06 November 2010

Getting crafty

One of the volunteers’ tasks at Anjali House is to run workshops twice a day, the same workshop each time, once for the morning children and once for those who come in the afternoons.
Anjali kids wearing their crowns
These workshops include arts and crafts, games and activities, and reading time. Much of the time we spent on arts and crafts last time went into making throwaway things, like Christmas decorations, masks and crowns. It was fun and the children enjoy any kind of creative activity, but I’ve been searching for more lasting, less environment-polluting activities for my next visit.

When I was checking out the Volunteer Service Abroad website recently, looking at longer-term volunteer assignments, I came across a news item about Project Friendship, their annual fundraising drive selling friendship bracelets. The seed of an idea was planted!

I don’t want to encourage the children to produce bracelets for sale, as that might lead to their absence from school, but I know their bright, imaginative minds will enjoy choosing the colour combinations and their nimble fingers will soon master the knotting techniques.

However, I had no idea how to make the bracelets, so first I needed to tackle my own learning curve. Googling soon produced some excellent websites, complete with instruction techniques and free patterns. And a trip to my local library produced some excellent books, with easy-to-follow diagrams.

I had some embroidery floss from a long-abandoned sampler, so have been using that for my first efforts. I’ve only mastered two easy patterns so far, but I’m pleased with my efforts to date and I think this will be a winner with the kids at Anjali.
My bracelet-making efforts so far.