children’s Place

We’re back from the countryside (more on that later) but still have lots to share about the past week!

Last Wednesday, after we had a very American lunch at Broadway Pizza (in celebration of July 4th), we got to spend an afternoon at The Children’s Place before the afternoon soccer session at 4 pm.

Paul, Justin and I got a glimpse into an afternoon of fun and games, the same kinds of songs and activities one might see in day camp or after school program in the U.S.

The kids at afternoon playtime

Mmm…snack time! Soda and cookies are special treats.

Me with a sweet little friend

Margie told us repeatedly during the week we spent with the kids that she was really proud of the job the Children’s Place’s ‘mothers’ were doing; it was abundantly clear from the way the staff interacted with the kids that not a drop of love is kept from these kids.

One song that was particularly touching I think of as ‘The Hug Song;” I have no idea what the words actually said, but over the course of the song, a helper or mother made sure to go around the circle and give big, warm, soul-nourishing hugs to each child, even if he or she didn’t ask for it. The song starts around the 45 second mark below; every time I watch this one, I am incredibly touched.

We also got to take a peek into the other areas of the center, where things like physical therapy happen. Many of the kids who come to Rita and Margie are severely malnourished or have other disabilities. We learned that one of our most energetic little soccer campers was so malnourished when she came to the center as a baby that she couldn’t even lift her head. It’s incredible to think that with the dedication of the staff, the resources she needed, and heaping amounts of love and affection, she’s made a full recovery.

Shoes sit next to therapeutic braces

The Children’s Place has touched so many young lives; from the time they arrive there to the time they are placed with their permanent families, they are never without an abundance of love. That fact became clear to me when Halliuna, one of the girls I played with often (and who was very good at English) pointed around the lunch table to the other children and said to me “My home. My family.” The orphanage has managed to make children who may have previously felt they had no true home, or whose homes are irreparably broken, that they are safe and loved until they go to their adoptive homes.

-Natalie Soud

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1 Comment

  1. Cathy Soud

     /  July 12, 2012

    such a great post!


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