Of the 2,034 were preschoolers from the camp’s 23 preschools. 269 were children older than preschool age. The balance (421) were teachers and other adults who help out in the schools, preschools and the childcare facility.
The festivities at each preschool were triggered by a visit from staff from the Zone A No 9 preschool visiting the each preschool dressed as Santa and elves. Security at the camp is tight and the guards tended to laugh off Santa and the elves walking around the camp, what they did not realize was that Christmas was coming to every preschool in the camp. Once Santa and the elves arrived the fun began, there was the singing of Christmas Carols and traditional songs. There were dances and plays and skits and presents and food. (The preschool celebrations happened between December 6, and December 16.)
Every one received a present, some treats, (fruit enriched soy milk, a few lollies, and a small packet of chips). The Christmas dinner was served. In most cases this was curried chicken and rice, which to Karen kids is as good as Turkey with all the trimmings!
Each group of teachers had to bring an item to perform, and after the celebration opened it was time for jokes and dancing, skits and laughter followed by Christmas dinner. Four and a half hours later the teachers went home!
The Middle School had their Christmas celebration in conjunction with their awards ceremony on December 11, and orphanage / childcare facility had their celebration on December 19.
A wonderful time was had by all!
Australia Mercy would like to thank all who made it possible for Christmas to come to every preschool in the camp and to from there to overflow in the lives of other families living in Mae-la. This is another example of how Australian Mercy’s donors are bringing enormous joy in the lives of people who have little and are suffering under harsh conditions.
We are hopeful that 2016 will be a bigger event encompassing the lives of many children living at Mae-la refugee camp.