In celebration of World Children’s Day, BAPS Charities South Africa hosted its annual Children’s Fun Day on Saturday, 30 November 2013 in Lenasia, south of Johannesburg. The event, the 6th in its history, focuses on entertaining and spoiling children from disadvantaged communities from around Johannesburg and Soweto (the biggest township in the country with historical significance). On the day, children are treated to fun, games, activities, food and gifts.
This year witnessed 800 children from 8 different children’s homes, orphanages and organisations invited to attend the event. These homes and organisations focus on looking after children afflicted with life threatening illnesses such as HIV-AIDS, children who are abused and destitute and general child welfare and care. The ages of children ranged from between 1 year and 18.
The day began at 7am with over 100 BAPS Charities volunteers meeting at the venue for a small prayer for good weather and success for the event – considering that Johannesburg was undergoing days of severe rain and thunderstorms prior to the day. Our prayers were answered when the clouds dispersed leaving us with a warm and sunny day ahead. Jumping castle vendors soon arrived to setup their equipment, together with other vendors setting up their sound and other facilities required on the day.
At around 9am the first bus filled with children arrived. Thereafter, by 10am, all 13 busses hired to transport the children from their respective homes to the venue arrived with the children high in spirit and expectation for the fun-filled day ahead. As the children entered the main tent on the grounds, they were handed brunch packets filled with sandwiches and fruit and served juice. After a brief welcome address, the children then ran onto the grounds to begin their play with 10 different jumping castles, face-painting, nail-painting, sand-art and colouring book activities at their disposal.
Prior to lunch, the Children were treated to a demo from Colgate-Palmolive on the importance of good dental hygiene. Lunch was then served to the children before they were entertained by a magician and clown act as well as a few dance items by children from one of the homes present. Ice-cream was served to quench everyone from the heat. The Children then proceed to continue their play on the grounds before it was time to wrap up the event.
The Children were then placed into their respective homes before, one by one, were led to their busses. En route, each child was given a toy and gift hamper depending on their age group & gender. Younger children received more playful toys and games whereas older children received electronic toys and make up kits for the girls. Each home was also given a few additional boxes comprising of stationery items and reading material as well as toys and food. The stationery donated were purchased after a fund raising drive took place during Diwali where members of the public donated money that went to towards the purchase of the items. By 4pm all 800 children had left in their busses with fond memories of the day with the house masters of each home thanking us for hosting the event and for the generous donations given to them and to their children.
BAPS Charities would like to thank all donors and sponsors for their generous contributions that aided in making this year’s event an overwhelming success.