Dec 30, 2010


Christmas was celebrated on the 25th of December, where children had an opportunity to be together, understand what Christmas means and spend moments of joy with each other. The programme was organised at yercaud at the Salesian convent.

After dinner on 25th Dec, children got together and sang few songs and cake was also cut. To elate the Christmas mood, Santa Claus distributed the sweet muffins to children .The excitement prolonged till 3am the next day for few, who had the opportunity of being together for the first time.

Dec 26th morning started with prayer children had opportunities to visit the nativity scene set-up by the sisters of the convent and also a walk around the campus. It was more of an exploratory walk, as almost all had not ventured out of Namakkal district. Children were amazed seeing fresh pepper creepers, coffee plants, fig trees. Children even had opportunities to have fresh oranges which were in the campus of the convent. Thanks to sisters who were generous to offer their orange trees to be shaken and fruits to be tasted by children.

Then after a delicious breakfast (poories and subjii), children were all set for a trip around yercaud.The children visited the ladies seat, children’s park, boating and the rose park.
Out of the birds and animals seen by children, peacocks and deers were the most extraordinary beings, as it has been the first time they have seen them outside the pictures. Monkeys of yercaud entertained the children during the entire trip.

Later sharing was done by children of their experience of Christmas this year. To capture the feelings of the children, few expressions are presented as it was expressed by them:
There were many such expressions and two children who came an confided separately was one thing that moved us so much, these two children are girls, living with HIV and orphans and looked after by old grandparents, who shared;

“This Christmas will be a time that will be cherished in my heart always”

“It’s my first experience to celebrate Christmas”

“I felt this Christmas was filled with lot of joy of just few of us coming together and becoming closer to one another”

“I want the joy of birth of Jesus and this feeling of Christmas remain in our lives everyday”

“Everything was beautiful” was an expression by a six year old child-orphan child brought up by her brother and grandparents who are very old

“The songs we sung made me feel really good, the words sung comforted me so much”

“It would have been good if it was for two more days, as we don’t know whether we would have an opportunity like this next time”

For us as organizers it was exciting and emotional too, as we have had many Christmas and this has been our first Christmas outside our family. Seeing the smiles on the faces of the children who meet with day to day realities of pain, fear, hardships due to their status has been first Christmas with a difference even for us.

We thank for their generous support for the trip;
  • Victor Anna and family
  • Sankey and Family
  • Abishek
  • Iniyan and Family
  • Lisa Malaiyarasan
  • John Prince
  • Richie Mathews
  • Oswin
  • Binu
  • Thiru Ruban
  • Kamal

Dec 27, 2010

Lights for Rights commemorating World AIDS day by Youth Advocacy Group - VETRIKOOTAM

This year World AIDS day themed “Lights for Rights”, was commemorated by Vetri Kootam (young children –advocacy group) with the support of Buds of Christ. It was organised in three villages and was unique as it was a partnership programme between the vetri kootam and community children in commemorating this day.

In elanagar, the village community center (Anganwadi) was used to
conduct the World AIDS day on 8th December 2010 .The group enacted  a small skit depicting, how a youngster can be easily influenced by peers and become vulnerable to HIV. The play also depicted the need to have the right information and being safe. Following the street-play, one representative organised a quiz competition and there was an awesome response.

In Kootapalli, the Vetrikootam members organised an event commemorating the World AIDS day on 11th December 2010 in taking a pledge that awareness will be created widely and also ensure new youngsters are not infected. This was done by lighting lamps around the red-ribbon made of Rangoli, following that debate on the risk and vulnerabilities among boys and girls were discussed and then quiz in understanding the level of awareness.

In Elachipalayam, Television show popularly named Deal-ah/No Deal-ah type quiz competition on HIV and AIDS was organised on 12th December 2010 where questions will be asked to the individual and scores are marked accordingly. There was a good participation and here the youngsters arranged the community ground that facilitated a wider coverage.

This year, based on the theme light for Rights, The young children advocacy group (Vetrikootam) created a sense of responsibility among themselves and the community children on the right to information that every young child should have in protecting themselves and others from HIV and AIDS. At the same time, they also stressed the right of children and youth living with and affected by HIV to live a life of respect and dignity.