The Kid’s Village was held in Bangalore for three days from 23rd to 25th February 2018, where around 80 children from Chennai, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Pune, Goa, Mangalore and Bangalore of age group between 3.5 to 12 years attended it. The children were divided into groups known as “tribes”, where they had an elder brother/sister to take care of them and act as a leader/role model for the next three days. The theme for this year’s Kid’s Village was “I am a Child of God.”
As the children arrived at the venue, bubbling with energy and enthusiasm, they were warmly welcomed and directed to the registration team. The program began shortly thereafter with a short time of praise led by the Bangalore Singles Music Ministry. The children were taught a few action songs by the Dance Ministry during this time and all the children praised and thanked God cheerfully, clapping, dancing and doing the actions taught to them.
There were four main aspects covered in the three days of the Kid’s Village. On day one, the children had the first session on “Child of God” where they learnt how we are children of God, how we can live as His children in our day to day lives and what are the troubles or the hindrances we face when we try to do this. They also learnt about the five lies that we believe and the truths which contradict these lies. During the session, a variety of creative means were used and a lot of activities were conducted so that the kids could apply and closely relate the session to their family and school life. A few games were conducted as well, such as “Follow the Leader”; wherein there were two kids chosen, one to do good actions and other child to do the bad actions; good actions depicted followers of Jesus and bad as followers of the devil. Also, each child was given a heart cut out, on which they had to write their name and the names of their loved ones and stick it to the ribbons suspended from cloud- cut outs. The clouds had the following Bible verses written on each of them:
2 Corinthians 6:18 “And I will be a Father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.”
Romans 8:14 “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God”.
Later each lie was elaborated and explained to the children by role plays depicting different scenarios of their life, where they may have felt that God did not love them. Subsequently, to show the children what God desires them to be, there was an activity called “Wheel of Desire”, where each child had to rotate the wheel to know the Lord’s desire for them. The children were really keen and excited about this. After the session and the activity, all the children headed for the Eucharistic celebration where Fr. Johnson, CFCI Bangalore Spiritual Director celebrated the mass. This was followed by lunch, where the children got to interact with their parents.
The second half of the day started with a short praise and worship after which a recap of the morning’s session took place. An Origami session was conducted for the children who were eager and passionate to learn how to make two shaded boats, dog faces, full dogs, and a lot of other crafts. After a snack break, a movie was screened for the children just to lighten up their evening. And the day ended with a time of praising and worshipping God through song and dance.
The second day began with the Eucharist, celebrated by Rev Fr. Robert Miranda, Bishop of Gulbarga. This was followed by a time of praise and worship where the kids were enthusiastic as ever and danced their little hearts out, shouting praises to God. Now it was time for them to learn something more about God and the Holy Spirit, and so we had the second session on “Communion with the Holy Spirit”, where they learnt about the Holy Trinity and how the Holy Spirit is our helper, comforter and a life saver. The children also learnt some cool fun facts about the Holy Spirit which were really amazing to know about him. Post lunch, we had a few outdoor games where the children really had a good time running around and mixing about with each other.
Later in the evening, the children had the third session on “Working with the Holy Spirit.” This session enlightened them on the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit and how they can use these gifts in their day to day life. After mentioning the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, the Fruits of the Holy Spirit were also revealed to them, following which an action song was taught to the children called “Fruits of the Spirit”. The children also learnt how to be friends with the Holy Spirit i.e. by repentance or by change of heart, talking to the Holy Spirit not only in need but in joyful moments also, listening to God’s message through him and learning to be more like Christ. We concluded the day with a movie.
The third and the final day started off with the Holy Eucharistic being celebrated by Fr. Lawrence Pius Dorairaj, Bishop of Dharmapuri. The Bangalore Singles Music Ministry led us through an amazing time of praise and worship, with the children learning some more action songs. They danced with zeal and praised the Lord with their whole heart, soul, mind and strength. The children were made to sit in their tribes after the Praise and Worship, following which we began with our last session of the three day Kid’s Village. The objective of the concluding session was “Being a Jesus Representative”. During the session they were asked how they could be representatives of Jesus and how can one share Jesus which we have received in our homes, schools, play area etc. While the session was on, a few workshops were conducted. The younger kids had to dip their hands in paint and place them on the heart shaped cut-out, and also make a prayer bracelets using beads and thread, while the older kids had to write the names of all the people whom they would be praying for on the t-shirt cut out and blessed rosaries were distributed to them and they were told to pray for their family and their loved ones.
Finally, a summary of all the sessions they had learnt during these three days was presented. All the children enjoyed the sessions, the activities and the workshops conducted during the Kids Village. The children were taken to their parents where they had a combined Praise Fest. They left the premises with happy faces, taking a lot of memories back home, and being spiritually nourished, knowing that they have a friend who is always there for them, who will always take care of them and help them to be good representatives of Jesus in their lives. All the organizers, gathered together, thanking God for all the graces He showered upon them throughout these three days of the Kids Village.