So what have you been up to? I have been busy, busy, busy but, all is good- well apart from breaking a tooth that is!
Ramadan is less than 3 weeks away and it is amazing how so many of you have come forward to donate food items and arrange food collections in your places of work or study…even children are doing collections among their class mates…Thank you all so much! If you are in Algiers and would like to donate an item of food you may drop it off at Hopeland Institute in Cheraga or get in touch to give it to me personally. Remember nothing is ever too small and all is very much appreciated.
We are steaming ahead with our craft workshops. We will hopefully be holding some during Ramadan for orphan children where we will be making and decorating glass lanterns which will be lots of fun! We are also in the process of organising two outdoor craft events which will be held in the Summer and open to all children. As I have said before some crafty items are difficult to get hold off here so I am super thankful to all of you lovelies that have been sending in donations of crafty bits and bobs, here are just a few.
I am also chuffed at the huge pile of paint that has been donated by Techno (an art supplies company in Algeria).
As you might have gathered I love flowers and gardening so am really happy to have started a mini planting project in the Casbah- this is an area steeped in history and an UNESCO World heritage site. The Casbah is an ancient citadel with a maze of winding streets that are so narrow that donkeys are used to collect the refuse. It is one of my favourite places in Algiers but, unfortunately over the years it has crumbled and needs urgent repair to restore it to its former glory or sadly, even just to make it safe in some parts. The picture below shows how one street looked in 1903 and then in 2012- As you can see, massive restoration work needs to be undertaken A.S.A.P.
So starting small, the plan is to fill one little street with plants and flowers and take it from there. Last week I took three planters filled with blooms and was met with a gaggle of kids who thought that they looked beautiful but, told me that I was crazy to leave them there as they would get stolen. Yesterday the pots were still in place and the same kids have been looking after them, when I told them I wanted to line the stairway with more pots this time they were excited and interested to help…it’s amazing what a few flowers can do!
Hope you all have a great week!
Do you remember me telling you about the hand-shapes that children drew and decorated? You know, the ones that were going to be turned into a ‘beautiful peacock’? Well, ta-da! here he is, in full multi-coloured glory!
It now just needs to be framed and will form part of a series of children’s art work that will be displayed in an old people’s home in Dely Ibrahim, Algiers.
Our Arts and Crafts project really seems to have captured people’s interest with people offering to help in lots of different ways which is encouraging! Lot’s of you lovelies have sent in crafty bits and pieces with your knitting which is so generous and wonderful of you-Thank you so much! Materials are a tad limited here…so far it has been an absolute mission impossible to find googly eyes and pipe cleaners but, I have been well informed that everything can be found here so I remain positive in my search!
The past few days I have been busy planning our Ramadan and Summer time activities for children which are set to be lots of fun! And this week I am going to try out a new type of craft activity with school children……a ‘craft challenge’ where using the same materials children will work in teams to produce a picture of a pot of flowers. They will have my one as an example (and to use as a guide if they wish )but, the activity is completely open to their own interpretation….the ‘best’ one will be chosen by the teacher. I am hoping that the challenge will encourage creativity and appeal to their competitive nature……I will let you know how it goes!
Hope you all have a great week and to those of you in the UK -enjoy the bank holiday!
On Friday we had lots of fun doing an arts and crafts event in Draria for a large group of orphan children.
We made masks:
And we got the kids to draw around their hands and then colour them in.
I am planning to turn the hands into a beautiful picture of a peacock which will be hung in an old people’s home in Dely Ibrahim that we will be visiting later this month to distribute cakes and things. Algerian culture and religious belief mean that the majority of families look after their elders here but, unfortunately not everyone does and so some people live out their last days alone. I am hoping that a picture made from the hands of orphans will in a small way show the residents that that they have not been completely forgotten and for the children who are orphaned, it illustrates that we all have the capacity to help make things better for others whatever our own circumstances may be.
There has been so much enthusiasm over our art and craft sessions and it is so wonderful to see the children being creative and enjoying themselves. When children were asked if they had fun on Friday one boy said “it was the best day of my life!” I’m not sure feedback gets better than that!
Thank you all for your ongoing kindness and support.
Have a great week!
A little later than I had intended but, here are few pics of some of the latest donations…time unfortunately doesn’t allow for pictures of every item to be taken but, I know how much the crafters among you like to look at the handmade items…and aren’t these mermaids just wonderful to look at! I have previously attempted to make one of these myself but, it didn’t turn out anywhere near as lovely as these beauties!
Plus lots of colurful knits, squares, hats and teddies!
It seems just the other day that we were thinking of doing puppet workshops in the school holidays and now they have been and gone!
The kids had fun and we learnt a thing or two to make the next sessions a little better. We intend to hold Ramadan themed workshops in June and and others throughout July and August so right now I am busy planning lots of fun, craft activities for 5-11 year olds!
The weather is starting to warm up now in Algiers and although there are some rainy days most are bright and sunny- perfect for a spot of gardening!
With a group of children in Sidi Youcef we turned stones into lady-birds, planted small mint and basil plants and sowed sunflowers and salad leaves in pots. The kids were really enthusiastic and were excited to be growing things that they could eat.
Thank you all so much for your on-going kindness and support.
Have a great week!
So our first two crafty workshops are over! Puppets were made, kids had fun and everyone got covered in glitter!
We made mask, rabbit and dragon puppets last time, for our next two sessions we will be making fish, bird and monster puppets..roll on tomorrow!
I look forward to seeing some of you at the sessions and hope that the rest of you have a lovely, fun filled Sunday too!
The school holidays in Algiers are now here so it is time for our crafty workshops to begin…
Starting this Wednesday, we have planned 6 sessions for children aged 5-11 to have some fun playing with puppets along with making a few of their own to take home. If you have booked places I look forward to seeing you sometime over the next two weeks! If you are in Algiers or will be during the Summer watch out for our crafty holiday programme that we are planning right now which will be jam packed with arty crafty fun.
We are also hoping to enjoy the beautiful Spring weather by sowing seeds and planting some flowers and plants as part of our ‘Just one seed’ project.
Have a great week!
Oh, and before I forget..a big, big thank you to everyone who has been sending in fabulous donations……Pictures are being taken and I will post some up shortly, but in the meantime here are just a few of the sweet, soft toys that have arrived..
Of reading! Last Thursday it was World Book day.
In the UK and several countries around the world quite a big thing is made of the day with special events held and children dressing up as characters from their favourite books, here in Algeria it is not such a big deal but, hoping to encourage an interest in reading and always ready to give gifts to kids we joined in the fun by giving books (and a few other treats!) to children in Algiers.
The week ahead looks to be another busy one,the weather is gloriously Spring like with flowers popping up all over the place, my mind is bubbling with lots of ideas for our craft workshops and I am whipping up a storm with paint and glitter -what could be better!
Whatever you have planned for the week I hope it’ll be a lovely one!