One person (I don’t know who exactly) said that when one asks for fish from you, you need not to give him the real fish because when it is over and she/he feels hungry again, they will come back and ask for more; instead, you get a net, take him/her to a fish pond or any other area where fish can be got, teach them how to fish and that will be the end of you being asked for fish by such one. What is happening at Don Bosco – CALM, I am courageous and confident enough to say that children here are not spoon fed but are being taught how to use a spoon. A case of this is in the area of Music, Dance and Drama, fine art and I can say generally theatrical arts. If you have been watching this space, you might have heard how the children of Don Bosco – CALM have been performing tremendously well in the area of Drama, music, dance, acrobats, break dance, … surpassing their historical lives which were marred with a lot of violence, neglect of the highest order by relatives, abandonment, mistreatment which later resulted into self pity, low self esteem and hopelessness, among the many other effects. This is not to say that the children at CALM are the only vulnerable ones, of course there are many others out there but one thing I have noticed and which has also been a comment by some people who have come to the centre, is that, the children are confident.
With that information in mind, I take this opportunity to inform you that currently the children are being prepared and are preparing for this year’s Youth Alive Regional Music, Drama, Poetry and Fine Art festivals which will take place on the 16th day of June, 2012. Three of the groups which will attend the festivals, will represent the Central Region in the National Festivals of which the date will be communicated after the Regional festivals. I studied History and that is why I always remind you about some few significant past events and at this time, I remind you or inform you (if you are reading for the first time) that Don Bosco – CALM has always represented the Central Region in the National festivals right from 2006 the year we first entered the Youth Alive festivals and I cannot miss saying that most of the other groups in the region and in the Nation (Uganda) train well knowing that they have a serious competitor who is Don Bosco – CALM. To heaven with my history, anyway, for those past years, the plays, songs, poems were entirely written by one person who has been the patron since then (Joseph Wandera) however, for this year, something special has happened whereby, the play, the song, the poem have been written by the children themselves.. The play was written by Kasule Daniel now in S. 2 but who has been a member since the start of the group. The song has been written by Nuwagaba Micheal (S.3), we have two poems and by the time of the competitions, we should have one and they were written just in a day’s time, one by Mugume Johnson (S.3) and Mutebi Sylvester (S.3). Of course the training is carried out with guidance from Joseph Wandera and his assistant in this field Uncle Fosca Musirike.
Like I said earlier, Don Bosco – CALM is not the only one taking care of vulnerable children, there is a Centre just close to our premises called Stand Tall Training Centre (STTC) and the administration of that Centre three times came to our Centre and they asked our children to visit their centre for some social interaction mainly, there was to be a farewell party for their guardian – Nicol – who was heading for Canada the following day. Children that day stayed home to make a few final touches in Acrobats, break dance, choreography, and most importantly drama, singing and poetry. They had an early lunch and later gone to STTC and by 13:30hrs, Don Bosco – CALM children were already there, machines staged, curtain fixed and stage set ready for serious performances. A lot had been prepared by the children unfortunately not all items were presented due to time. There was also a birthday party of a child to one of the staff members who was making one year on mother earth. There were also speeches from all class teachers. The Centre has five levels and the fifth level is equivalent to primary seven in the normal. There were also performances from a neighbouring School (Arise and Shine) which has Children in the Nursery level and slightly above it. All the three groups had an opportunity to perform and by the end of everything, all the people in the room were very happily and endlessly smiling, because they were tired of laughing as a result of the many interesting presentations from all the three groups. Don Bosco – CALM ended the show with the Youth Alive prayer after they had performed different dances, sung the song, acted out the play, recited the poem, performed acrobatics skills and presented their break dance and popping skills. Talking to the children after the show, some expressed how happy they were for visiting the Centre but mainly for showing some of their gained skills which has made them realise the more that DESPITE THEIR PAST, THEY HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO MAKE IT AND THEY CAN MAKE IT as it is the motto of Youth Alive – Don Bosco – CALM, that “WE CAN MAKE IT” so shall it be.