"I was amazed by their energy. It was fun, the kids enjoyed it, and I learnt a new game during this time with them. It was wonderful to see their happy, smiling faces and uninhibited behaviour in this time of difficulty. I look forward to more such interactions."
Chennai is the capital of the Tamil Nadu state in South India. This tropical city is among the largest in India and is home to a diverse range of ethnicities and religions. Over the past few weeks, however, the eastern coastal area, Chennai city and adjoining towns and villages nearby have been in the news over the severe rainfall and floods that have recently affected the region. Play For Peace
's Daya Lakshmi and other PFP members worked with children in the region on December 10th. They shared some reflections on their interactions with these children...
"Today we went to the Chennai High School in Kottur, Tamil Nadu, to offer Play For Peace games in a collaborative project with the NalandaWay Foundation. The foundation began over a decade ago, and seeks to help children in India through creative projects. Together, we had started running small workshops to engage children inside transit shelters across Chennai.
In this school, many families from around Kottur were sheltered. But today, most people were not there. We spoke to those who were around and were told that people had gone to clean their homes so that they could return home and resume school and work. The school principal also mentioned that the school needed cleaning up before reopening on Monday. Luckily, we found some kids and asked if they would like to play. They, of course, said YES.
We soon found out that the children hadn't yet had any lunch, so we decided to do games that were not too physically tiring. We were there from 2:00 to 3:30pm. By the end of our session, the kids were fairly hungry: as they started to scatter, many said that they would now go eat something. So, they went and found some biscuits and other food to eat, which they shared amongst each other. Finally one of the older girls told me that they would be going back to their houses...
I was amazed by their energy. It was fun, the kids enjoyed it, and I learnt a new game during this time with them. It was wonderful to see their happy, smiling faces and uninhibited behaviour in this time of difficulty. I look forward to more such interactions."
Thank you to Daya who worked with children at the Chennai School. See below for more pictures!