Friendship Circles

What a blessing today. We got to be with the youngest kids we work with here in Ghana, Class 2. They have never been exposed to Children Inspiring Hope in the classroom but they know all about us. The younger kids are always the most active with us on during breaks and are so curious about us. They huddle around while we are eating lunch, they swarm when we take their picture, and they love to hold our hands or sit on our laps. They are such a joy.

The younger kids don’t speak much English so we needed a lot of extra translation assistance from Kelvin when we were in their classrooms. Kelvin is so good with the children. We did not always know what he was saying to them but he was great at invoking a laugh and we always laughed right along. Their laughter and smiles are contagious.

We were with EP Primary Ho-Bankoe Class 2A and B. Both classes are paired with the Grade 3 children of the PACE Brownie Troup. The Brownies created Friendship Circles for their friends here in Ghana. Each colorful circle represents a different holiday scene on one side and a description of the holiday on the other. We started with the drawings and the kids jumped right in. As with the kids of all ages, they loved the colorful pens and pencils. Many of them sketched their drawing in pencil first and then colored it in. One child drew an elaborate festival picture of chiefs in kente cloth draped from shoulder to shoulder, a big colorful umbrella over their head, and someone playing the drums. His drawing was amazing. It depicted a traditional scene at Ghanaian festivals. It was so detailed that he hardly got time to add much color to it.

For the descriptions on the back of the circles, since the younger children are not very proficient with English, we had to give them a lot of extra help. We put a few sentences on the board for them to complete: “My name is…” “My favorite celebration is …” And even with this, there were lots of hands going up to get help spelling words and figuring out how to complete the statements.  

The Class 2 kids all had such a great time. They grabbed our hands and thanked us profusely at the end of class. Then later in the day they kept sticking their heads back out the classroom windows, calling “Sister Angela, Sister Christie” and waving to us to come back. When we left, we hung a chain of friendship circles in each class. Later in the day we saw the kids gathered around them exploring them more deeply. These kids had a great introduction to Children inspiring Hope and they are already excited for us to come back.

Today we also finished the projects with EP Primary Ho-Bankoe Class 3A and B, paired with St. Andrews School Grade2. The children made wreaths last time and today we went back to write cards that describing one holiday and go on the back of the wreaths. Kelvin helped us a lot with translation in these classes too and invoked lots more laughs. A highlight of our return to their classroom was sharing the red, white and blue beaded flag pins the U.S. kids had made for their Ghanaian friends. They were a huge hit. Even the teacher wanted one. At recess the older kids had already heard about them and were approaching us to see if we had anymore. A highlight for us was the amazing songs that Class 3B broke out in at the end of class. They sang song after song with such enthusiasm and were dancing in the aisles just like in church. What a gift to experience their beautiful voices and the joy they have in sharing them.