News from SCIS:

“Eddie! Eddie! Eddie! Oi! Oi! Oi!”

The familiar call of Eddie Ricers rang out at St Constantine’s last weekend on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th January, 2016 with 80 Maasai children from Kisongo Primary School, 13 St Constantine’s senior students, 9 Australian Eddie Rice Leaders and 13 Edmund Rice Sinon Secondary School students. It was a wonderful experience for all who attended and a great opportunity for our senior students to learn games and leadership skills to prepare them for future Round Square activities.

Edmund Rice Camps started in Melbourne, Australia more than 30 years ago and are now operated all over the world by young people. Edmund Rice Camps are held here in Arusha in January each year with visiting Edmund Rice Camp leaders from Melbourne to help facilitate the experience. We were happy to host the leaders for a pre-camp training day for new leaders and a two-day non-residential camp for Kisongo village children.

This was the second Edmund Rice Camp to be hosted at St Constantine’s and the collaboration of the four groups made for a successful Edmund Rice Camp programme. The children came with two staff members from Kisongo Primary School and the fun began early in the morning after the students arrived by school bus.

The group gathered for games and songs before breaking up into four teams for the day of activities. The leaders came with energy and motivation to share with the children from Kisongo. Some of the activities over the two days included basketball, soccer, hoola hooping, parachute games, beading and jewellery making, banner painting, tug-of-war, placemat making and everyone’s favourite activity, swimming. Plenty of smiles and laughter was shared in all the activities and everyone entered the games with enthusiasm. With thanks to school staff who provided water, snacks and delicious lunches each day to keep up the energy levels of children and leaders.

At the end of the weekend the children each received their laminated name place mat, an exercise book with a pen and a pencil for school, as well as many happy memories to share with their families. We hope that this association with Kisongo Primary School can continue to flourish. Our student leaders that participated in their first Edmund Rice Camp have gained many skills to co-ordinate future programmes similar to this weekend. It is a great opportunity to provide activities to children who do not have the same facilities that St Constantine’s children have every day. Some of our student leaders commented that it was a rewarding experience and had had a strong impact on their outlook on life. Edmund Rice Camps continues to provide benefits to disadvantaged children while fostering good leadership and role models for youth leaders.

Jane Marandu (Year 4 Teacher)