Thursday, June 01, 2017

The Chinese in Action group visits Toybank!

Toybank hosted Chinese in Action volunteers this week! The not-for-profit citizen association based in Mainland China  works for the underprivileged and unempowered in their country, with it’s volunteers ranging from engineers in their young 30s to educators in their late 60s.

As we shared Toybank’s vision and how far we’ve come since we started 13 years ago, we were taken by their moto of spreading ‘life skills’ through every volunteer they have. They shared that their association is built by, and for, seekers of a ‘transformed’ and empathetic humankind in their country, which they bring about through training sessions and volunteer action events that drive change through action by the members of that community- because they can, and they should.

We were happy to share the experience of a play session at one of our centres in Reay Road with our visitors, where they witnessed the Power of Play on a class of sixty young and vibrant kids. Among the games we engaged the children and our volunteers in was a nail-biting round of skip-rope, where one of the Chinese in Action volunteers set a steep goal of 100 jumps, following our kids with 80 and 50 skips a piece! The kids at our centre saw a healthy opportunity to raise their bars; setting realisitic-yet-challenging goals and enjoying healthy competition was a big take-away from our play session. Creating an honest  space in our minds to cheer on friends whole-heartedly as they attempt to take on something big is one apple we adults could take a bite out of ourselves!

Also part of the play session was a fun round of puzzle and memory games, and exercising  controlling over our volumes to practise listening to someone intently when we’re being spoken to. Our Chinese in Action friends engaged with our kids at every opportunity despite an evident language barrier, which amounted to no disconnect in the packed room. If anything, that’s a testiment to the universal language of Play and it’s power to bring people together!

We hope our friends at Chinese in Action take with them a big bag of memories and hold their experience of the Power of Play with them for a long, long time to come. 

Toy Distribution at Malwani- Less is More!

Ask a little child who his best friend is and he will give you a name. Ask him to call that friend and he will point out to his favourite toy or soft toy that he has very proudly named. This is nothing but the purest form of innocence.
Being able to experience this is nothing but a blessing in disguise.

Toybank hosted a Distribution Event at YUVA, Ambujawadi Malwani- Malad. Distribution sessions are fun-filled sessions which involve giving away toys to children that are theirs for keeps!

The kids started trickling in, each with an energy that got everyone else so excited. Right from little crawlers to children who were aged between 3- 5 were present. Our first mission was to try and contain these little curious fireballs at one place. This was a task in its own. Help poured in from the Morgan Stanley Volunteers and others.

The Distribution event began with a creative play session where different volunteers were assigned different kid groups. Imitating hand gestures, facial expressions and establishing links between creative play and language was showcased beautifully.
Soon the energy levels were soaring to the roof and beyond!

The kids engaged in pretend play with frog jumps, on-the-spot dance movements to nursery rhymes among their favourites.

“Children close their ears to advice, but open their minds to example” expressed one of the kid’s parents. She is ever grateful to Toybank for all their efforts towards enriching her child’s life experiences.

Post the energetic play sessions that were forcefully put on hold, the distribution took place.
With glitter in their eyes and the biggest smiles on their face the little one’s settled down for they knew very well that there was something for each of them.

As each child was called out and given their toy of happiness each one jumped with joy impatiently wanting to head back home to open up their toy and name a new friend!
And I cannot wait to go back to know more about their “new friends”.
Sometimes the little things take up the most room in your heart. These are one of those experiences. Little. Fulfilling. Everlasting.