• The Facilitators' Project

'Tulang' and PoolBall Party

Updated: Aug 19, 2019

We cannot emphasise enough how important birthday sessions are because they truly make the kids feel significant and loved. As such, we take our brainstorming sessions seriously when we plan birthday parties because we know every kid look forward to their birthdays with us. In addition, it was Hari Raya Aidiladha last weekend and we wanted to make it special for the Muslim kids too.

Too often, people do not think twice about the food they serve for the underprivileged. The main deciding factor for the food choices are often budget constraints and convenience. It is too easy to please others with sweet and tasty albeit unhealthy offerings. However, ever since Dean pointed out the linkages between emotions and food, we are now more deliberate and careful in the food and beverages that we serve. We wanted the kids to pick up healthy habits and to associate fun and joy with healthier options. We hope that one day, the kids will know that what is served is also a measure of love and will learn to treat themselves better.

Tulang, a local dish of bone soup consisting of mutton bones stewed in spices and prized for the marrow contained in the bones.

As such, we are so grateful to a kind couple who had graciously and lovingly prepared 20kg healthy version of Tulang dish for the kids. Some of the kids were superbly elated because Tulang is a familiar dish that they associate with love. It is something they used to enjoy together with their family in the past and they recalled fondly how their grandparents used to cook the dish for them. They felt a wave of love when told that this dish took more than five hours to prepare and it was made specifically for them. For others, it was a new experience as they knocked the precious marrow out of the hollow bone. The taste was bland to some and we understood because we know that most are more used to rich tasting sugar laden food. We explained that their tastebuds will learn a new skill of enjoying subtle tastes of ingredients and it is a matter of exposure so we will keep trying.

More than 20 kids managed to enjoy the fun poolball session with two friendly facilitators but we were only able to engage the vendor for an hour due to budget constraints. We wished we could do more for the kids as we sensed their disappointment when the vendors announced that they had to end the session promptly after one hour. Some kids refused to get out of the pit so had to be pulled out. However, we then noticed something amazing. The kids bounced out of their disappointment and started to find other ways to entertain themselves. They started to help the vendors pack up. Simply running round and round the edges to help deflate the pit made them just as happy. As we watched how positively they manage the situation, we felt grateful to be able to witness this and indeed we learn a powerful lesson about making the best out of every situation.

Serving a sugar-free and gluten-free birthday cake baked by the same couple that prepared the tulang.

At the end of the session, we had a cake cutting ceremony. We topped the cake with cherries and served them the grapes which Anne had brought down for them earlier. There were tears in the eyes of the kid whose birthday falls in August and she was overwhelmed by the shower of love as all of us sang a chorus of Happy Birthday. She knows she is much loved here.

#TheFacilitatorsProject #birthdayparties #WildFit

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