SOS Children’s Village Sanothimi is located in the vicinity of Kathmandu, on the road leading to the Bhaktapur. This is the first SOSCV in Nepal, built on 1970. The Village hosts also the Nepali national federation. For more information, please visit that link.
We’ve been in contact with Mr. Khagendra, director of the Village, who kindly wait for your arrival, which has been delayed a couple of times since our first phone meeting in August 2011.
Sunday, January the 15th: first visit
Coming from Kathmandu, we plan to take advantage of the vicinity between Sanothimi and Bhaktapur to visit the last one after having met people in SOSCV Sanothimi.
We arrive to the Village at 11:00, and we feel in the instant the SOSCV atmosphere: nice gardens perfectly maintained with SOS houses spread around, a sport pitch in the middle, and children playing everywhere.
We meet Mr. Khagendra in the garden of his house, working and keeping company to a young mentally disable child who is also in the care of the Village. Mr. Khagendra provides us some guides – children from the Village, who show us all the facilities: primary school, meeting rooms, SOS houses, and also the public secondary school and kindergarten which are just linked to the SOSCV, and where some youth and children go during the day. Good luck for us: today is a special day, a festival occurs to celebrate the winter, and in all the houses, SOS Mothers and children have cooked special food, including butter candies that we easily accept to try. Very good!
We also take advantage to that first visit to inform some children from grades 5, 6 and 7 that we will come back the following day to run 2 workshops: one concerning the knowledge of the world based on our trip, and the other one dedicated to painting and self-portraits. All the volunteers are welcome and we hope that children will pass the word to their colleagues in order to involve the most of them!
Monday, January the 16th: the workshops
We arrive at the SOSCV around 9:30 and meet Mr. Khagendra. The visits in the SOSCV change according to the villages and that time, we are really free to do whatever we want since nobody in the staff will lead the workshop with us! Time for us for gathering the children and preparing the meeting room, it is 10:00 and we start the workshops, in a « dynamic » atmosphere. The children hardly stay focus on the workshops and play up together, but finally listen to us.
The first workshop, dedicated to the knowledge of the world runs smoothly, and the volunteers come easily to the board to stick the countries on the map. This workshop is a little bit for the children who hardly recognize countries except for India and Nepal. As usual, we spend little time for Europe which is particularly difficult for them, and we locate the most important cities to them: Barcelona, Madrid, Milan, Manchester, London (for Chelsea and Arsenal)…
We show also to the children our passports and focus on the necessity to get a visa to cross a border as a legal migrant.
Then time has come to begin the workshop dedicated to the portraits. Children seat down in 2 rows and wait for the stationary. We have to calm them down a bit, and then they begin to draw. Some of the kids are amazingly quick for drawing and the results are pretty good. After a short break, we start with the paint. 3 by 3, the children are given a colour plate, brushes and water. They listen to the instructions and try to find the colour of their skin, before painting the details. We give to them the black colour later, in order to darken the whole portrait, if they do not clean the brush enough…
1 hour and a couple of glasses of water knocked over later, the first paintings are completed and we invite the children have to play outside in the fresh air, but most of them would rather stay have a look on their friends’ pictures and make fun one on the others. Once everyone has finished his/her masterpiece, we take group pictures and give to the children a football ball signed by children from Nong Khai SOSCV, in Thailand. They love it, and in a couple of seconds, all the kids are gone, and all the girls stay!
The children in Sanothimi SOSCV were funny and full of energy. They seem to be used of doing non formal activities and are at ease with us, not shy at all!
Once the room is clean, we say goodbye to Mr. Khagendra and to the children and leave the Village, with a new collection of nice paintings!
Here is the Sanothimi SOSCV 2012 winter collection. Admire it!