Akhono Wüprü & Theithei Shishak
The Common Visions Foundation for children had organized two fun-weekend programs earlier this year at Sakraba and Tseminyu respectively. This newly registered NGO had been successfully functioning even without a ‘proper’ office. We were elated when we heard that the Foundation found one at Duncan Bosti. The office cum playroom was opened on the 14th of October, 2005.
The Chairperson gave a brief introduction of the Foundation. She stressed on how the children, in our society, are the victims of domestic violence, broken homes, conflicts . . . and as such the most affected yet the most neglected. She was glad to inform that the playroom would soon be catering to children in the weekends. Rev.Dr.Z .Keyho read the 127’” Psalm reminding the members present that whatever task we wish to undertake would all be in vain if we fail to acknowledge God. The programme ended with these words of encouragement and a word of prayer by Rev.Keyho.
The following day The Common Visions Foundation was able to have its third fun-weekend program at Bade Village. It was attended by hundred plus children. The fun package included singing songs, story telling, puppet show, teaching them how to make friendship band, planting trees, distributing sweets and pencils and also providing juice, biscuits and noodles.
As each session unfolded the children’s enthusiasm grew all the more. They were very responsive. In the story telling most of them were quick to respond to questions raised. Puppet show was a novelty for the children. It touched our hearts to see the gleam in their eyes. They were soon ready to learn a new trade in the Art and Craft session. It was a delight watching them make friendship bands so eagerly. They were all engrossed in their art, so much so that most children whom we thought needed help refused to take the offer. The bands were later exchanged among themselves as a sign of acknowledging ‘friendship’. We took this session as an opportunity to interact person to person. When asked about their hopes and dreams some were distinct and clear while most of them were uncertain.
In those innocent eyes we saw a ‘far away ‘look. We wondered and still wonder whether those were eyes that saw the future and thoughts building hopes for the future or eyes that were still searching for a hope. Pray the former would be true. Perhaps the fun- weekend is just the beginning of working towards building hopes. Incidentally, the theme of the fun-weekend was ‘Building Hopes’. By the time the game session ended- all of us were drained physically. However it did not dampen our spirits. The zeal of the children did not allow our spirits to yield to the flesh that so desired to call it a day. Once again with gusto tree plantation began.
Before the trees were planted the children were told of the importance of planting trees and how we need to shoulder responsibilities in saving our environment. They had a better understanding of their responsibility when pictures of Mokokchung landslide were shown. In the Sunday morning worship service the children presented two new songs they had learnt in the Singing session.
Rev .Keyho, who was the speaker, exhorted the parents to train up their children in the way they should go and in return the children will honor their parents. After church the children were given sweets and a pencil each. As they said their ‘Thank you’ and got on the bus waving goodbye we related with the traveler in Robert Frost’s poem’ Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening’. Indeed, we cannot afford to be complacent... “For I have promises to keep. ... and miles to go before I sleep”. It would be impossible for The Common Visions Foundation to successfully accomplish this program without the support from the local church. The Foundation is grateful to the Pastor, Deacons and members of the Bade Baptist Church for allowing us to have the activities in the church. We also thank the parents for sending their children. The weekend would not have been a fun- filled one had it not been for the young energetic volunteers from Oriental Theological Seminary who kept with the children’s tempo . . . all the time. Our gratitude to the sponsors for giving us the opportunity to bask in the laughter’s and smiles of the children. Your generosity has enabled us to go another step forward in fulfilling the Foundation’s vision of building hopes. Most importantly, we thank God for His unfailing Grace. . . so sufficient!
(This article is a memoir of our trip to Bade. We were honored to be a part of the team. The children’s smiles still linger on our minds. It is a memento that we will forever cherish)